The Write Stuff
Workplace Unlimited
by oseland
3d ago
  It's good to be back to workplace consulting after I spent most of the tail end of 2022 writing – papers, blogs and my third book. I managed to submit my draft of A Practical Guide to Post-Occupancy Evaluation before taking a well-earned break. The new book is a revision of the British Council Guide to Post-Occupancy Evaluation that I wrote back in 2007. It’s an under-statement to say the world has moved on since then – we’ve had austerity measures, agile/hybrid working, advances in sensor technology and AI to name a few workplace related initiatives. What hasn’t changed is the im ..read more
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Workplace Capability
Workplace Unlimited
by oseland
3M ago
I have been a mountain biker for thirty years, but last year I purchased a gravel bike. The gravel bike is more all-terrain, hybrid if you like, allowing me to cover longer distances using trails avoiding busy roads. I recently rode along the Upper Lea Valley trail and paused to admire three sculptures of people significant to the area: Eric Morecambe, Capability Brown and a Sea Scout. The landscape architect Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown was called so because he famously told his clients that their property had capability for improvement. It occurred to me that this is an admirable vocation ..read more
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Design for the Range, Not the Average: The Prejudice and Inadequacies of Indoor Environment Standards
Workplace Unlimited
by oseland
4M ago
I recently presented at the Comfort at the Extreme (CATE) conference in Edinburgh. The delegates were a mix of researchers and medics in the fields of indoor air quality and thermal comfort in offices, homes, schools and hospitals. I recognised many from my days as a thermal comfort research back in the 1990s - it was good to catch up after some 25 years. It was also an opportunity for me to have another jibe at the prejudice and inadequacies of current indoor environment standards. This is what I said …Many years ago, when my kids where younger, and much shorter, I visited Colchester Zoo. I ..read more
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Beyond the Workplace Zoo
Workplace Unlimited
by oseland
1y ago
I can’t believe my last blog post was around Xmas time last year, where has the time gone? But it doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing, just through a different media. My own lockdown baby came in the form of a new book: Beyond the Workplace Zoo: Humanising the Office. It was published two weeks ago with a cosy book launch last week and its official airing at Workplace Trendsyesterday. It has been over 20 years since my last “proper” book, Improving Office Productivity. A book I co-authorised with Paul Bartlett, who sadly passed away around one year ago. Paul’s views on office economics and pro ..read more
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Seasons Greetings 2020
Workplace Unlimited
by oseland
2y ago
  I have been quite fortunate, but Covid-19 is undeniably terrible and this year has been devastating for some with loss of loved ones and income. Apparently our fight and flight response means we dwell on the negative rather than the positive and five pieces of good news are needed to balance one negative. I appreciate this is little compensation for some, but my positive outcomes of Covid-19, which may apply to you also are: we got to spend more time at home with our family we didn’t have to commute on overcrowded trains/tubes we forgot about Brexit for a little while ..read more
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Post Covid-19 Workplace: Recollection not Revolution
Workplace Unlimited
by oseland
2y ago
Boris made his rather ambiguous announcement yesterday on his Covid-19 exit strategy and there have been plenty of previous posts from the workplace industry anticipating the announcement and how redesigning the office is the solution. But I firmly believe that we already have the answers, and have had them for some time, but have repeatedly chosen to ignore them. I recommend we start by recollecting and (re)introducing tried and tested best practice in the workplace before we push a design revolution.  Let us just remind ourselves of that long forgotten best practice design which wor ..read more
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Working from Home – A Psychological and Personality Perspective
Workplace Unlimited
by oseland
2y ago
I always find it interesting when classic psychological theory can help inform current situations. It has become apparent that working from home (WFH), and social isolation, like many things follows the Yerkes-DodsonLaw, with its inverted U-shape relationship.  The Yerkes-Dodson Law is traditionally used to describe the relationship between levels of mental and physiological arousal and performance, see Figure 1. When we are at our optimum level of arousal, we perform to our maximum (the top of the curve). However, when the level of arousal is low, for example, when we are tired, demot ..read more
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Virtual Meeting Etiquette
Workplace Unlimited
by oseland
3y ago
When it comes to virtual meetings, I’ve always been in two minds. On the one hand face-to-face is more dynamic, more engaging and more responsive. We pick up on non-verbal communication – facial expressions and other body languages revealing engagement and understanding. We use body language to emphasise messages and refer to previous shared experiences – see my collaboration report for more detail. I often joke that I want to smell others in the room not just hear or see them. Obviously, videoconferencing through Zoom, Skype (when it works) and Teams helps with the above and is more prefera ..read more
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Workstyle #2: I prefer to work locally, so what am I?
Workplace Unlimited
by oseland
3y ago
My previous blog explained the subtilties between the different type of modern workplace strategy. This sibling blog focuses on the modern office worker types or workstyles. Presumably, those who work according to a specific workplace strategy are deemed a particular style of worker. For example, ‘home-worker’ is a common phrase to refer to those who regularly or occasionally work from home. ‘Remote worker’ is often used describe those who work outside of the office either at home, in other places (cafés, library) or travelling on business. Myself and others who work in garden cabins refer to ..read more
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Workstyle #1: Am I an agile or flexible worker and does it matter?
Workplace Unlimited
by oseland
3y ago
I am working with a client at the moment who is moving to a new building and asked me to review their flexible working policies. Their existing policies are a direct response to the law regarding the right to request to work flexibly, first introduced in the Employment Act 2002 for those with dependents, and extended to all employees by the Flexible Working Regulations 2014. The organisation is implementing desk-sharing in their new office and already supports home-working. So, I was a little surprised that their flexible working policies made no reference to 'agile working', 'smart working' o ..read more
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