WDM Newsletter – September/October 2017

September 25, 2017

This article was originally emailed as our monthly Workplace Design & Management newsletter at 11:00 on 21/09/2017. You can view older eBulletins here and register to receive them monthly.

HÅG TRIBUTE CHAIR
Style, Elegance & Comfort

WDMheader2017-09HÅG Tribute is the ideal chair to make a serious statement in your boardroom and formal meeting spaces. Norwegian Svein Asbjørnsen of sapDesign® worked with HÅG once again to develop the Tribute with the declared intention to create ‘the world’s most uncompromisingly comfortable executive chair’. Incorporating the signature HÅG in Balance® technology, integral lumbar support, optional headrest and TiltDownTM  armrests, it is visually sleek yet offers outstanding comfort and support. As with all HÅG products, it is also highly sustainable and precision made. Please contact us for a brochure and further information.

PLEASE RESUBSCRIBE!
New data protection rules make this essential

resubscribeTo ensure we comply with the imminent General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe, we are asking ALL subscribers to reregister to ensure you continue to receive this monthly newsletter. Since its introduction, we have accumulated a substantial database. To meet the more stringent 2018 requirements, we need to be certain we have proof of opting in from all our readers so we shall be closing down this database before the year end. To ensure uninterrupted delivery, please take a couple of minutes to register for the new database hereThe reregistration submission will send you a confirmation email to complete the process. Please check your spam/junk directories if you do not receive it. Many thanks for your continued interest and support.

MUCH MORE THAN FURNITURE
Training & events to reflect our broader portfolio

biggreeneventAs our key clients sharpen their focus on employee wellbeing, our furniture offering is now complemented by a broader range of activities. These include training, events and services to address health, wellbeing and engagement issues. Our involvement in two upcoming events reflects this trend. The Big Green Event in Southampton and Citywork in London will enable us to meet organisations who share our values and appreciate our products. At The Big Green Event, I shall also be presenting a LearnZone workshop about sit-stand furniture as part of an agile working programme.

ERGOEXPO 2017 REVIEW
Paris, but not as we know it!

ergoexpo2017I have been attending the ErgoExpo in Las Vegas since 2005 but, in exhibition terms, this was the Year of the Sit-Stand Desk!  There were two other significant changes: the venue has moved from Caesar’s Palace to the Paris Hotel and the date changed from the autumn to August. As far as hotel concepts are concerned, I prefer the Paris to Caesar’s (which, in my view, was a contrived brand 50 years ago and has not redeemed itself in the intervening years). However, as with ‘all things Vegas’, the Paris hotel concept is, to European sensibilities, very much a caricature of the French capital rather than a realistic representation of any part of it. If you could translate English into French simply by preceding every English or American noun with ‘le’ or ‘la’, my conversational French would be much better than it is! [more]


Osmond Ergonomics eBulletin September 2017

September 15, 2017

This article was originally emailed as our monthly eBulletin at 11:30 on 13/09/2017. You can view older eBulletins here and register to receive them monthly.

ERGOEXPO 2017 REVIEW

ebulletinheader2017-09I have been attending the ErgoExpo in Las Vegas since 2005 but this year saw two significant changes: the venue has moved from Caesar’s Palace to the Paris Hotel and the date changed from the autumn to August. As far as hotel concepts are concerned, I prefer the Paris to Caesar’s (which, in my view, was a contrived brand 50 years ago and has not redeemed itself in the intervening years). However, as with ‘all things Vegas’, the Paris hotel concept is, to European sensibilities, very much a caricature of the French capital rather than a realistic representation of any part of it. If you could translate English into French simply by preceding every English or American noun with ‘le’ or ‘la’, my conversational French would be much better than it is! [more]

CONTOUR UNIMOUSE – SOMETHING SPECIAL

unimouseAt least every couple of months for about the last 10 years, we have been notified of a new ‘ergonomic’ mouse. These new devices are always either a cheap rip-off of an established product or a ‘revolutionary’, research-backed design that addresses key issues in a way that no previous mouse manufacturer has been able to do. In every case, the vendor is positively evangelical in their product advocacy! After nearly 25 years in the industry I hope, therefore, that you will forgive me for being somewhat jaded about such launches.
Then along comes the Unimouse! I have been aware of its backroom development in various iterations for several years and now have a beta-version of the final product which I collected at ErgoExpo. In my view, it has been worth the wait. My whole team are excited about the adjustability, functionality and quality of our sample. I genuinely believe this is the most comprehensive and viable embodiment to date of the power-grip vertical mouse philosophy. The official UK launch is still a few months away so contact us now to make sure you are kept informed of opportunities to see and test the new design.

