April 7, 2020

This article is a spoof! It was created as an April Fools’ Day joke on April 1st, 2020


We have been working with organisations deploying Agile Working programmes for several years. Obviously, in the current pandemic, thousands of employers have become more or less agile almost overnight. One of the key issues addressing communications with, and between, home workers is the need to maintain communications and minimise isolation (ironic in a national state of self-isolation).

The need for more use of video instead of email and phone calls is widely recommended and this is easily done with Skype, WhatsApp, FaceTime, Google Hangouts all readily available. In particular, Zoom meetings have appeared as a leading, easy-to-deploy technology that even the Cabinet have mastered!

As a partial home worker for many years, I have always wondered whether more might be done to enhance the sense of community and connection when working remotely. A chance encounter with application developer, Nevjerojatna Priča, a while ago led to some exciting developments which are still only at beta stage but I felt now would be a suitable time to sense check our work so far.

My discussions with Nev started around what attributes we associate with those we know. Clearly, if we have shared workspace with them in the past, we know what they look like and how they sound but is there anything else that you specifically associate with them? This led us to thinking about smell. Do they use a particular cologne or perfume? Do they bring in home baked cakes? Do they smoke? Do you work with them in a particular location or maybe go for a regular coffee in your favourite coffee shop? Do you go to the pub with them? If you stop to think about it, there may be a location-related aroma you associate with them.

So how do your colleagues think you smell? What scent or aroma encapsulates you (or would you like to be associated with)?

After intense development work, none of which I understand, Nev has developed the Olfactory App, or OlfApp, which enables you to capture your particular smell/aroma/scent. This then creates a piece of code – an olfactory avatar – which you can embed in certain applications. Beta tests only work in WhatsApp at the moment but we hope to have more soon.

If you would like to be part of Nev’s beta test team, these tips will improve effectiveness: For perfumes and colognes, choose citrus rather than musk tones. If you use Brut, you may erase all your contacts. If you choose newly-baked bread, it should not be sliced. Coffee should be beans or ground, not instant. If you want to use a particular pub or coffee shop, you will obviously have to wait.

You can get the app here.




All trademarks acknowledged

Happy April 1st!

April 1, 2018

Sound required!


Get Britain Sleeping!

April 4, 2016

This article is a spoof! It was created as an April Fools’ Day joke on April 1st, 2016

GetBritainSleepingComputerWorkerAsleepDramatic new research just published by ‘Snoozologists’ in the Faculty of Sleep Sciences at the University of Schlafgut, Germany brings a brand new approach to sleep requirements, slumber patterns and, in particular, cat napping.

Amidst widely-held concerns about sleep deprivation, especially amongst Millennials and Generation Z, the new data suggests that the long-standing view about the importance of eight hours’ sleep per night is misplaced. On the contrary, prolonged ‘single session’ sleeping may be bad for your health! 

Little and often is the new thinking and the research arrives at some ground-breaking observations:

  • Habits formed during adolescence result in many adults adopting slumber-prone behaviours in later life
  • Too much sleep is detrimental to productivity
  • Sleep as a night-time activity is an ‘old school’ view that fails to recognise the benefits of sleeping during daylight
  • Short bursts of work interspersed with brief but intense bouts of sleep can optimise performance in a similar way to high-intensity interval training (HIIT)

GetBritainSleepingEngineerAsleepAs a result of their extensive research (n=zzzz), Professor Pat Norsh and his colleague, Dr Luc Tood, make the following recommendation:

Work routines should be broken at least once an hour with a short sleep of 3-7 minutes

To facilitate and encourage these behaviours, employers should consider providing:

  • Quiet zones
  • Sleep pods
  • Personal lockers for duvets and pillows
  • Lavender essence dispersed through air-conditioning systems
  • Training sessions to teach staff how to ‘fall asleep anywhere’. (Trainers for these sessions can usually be found at low cost amongst the teenage children of staff members)
  • Team-building exercises built around the sleep theme (e.g. design a duvet, pillow stuffing, interpreting dreams)

GetBritainSleeping_Banner780pxGetBritainSleepingMetroAs may be expected, a campaign and a closely-linked industry is already emerging. The Get Britain Sleeping campaign has been officially launched on April 1st, 2016. In addition, designers of enabling technologies such as snooze apps and ‘productivity pyjamas’ are already marketing their wares to HR and Wellbeing Managers.

Expect to see news stories on TV and in the tabloid press in the near future.

GetBritainSleepingTreadmillWhen questioned about the need for further research, Dr Tood replied ‘We are currently working with a treadmill manufacturer on a viability study to establish the potential for ‘healthy sleepwalking’ – a methodology to address both the sleep needs and the cardiovascular benefits of combining these two activities’.

Professor Norsh was unavailable for comment.

Published in the interests of public entertainment and personnel productivity by Osmond Ergonomics, the UK’s most knowledgeable supplier of innovative products and services to improve workplace wellbeing and productivity.


We made all this stuff up. Any resemblance to genuine research, actual facts or real people (alive, dead or just sleeping) is entirely coincidental and highly unlikely. No responsibility will be accepted for disciplinary action or employment jeopardy as a result of reader gullibility. If you found this article informative and useful, please seek counselling through your employer or GP. If, however, you found it entertaining but valueless, you may be interested in some of our more meaningful articles here.

Time to Hang Out at the Office?

April 1, 2013
Suspensis Incredulum Integrated Inverted Workstation

The Suspensis Incredulum Integrated Inverted Workstation

We would not normally announce a new product on a Bank Holiday (it’s Easter Monday in the UK) but I couldn’t wait any longer with this news. In fact I couldn’t even wait until noon today!

Working with internationally acclaimed designer & researcher, Rif Loopal, we are delighted to announce the unique Suspensis desk range and, specifically the Incredulum model pictured here.

Rif explains, “The Suspensis Incredulum Integrated Inverted Workstation evolved from my fascination with the debate about sitting and standing at work and the arrival of some radical solutions such as the walking/cycling desks now appearing in the workplace”.

The grey-headed flying fox hangs upside down all day and works night shifts without evidence of musculo-skeletal injury

The grey-headed flying fox hangs upside down all day and works night shifts without evidence of musculo-skeletal injury

He continues, “I have recently spent some time in Australia observing the Grey Headed Flying Fox (Pteropus poliocephalus).  This fruit bat hangs upside down all day without any evidence of adverse effects. Indeed, I have made a number of Google searches for “musculo-skeletal injuries in work-age fruit bats” and found nothing at all. Some may argue that the very healthy fruit-based diet of this creature is a major contributor to its resilience but I would also contend that they work a lot of night shifts, so it’s not by any means an easy life. These experiences inspired me to design this product”

On the basis of his research, Rif has worked with us for several months to create the workstation illustrated here. The benefits are obvious: no slouching, no risk of spinal disk compression and no possibility of cluttering up the work area with unnecessary papers, to name just a few.

A range of accessories will followRif is already working on a range of complementary accessories.  He tells us, “The computer mouse has been the biggest issue – people keep dropping it. The simple and immediate answer (illustrated here) is to use a rollerbar mouse attached to the desk but that doesn’t suit everybody so we are working on a traditional mouse that is helium-filled.  Early field trials suggest that some users may also decide to invest in a crash helmet and some high impact rubber matting”.

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