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  If it’s ‘Ugh’, it’s not starting well. Maybe it should start another time?   Stop the Clock Chronobiology is a fascinating thing. To distill the idea and what it means for the workplace is important so we can understand how to get the best out of people. We each have specific times during our daily rhythms, our body clocks, when we feel ‘peak’ and can operate effectively. If we fail to recognize when these windows of opportunity happen, we are neglecting to work at our best. If you need to use an alarm to wake up for work, then you’re already falling short. This is your...

If you want sparks first provide the kindling. On Being | prəˈdʌktɪv | Workplace productivity is a challenging concept to define. It can mean different things to different people. In ‘traditional’ terms, it was the physically measurable output in workload that meant more was produced.  More, more, more!  As methods of working have evolved, we’ve been able to shift away from the notion that people are merely cogs in an industrial machine, allowing productivity to become more rooted in the idea that individuals can pull together different skill sets into a collective stream to produce a more comprehensive product or service. Productivity, in effect, is...

In truth, nobody could stand being crammed at the same table.   Have It Your Way. “Let’s Get Engaged!”  Said nobody, ever, in the workplace. Even so, employee engagement is a huge deal. Companies looking to operate around a dependable, permanent core talent base need to figure out how to engage and retain that talent so they can initiate a culture of innovation. Lack of engagement is a huge problem in Australia, too. Research indicates less than a quarter of employees feel involved with the nature of their work and the place in which they do it, resulting in a critical net loss of current and...

  Shade, daylight and plantings.  Top Marks! Solar Powered Daylight is important. Despite what our alarm clocks may chirp at us, we are conditioned to rise with the growing of the light, actively use that radiance to carry out daily tasks, then wane with the settling of dusk to a dormant state of reflection and rest. Try a weekend of under-stimulation. Unplug, switch off, and avoid inputs. Stay near the windows, or outside where possible. Take it as slow as you can and see how aware you become of the lull to sleep as light fades, or the sensory awakening through the emerging dawn. Light means...

There’s always somewhere it fits. (Photo by Edgar Chaparro on Unsplash) Why plants matter The modern workplace is going through multiple changes. We moved from the ‘traditional’ office plan with visible hierarchy and cubicles for focused work, then to an open plan scenario with flattened hierarchy and a distinct lack of privacy for collaboration. With questions of effectiveness arising in both office plans, the rise of the ‘agile workspace’ has applied the idea of multifunctional spaces, social and quieter areas to cater to all working styles and needs. As work needs change, so will our preference for how we design workspaces. However, notwithstanding the...

 Brutally minimalist? Or simply a clean place to start?  Into the Void: When is Negative Positive?  Less is always more. We know this. It’s an irrefutable quality of whatever constitutes enduringly great design. The kind of stuff that ‘works timeless magic’, appears ‘classic’ or simply still looks sensational when you step back into it ten years later. It works for fashion. Glitzy fads seem gauche after a season, whereas simple denim or that little black number will always do the trick. The same holds for great cuisine. Keep things essential and close to their origins and you’ll distil the very best of them on...

  Creating Ownership in Public Spaces Whether you live in a peaceful village or a bustling metropolis, moving through and interacting with public spaces is part of everyday life. This is the common ground in which we can refresh our sense of community, remind ourselves that we inhabit a society, and perhaps even enhance our feeling of civic responsibility. The term ‘public space’ typically conjures images of urban focal points. A busy marketplace, a graceful plaza, or escalators connecting hive-like floors of human movement. However, though many public spaces are indeed...

The Importance of Art in the Workplace Encouraging productivity in the workplace may be top of the list for any business looking to operate smoothly and profitably, but what exactly does ‘productivity’ mean? Is it a riotous, noisy space, full of overt creativity and expression that indicates people functioning at the top of their abilities? Or is it a library of stillness, each team member silently outputting a measurable volume of work, without distraction, equally at the top of their abilities? Productivity means...

  When a workspace is designed first and foremost with its occupants in mind, it entails a complete shift in thinking. Why? Because until recently we have seen the places we work as just that, locations that each member of the team needs to travel to so that the company can ensure work is done and productivity happens. Work. Space. Notwithstanding the fact that human comfort was never top of the agenda, the way in which we used to functionally work was a formative influence on how our workspaces were necessarily designed and organised. Think top-down structures, people...

It’s a time of increasing opportunities for communication and interaction in the workplace. Technology has quickly demolished the need to be static, sitting at a single desk. If we choose to work mobile, we can. A higher degree of personal control over the way we work equates to 88% of workers feeling more highly engaged when they are not chained to a desk. However, great work still needs to happen in a physical workplace where colleagues can mix, influence, and affect each other in a way that has yet to be fully substituted by digital interaction. So what does this mean for...