PLEASE RESUBSCRIBE!

resubscribeTo ensure we comply with the imminent General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe, we are asking ALL subscribers to reregister to ensure you continue to receive this monthly newsletter. Over nearly eight years since its introduction, we have accumulated a substantial database. To meet the more stringent 2018 requirements, we need to be certain we have proof of opting in from all our readers so we shall be closing down this database before the year end. To ensure uninterrupted delivery, please take a couple of minutes to register for the new database here. Many thanks for your continued interest and support.

SUMMER IS OVER – CONFERENCES ARE COMING

seminarsAs Autumn approaches, the conference and exhibition cycle restarts. This year we have stepped away from our previous experience and tried some very different events. We have been very pleased with the results. This trend continues in October and November  with The Big Green Event in Southampton and Citywork in London. As wellbeing and engagement become central themes for best-practice employers and our own range of services evolves to meet these needs, it becomes increasingly important to us to work with organisations who share our values as well as like our products! These events help us to identify those employers.


WDM Newsletter – August 2017

August 21, 2017

This article was originally emailed as our monthly Workplace Design & Management newsletter at 11:00 on 17/08/2017. You can view older newsletters here and register to receive them monthly.

THE BEST WORK ENVIRONMENT
Will only happen with training!

WDMheader2017-08Our workplace environment impacts our wellbeing and productivity. Lots of research tells us this and there are endless articles about the design of space, light, temperature, acoustics, furniture and buildings themselves. The more holistic articles (and enlightened employers) embrace diet and exercise too. Perhaps I am reading the wrong articles but there seems to be comparatively little about training. Some of the key issues (light, temperature and acoustics, for example) will directly affect individuals without any proactive participation. Other key factors will require Behaviour Change to make a significant difference or even, in some cases, make any difference at all. Engagement specialists understand this and Behaviour Change experts help employers make this happen but it often seems to be forgotten that we are creatures of habit. Unless encouraged, aided or cajoled, we default to acting as we always have, whatever the changes to our environment. Let us hear more about the essential education and support necessary to optimise the use of our work environments. If you are a specialist in these disciplines – or know where to find the articles I am missing, please let me know!

CANTEEN AND CAFÉ FURNITURE
How will it be used?

canteen_and_cafeDoes your organisation use the staff restaurant just for eating or as an ad hoc meeting place? Are your catering facilities simply a refuelling station for your own people or a hospitality area for visitors? Do you prefer circular tables or will long rectangular benches increase the likelihood of serendipitous meetings? Will you need power sources for laptops and handheld devices? Ready access to healthy food is a crucial element of today’s wellbeing focus and properly planned catering facilities provide a multi-functional space which can enhance staff engagement and improve communications. The furnishing of any hospitality area needs to consider the scope of use as well as the corporate brand and ethos. This link provides a handful of examples and we can suggest many more depending on the answers to these and other questions.

SIT-STAND-PERCH
Exploring the ‘third way’

sit-stand-perchIt is ironical that perching, the ‘third way’ in the sit-stand conversation, first became topical a few decades ago during discussions about standing too much! Historically, there have been many logical applications for perching in manufacturing environments as a way to reduce the standing time for machine operators and process personnel without the productivity loss which can arise from frequent changes between sitting and standing. You will also see perching stools in galleries and museums so that attendants do not have to stand for their entire shift. [read more]

CYBER SECURITY
The responsibility of everyone

cyber_securityWe are currently reviewing our cyber security procedures and data protection systems. Two key factors stand out: you are only as strong as your weakest link and the list of devices, apps, processes and systems to be part of the review seems endless. Reflecting on the former, it comes as no real surprise that the WannaCry attack on the NHS and other organisations was so effective. It only needs one individual to unknowingly open an unsafe item on apparatus that has not been fully maintained to expose a weakness. Keeping your systems updated and ensuring all your personnel take personal responsibility for their own devices is a full-time challenge!


WDM Newsletter – July/August 2017

July 24, 2017

This article was originally emailed as our monthly Workplace Design & Management newsletter at 11:00 on 20/07/2017. You can view older newsletters here and register to receive them monthly.

AN INTERNATIONAL WORKFORCE
Impacting engagement across multiple cultures

WDMheader2017-07This month I have been looking at health and safety legislation in multiple territories. This conversation then extended into looking at other roles with multinational responsibility and thinking about how different organisations approach cultural diversity. It is hard enough to address all the issues affecting engagement in a single country, so overlaying cultural conflicts adds an order of magnitude to the challenge. This is especially so when the parent company has a very different national culture and assumes it can simply be overlaid on every other territory worldwide! Are you and your organisation especially good at both recognising and integrating cultural diversity – or is this a problem you are currently facing? I want to explore this further and welcome any contributions, questions or ideas. In the first instance, please email me to join the conversation.

