Sunday, 29 November 2015

Emerging Trends - Biophilia & Performance

I’m off to Delhi to speak on psychoacoustics. It appears to be a subject of wide interest and appeal – it was well-received at EIAS and more recently Workplace Trends. Many of you will know that I co-founded the Workplace Trends series of conferences some 14 years ago with my wife, and Events Manager extraordinaire, Maggie Procopi.
Back then Workplace Trends was a small forum providing a platform for me and my peers to share subjects of interest to us and relevant to our day jobs. It has evolved to become the primary workplace conference for disseminating emerging trends that have an impact on office design and organisational management. The format allows the select group of speakers to present their subject matter in detail in a professional but non-commercial environment. Many delegates return year after year and the conference has become a networking hub for the increasing members of the workplace community. This year's theme was the increasingly topical Environments for Wellness and Health.

Sunday, 18 October 2015

My Journey into the Mysterious World of Psychoacoustics

I recently had the pleasure of speaking at EIAS2015. My journey began with a flight to Copenhagen followed by a bus trip across the Øresund Bridge, the famed bridge where the bisected body of a politician was found in the Broen Swedish/Danish TV drama. The bus meandered along until we reached the remote Swedish countryside, and I was reminded of the fictional Hedestad, in the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Where were they taking us? We finally arrived at the isolated but idyllic town of Båstad, nestled in the Hallandian Ridge on the shores of the Bay of Laholm. Fortunately it was not the setting for another Nordic Noir crime scene but home to the Swedish Open tennis tournament and EIAS.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Over use of the C-Word in the workplace

I often hear my fellow workplace strategists using the C-Word when referring to the office. I’m not talking about the obvious expletive and I certainly don’t mean that other offensive term “Consulting”; nor am I referring to the C-suite or even my Seven Cs of Change. But it seems to me that whenever we prepare a workplace strategy or design brief, there are a whole host of C-Words used as descriptors. Many are overused and misguiding, whereas others are fundamental to creating a successful workplace.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Healthy Buildings .... oh and acoustics

Last week I presented at the Healthy Buildings 2015 Europe conference in Eindhoven. I was excited about this gig because, in a former life as a Government researcher, I used to attend this series of conferences. So I was particularly interested in learning how the science of healthy buildings had progressed since I last attended in the late 90s.

It’s an academic conference and most of the presenters are researchers from scientific institutions. I think it’s also fair to say that most attendees had an engineering or physics background but I did find a couple of fellow psychologists (who spoke my language) and I also spotted a token architect. As a consequence, we were bombarded with complex statistics and even more complicated graphs; and we were impressed by studies of 2,000, 4,000 and even 8,000 people observed over several years. I admired that the researchers presented some very detailed and rigorous scientific experiments which must have required many many hours of diligent dedication.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Future Worsktyles | Future Workplaces

I recently co-authored a report for the City of London on Future Workstyles and Future Workplaces. I worked alongside fellow WCO colleagues Rob Harris of Ramidus Consulting and Despina Katsikakis, which was enjoyable and a breath of fresh air compared to carrying out research in my own bubble. The report was launched at MIPIM in Cannes, which unfortunately I didn’t get to, and London, where I ended up.

Both launches were well received with, what I perceived as, genuine interest and intelligent questions. We also received some good reviews on the usual social media channels. I like that people are saying that our reported workplace trends are relevant to all locations and not just to London. It’s great because we actually looked at global trends and then tailored them so that they were more relevant to the City of London. The City did a great job on the look and feel of the report; the new light and graphical format is a pleasant departure from their usual heavy tomes (so I’ve stolen their graphics).

Monday, 30 March 2015

A Tale of Two Summits

I’m a conference groupie; I enjoy spending time out of the office meeting new people, learning new stuff and drinking new beers. This year I have been fortunate to be invited to either speak at or chair a number of international conferences. My plan is to impart the key points from each conference and so spread the workplace word

I have just returned from chairing the Workplace Trends Spring Summit in central London. The theme was the Healthy Workplace & Active design, which is indeed a trending workplace topic. The conference was clearly over-subscribed and placed considerable strain on the facilities. Acoustics, ventilation, seating arrangements, catering, access and egress all suffered due to the high number of participants. Which, of course, is ironic as the main takeaway of the day was to create workplaces that accommodate basic human needs thus enhancing wellbeing and performance.