Blog

Peter Thomson blogs regularly about the changing world of work and how WiseWork is helping organisations to benefit from new working practices. This site also hosts blog contributions from Wisework Partners and other guest bloggers..

Life’s too short for boring jobs

50 years ago we managed to land a man on the moon. Since then we have seen incredible advances in technology which allow us to live our lives very differently. But there is one aspect of life that has hardly changed. It’s the drudgery of boring work. Work should be a joy. But for most people it’s a necessary evil in order to gain enough money to live. I’ve asked hundreds of people (mainly conference audiences) if they would still…

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What’s your image like?

Do you know what people say about your organisation? Does it have positive image amongst the public? Do you need to have the right image to attract the best talent? Many organisations spend millions on creating a nice logo, running big marketing campaigns and creating an image for their products. Not many put the same effort in creating the right image in the labour market. It’s not much use having a great product in the eyes of consumers but a…

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Do we still need Hierarchy?

This is a blog submitted by Wisework Partner Chris Ridgewell to mark the “H for Hierarchy” week in the WiseWork A to Z series. H is for Hierarchy When you mention the word hierarchy to many people, their eyes glaze over and they immediately envisage an organisation with a rigid pyramidal managerial and organisational structure with departments neatly named and placed on a chart, each one reporting to a higher power or authority. Indeed there are many organisations where this…

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Work to save the planet

The subject of the environment is constantly in the news. Whether it’s climate change protests, international agreements or extreme weather patterns we are all hearing about global warming on a daily basis. Yet also on a daily basis people are continuing to work as if nothing has happened. They get in their polluting vehicles and generate carbon dioxide sitting in traffic jams in order to get to work. They get on aircraft and fly half way round the world to…

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Ban “Flexible Working”

The way we think about work is still conditioned by Industrial Age assumptions. Despite technology freeing us up from fixed time and place, we still think of work as being organised into jobs that have a specified “workplace” and a defined set  of “working hours”. By law every employee in the UK has to have a contract stating these facts. Then some employers are prepared to offer “Flexible Working” as an employee benefit, granting some variation to the fixed hours…

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Why is Engagement so low?

We are only too familiar with the headlines based on Gallup’s worldwide survey on engagement. “Only 13% of employees worldwide are engaged at work”. “24% are actively disengaged, indicating they are unhappy and unproductive at work and liable to spread negativity to coworkers”  and so on…. Yet we seem unable to shift the figures very much. There is overwhelming evidence that good engagement translates into good business results. The Engage for Success report from 2012 is full of data such…

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Why isn’t work a pleasure?

We too readily accept that work is something people don’t really want to do. We pay them ‘compensation’ for their time in order to bribe them away from things they’d rather be doing. What a strange way of designing the activity occupying the most waking hours for most adults. Why don’t we aim to make work so interesting, fascinating and rewarding that people would do it whether they are paid or not? Very little effort goes into work design. We…

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Customer Service – excuse for inaction or reason for action?

It’s Week 3 in the 26 week “A to Z” WiseWork series and we’re up to the letter “C”  for Customer Service. We are now living in the 24/7 world, where instant service is becoming the norm. I can renew my car insurance, book a doctor’s appointment or make a payment from my bank account at any time that suits me. I can buy a book and download it instantly to my Kindle or have the paper version arrive the…

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How to Improve Business Results

Report after report, survey after survey, the message is clear. Flexible workers are happier, healthier and more productive than their conventional colleagues.  They are much more engaged and are much less likely to be looking for another job. There are many ‘soft’ benefits that come from a more flexible approach to work. Employees are less stressed, have a better work life balance and take less time off sick. If they are able to choose when and where they work they will…

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Let’s ban the word ‘absence’

This is the first week in the “A to Z” series explaining WiseWork. It’s all laid out in the “Why WiseWork” guide available on this site. Each week we will be taking a letter of the alphabet and looking at the word it represents.  This week it’s A for Absence. When I chose ‘absence’ as the topic I was aware that introducing remote and flexible working schemes are known to reduce absenteeism. So it seemed obvious that one of the…

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