RENDEZVOUS
Design: Jason Lansdale

rendezvousAs offices start to look like hotel lounges and hotel lounges become work hubs, specific themes and approaches emerge. New product concepts appear and, within weeks, every manufacturer has its own interpretation of the same idea! Once that has happened, it becomes a personal choice for style, quality and function.Rendezvous is my favourite product in its niche, offering a choice of high sitting or standing in a variety of configurations. For co-working and ABW – or just somewhere for a quiet cup of coffee – it is available to accommodate 4-12 people with a choice of screen heights and finishes. If you are thinking about extending your range of standing height work areas, especially in an agile office environment, this could be the ideal alternative, or complement, to sit-stand desks (see below).

SIT-STAND SEMINARS & SESSIONS
Separating fact from fiction

sit-stand-multiIn May, I mentioned the current interest in my ‘Is it true what they say about Millennials?’ presentation and, since then, there have been several enquiries about my newly updated ‘Putting things in perspective’ sit-stand presentation. It is clear that many organisations, including some who are well advanced with a sit-stand implementation programme, are unsure about the use of sit-stand desks and the messages surrounding them. As Mark Eltringham says in his recent Workplace Matters interview (see below), we all need to be aware of a ‘fallacious and distorted narrative’. I agree! If you are looking for a one-hour session (as a seminar or webinar) that puts this narrative into perspective, please contact me.

WORKPLACE MATTERS
Information on the move

workplace_mattersI am a podcast enthusiast: I find they are a valuable source of both entertainment and education. My latest discovery is Workplace Matters by Ian Ellison of 3edges. Addressing an enormous variety of subjects in workplace design, culture and engagement, Ian interviews thought leaders from a variety of backgrounds. The discussions are wide ranging and stimulating with lots of valuable ideas and references. A word of warning though! As I discovered when I was driving, you will probably need to listen a second time to take notes (and that is no bad thing). Find it on iTunes or Acast.


WDM Newsletter – June 2017

June 19, 2017

This article was originally emailed as our monthly Workplace Design & Management newsletter at 11:00 on 15/06/2017. You can view older newsletters here and register to receive them monthly.

INTERNET OF THINGS OR INTERNET OF SERVICES?
Exploring Smart Buildings and Smart Occupiers

WDMheader2017-06The ThinkFM Conference 2017 explored how technology impacts the role of the Facilities Manager and, indeed, the entire workforce. There is no doubt that connectivity and wireless technology in its many incarnations – the Internet of Things (IoT) – is making it easier to monitor buildings and equipment as well as anticipate faults. This improves preventative maintenance and many workplace services dramatically. Much more interesting to me was how much may be achieved by monitoring people as well! We are already familiar with occupancy monitors and wearable technology that can assess our steps, posture and heart rate. [more]

EVA CHAIR
Responsible, innovative and beautiful

eva_chairThe new Eva from Orangebox places the company firmly in the premier league of international seating and furniture manufacturers. I was privileged to be part of a small focus group to see and comment on the concept in the last few weeks before its launch. It is very clear that enormous attention has been paid to every facet of its development and construction. The sleek, minimalist profile creates an elegant chair and aids its outstanding sustainability story. Simultaneously, the simple, intuitive controls combine with a wide adjustability range to maximise comfort. Contact us to experience the chair yourself.

THOUGHTS FROM CLERKENWELL DESIGN WEEK 2017
There is more to Wellbeing than fabulous furniture

wellbeing2The buzzword at CDW 2017 was Wellbeing. I am delighted to see that the designers of mainstream workplace environments are recognising the importance of Human Factors and Ergonomics (HF&E) but we know that issues to consider under the Wellbeing heading are numerous and diverse, extending way beyond the provision of comfortable, attractive furniture. We see mental health as a major cause for concern for many of our clients so it is important to address this alongside physical health and employee engagement for a successful, productive workforce. [more]

WEBINARS & EVENTS
Education & training opportunities

webinarHave you looked at our event diary recently? We run regular webinars alongside periodic training and education events on topics relevant to senior managers in all organisations. Whether you are in Facilities, HR, Health & Safety or Procurement, there will be subjects that resonate with your current priorities. Recent webinar sessions include ‘Is it true what they say about Millennials?’ and ‘Zero Inbox – the Basics of Email Management’. Many events are free! Check the page regularly to see what else we have added.


WDM Newsletter – May/June 2017

May 22, 2017

This article was originally emailed as our monthly Workplace Design & Management newsletter at 11:00 on 18/05/2017. You can view older newsletters here and register to receive them monthly.

