Sunday 10th May 2020 The Case for Active Travel

Guest post by Maggie Procopi, Workplace Trends

Yesterday (Saturday 9 May 2020) U.K. transport secretary Grant Shapps announced what he called a “once in a generation” £2 billion plan to boost cycling and walking both during and after the lockdown.

Upmost in his mind must be the need for workers to return to their offices amid an already crowded transport system.

It’s somewhat sad that it takes a global pandemic to force this level of investment, but I hope organisations will embrace the opportunities presented.

Workplace Trends covered Active Travel in a recent Climate Change and the Workplace event earlier this year. The session took the form of a panel discussion, with Q&A from the audience.

Many delegates, like myself, had reservations around, for example, cycling safety and travelling longer distances, all of which were reassuringly dealt with by our panel – Neil Webster, Cyclo Consulting, Megan Sharkey, University of Westminster, Ben Knowles, PedalMe and Andrew Brown, Just Ride the Bike (moderator).

Guest post by Maggie Procopi, Workplace Trends
Maggie is a co-founder of the Workplace Trends series of conferences. Based in the UK, Workplace Trends, along with their international partners, run ground-breaking events for workplace professionals who want be at the forefront of work and workplace new thinking. We examine up-coming trends and best practice which enable people and their places of work to be happy, healthy and productive.

We spend one third of our life working, but 60% of people feel lonely at work and 1.2 million office workers suffer from chronic loneliness (chronic loneliness is a harmful as having 15 cigarettes a day!) The problem hurts happiness and productivity, costing employers between £2–3.7 billion every year (that’s in the UK alone!)

The Loneliness Lab

You may remember last summer we asked our followers to take part in online research on Loneliness at Work. The full report is being written up at the moment, but the early results were presented at Workplace Trends London last October by Rachel Edwards (Lendlease) and Nigel Oseland (Workplace Unlimited).

We don’t usually release our conference videos except to registered delegates, but we really wanted to share this trending topic.

If you enjoyed this presentation, take a look at our Workplace Trends Research Spring Summit, coming up on 25 March in London. Virtual and in-person tickets and more information is at

Monday 15th July 2019 The Auditorium of the Future

At our recent Design and Management of Learning Environments conference, Ian Stickland of Charcoalblue spoke about his work designing and installing auditoriums, not just in learning environments and theatres, but also in workplaces.

Whilst he covered the effects of the digital age in both the design and use of  lecture theatres and presentation spaces, even more interestingly he dwelt too on the why and how of designing spaces that enhance the relationship between the presenter and their audience. So once again the importance of engagement was highlighted as a driving and necessary force in the design of a productive space.

The session also drew on the rich history of theatre, teaching and storytelling spaces to explain the fundamentals of auditorium design. 

We don’t usually release our conference videos except to our delegates, but just on this occasion we really wanted to share this with you!

Filmed and edited by our friends at McLeod Audio Visual.

Check out our up-coming 2019 Workplace Trends events in London on 15 October, and Copenhagen on 19 September.

Thursday 29th November 2018 The Role of Psychoacoustics in Designing Learning Environments

Nigel Oseland, Workplace Unlimited, and Colin Campbell, Saint-Gobain Ecophon, speaking at the Design & Management of Learning Environments 2018, on the early findings of their literature review on classroom noise and teacher personality.
Despite resistance to open plan classrooms in the UK, the movement towards innovative learning environments continues in parts of Europe, especially Scandinavia, Australia and New Zealand. Their definition (ILEs) is an ongoing discussion in itself and their success is dependent on many aspects. However, understanding the changes in pedagogic approaches, including aspects like the profile of teachers in this context and the quality of the acoustic design are key to informing the design process in order to deliver successful and sustainable learning outcomes.

Tuesday 27th November 2018 Office Culture & Creating Workplaces for Wellbeing

Catherine Gall of Steelcase, speaking at our 2012 Workplace Trends Conference, on Office Culture and Wellbeing.
It’s interesting to look back on this six years later. Workplace has definitely moved on, but there’s still much to do.
Understanding local culture is vital to using space as a key strategic tool for global organizations. Whether you think your company is global or not, you’re global. Businesses compete in a global marketplace.
Catherine presented new research that demonstrates the importance of understanding the differences in how people work, their sense of hierarchy and teamwork, how they manage others, negotiate, and conduct knowledge work activities.

Thursday 22nd November 2018 Activity Based Working in the Netherlands

Louis Lhoest of Veldhoen + Co, speaking at our 2012 Workplace Trends Conference, on the concept of ABW, just as relevant today as it was then.
According to Wikipedia, the term “activity based working” was first coined in the book the Art of Working by Erik Veldhoen, Dutch consultant and author of the book The Demise of the Office.
Society is changing, technology is changing even faster and the complexity of our world and overload of information is giving people and organisations new challenges. Reflecting on this there is no other answer than that our past and current ways of working will not be able to match the needs these changes bring about.
Customer demands rise, employers behaviours change and organisations must be able to cope with continuous change in order to survive and flourish. New ways of working are inevitable and will help organisations and individuals to meet the new challenges.
Activity Based Working is a way of looking at how work could be organised and supported differently. It does not offer solutions but provides a framework for developing and realising new ways of working.
More info on ABW and a short animated video can be found on Veldhoen’s website here.

Tuesday 20th November 2018 How (and why) happiness works as a business model

We aim to highlight new thinking at Workplace Trends events. Happiness and wellness are today’s buzzwords, but even way back in 2012 we were honoured to have Nic Marks, whose happiness and wellbeing research methodology is world-renowned, give the keynote at our Workplace Trends autumn conference.
Sometimes people think that happiness is somewhat frivolous in a business context but Nic argues that happiness is in fact highly functional. Happiness helps people build stronger relationships, become better able to deal with unexpected events and be generally more creative and innovative. People are happier at work if they are able to be themselves, have a sense of control and progress, are surrounded by people they along with and importantly feel their work is meaningful and socially valuable. A focus on happiness can help make organisations higher performing as well as a better places to work.

Nic is perhaps best known for his trailblazing work on the Happy Planet Index, National Accounts of Well-being and the Five Ways to Well-being which is used extensively within health and education institutions as well as within governmental policy. Nic is the founder of Friday, an organisation that changes the world of work for the better and is a fellow of nef (new economics foundation) and on the board for Action for Happiness. Read more about Nic at

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Tuesday 13th November 2018 An Introduction to Workplace Trends
“Sharing Knowledge and Connecting People since 2002”

Nigel Oseland’s introduction to our recent Workplace Trends Conference in London, 17 October 2018.
This is particularly useful if you’d like to find out more about the purpose and thinking behind our events.
Our next event is the Workplace Trends Research Spring Summit in London, 21 March 2019.