UNDERSTANDING TODAY’S WORK ENVIRONMENTS
Communication – Collaboration – Concentration – Contemplation

WDMheader2017-05As mentioned in last month’s newsletter, we have participated recently in The Business Show which targets smaller employers. In doing so, we realised that this market is less familiar with the many terms we use in day-to-day conversation with our large clients. The result of this thinking was our latest jargon-free brochure. It was an exhilarating experience discussing the workplace with people who had never heard of agile working, touchdowns, co-worker spaces or activity based working arrangements although many are using such formats without realising it!

LUX
Compact comfort

luxFor our stand at the Business Show, we needed a product to represent our broader portfolio in a compact space. The Lux seating family provides an ideal mix of striking design and small footprint which met the brief exactly. As an evolution of the traditional tub chair, it is available in a choice of high and low backs and single or two-seater models. Complete with co-ordinating low tables, it is ideal for reception and breakout areas where space is limited.

IS IT TRUE WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT MILLENNIALS?
Exploding some myths about Generation Y

millennialsThis is the title of a new presentation I delivered recently to a group of senior managers in the finance field. In it, I addressed some of the key issues in the context of a multi-generational workforce and explore ways to improve communications across age groups and character types. You can see the PowerPoint deck here. There were several comments from attendees about some of my ideas that they had not considered before and I already have an enquiry to present again to a leadership team. Let me know if this is a topic of interest to you and your colleagues. It can be delivered in person or by webinar.

SEATING BROCHURE
Content update

seatedFollowing the introduction of the new work environments literature mentioned above, our seating brochure needed a facelift. The new version provides an overview of every type of seating from reception to home working and laboratories to industrial settings. We source products from a number of manufacturers in the UK and abroad to provide a comprehensive portfolio of quality products and, since it is in our DNA always to consider ergonomics, we bring a unique perspective to many seating discussions. Contact us for further information.

CLERKENWELL DESIGN WEEK
Last chance – or maybe too late

clerkenwellDepending when you read this, CDW is just coming or you may have just missed it! If there is still time to book, you can do so here. I shall be attending on the Tuesday and Wednesday: let me know if you want to meet up. If you are too late, I shall be providing my own observations and insights in the June/July newsletter. As I write this piece, I am looking forward to the new Eva chair launch at Orangebox (I have had a sneak preview!), Textile Fluidity from Camira, Creative Collaborations with SB Seating and street art at Edge Design, amongst many others.


WDM Newsletter – April/May 2017

April 24, 2017

This article was originally emailed as our monthly Workplace Design & Management newsletter at 11:00 on 20/04/2017. You can view older newsletters here and register to receive them monthly.

IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR!
Conferences and exhibitions abound

WDMheader2017-04With Easter over and summer on the horizon, we continue to participate in a diverse array of events. As it happens, the next three are all in London. I am always looking for new products or fresh ideas and will provide feedback in due course. If you attend any of these events, I shall be pleased to hear whether you agree with my observations and, if you do not participate, I hope you find the information useful. If you are a social media user, you can also get more timely and frequent bulletins from one of the sources available here.

CLERKENWELL DESIGN WEEK
The eighth edition: May 23rd – 25th

CDWWith over 34,000 visitors last year, CDW continues to evolve and grow. I have already seen some exciting new products which are ready for launch and there is a hectic programme of events and presentations. Some of our own key partners have brand new showrooms since last year and others have moved premises. If you are attending timed sessions, expect to exceed your daily step target with ease and make sure you allow enough time to walk between them! This year I shall be attending on the Tuesday and Wednesday so let me know if you want to meet up.

THE BUSINESS SHOW 2017
The event for SME owners and directors

BusinessShowWe have been thinking for some time about how we can bring the knowledge gained from our relationships with enormous organisations to business owners in the SME world. We know that some of our unique and innovative techniques are equally applicable whatever the size of an organisation and we shall demonstrate this on Stand 7124 in The Marketplace Zone at The Business Show. If you plan to attend on May 17th or 18th, come and talk to us! If you do not yet have your free ticket, click here.

TH!NKFM CONFERENCE
FM in a connected world

th!nkFMOnly a few years ago, we were talking about how smartphones and tablets were changing our work lives. Before these issues are even fully embedded, there are already more new technologies to accommodate: Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, the Internet of Things, Robotics and Big Data are just a few of the terms that did not exist a few years ago. On June 8th, Th!nkFM will be exploring the benefits and challenges of these issues and considering ways to address them. I shall report back on what I learn!

ALTERNATIVE FACTS 2
April Fools or Year Round Fools?

alternative_truthsIn Issue 14, I referred to the terms ‘post-truth’ and ‘alternative facts’ and bemoaned our apparent growing willingness to accept information from unverified sources. I am grateful to those of you who provided interesting and valuable feedback. At the time, I was thinking about my next blog and, whilst contemplating the issues, came across a really insightful question in a Tweet on April 1st. That question became the necessary catalyst to shape this article!


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