Agile Work News
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Agile Work News
Global Workplace Analytics' feed of the latest news and research about agile workplace strategies and practices.
Curated by Kate Lister
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Poor mental health is costing employers billions!

Poor mental health is costing employers billions! | Agile Work News | Scoop.it
Only 45 percent say they get help from employers to meet mental health needs.
Kate Lister's insight:

200 million workdays are lost due to depression alone.

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Global Trends in Employee Attraction, Retention and Engagement

Global Trends in Employee Attraction, Retention and Engagement | Agile Work News | Scoop.it
This issue of Sustainably Engaged covers the global trends affecting employee attraction, retention and engagement using insights from the 2014 Global Workforce and Global Talent Management and Rewards Studies.
Kate Lister's insight:

Towers Watson offers a good summary of the difference between what employers think is important to employees and what they actually think. Employers #1: Career Advancement Opportunities, Employees #1: Salary

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VirginPulse: Why Employees Are Unfocused at Work (and how to help)

VirginPulse: Why Employees Are Unfocused at Work (and how to help) | Agile Work News | Scoop.it

"In today’s workplace, a whole host of interruptions are vying for employees’ attention. The good news is that reigning in the diversions and helping employees get down to business may be easier than you think."

Kate Lister's insight:

Incredibly, 43% of survey respondents say they are distracted between 201% and 75% of the day. Why? Colleagues, technology, the Web, meetings, phone conversations, and micro-management.

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New study shows parents value family over work by a wide margin; fear backlash for putting family first.

New study shows parents value family over work by a wide margin; fear backlash for putting family first. | Agile Work News | Scoop.it
A new study of working parents across the U.S. reveals many working moms and dads fear that their family responsibilities may cause challenges at work. Read the study!
Kate Lister's insight:

More than 75% of parents rate family of top importance. Only 2% say the same about work. Yet most fear retribution if they ask for flexibility and many will lie to hide family problems. What's wrong with this picture?

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Media hype over connection between multitasking and lack of grey matter is misleading

Media hype over connection between multitasking and lack of grey matter is misleading | Agile Work News | Scoop.it

"But neuroscientists Kep Kee Loh and Dr Ryota Kanai point out that their study reveals a link rather than causality and that a long-term study needs to be carried out to understand whether high concurrent media usage leads to changes in the brain structure, or whether those with less-dense grey matter are more attracted to media multitasking."

Kate Lister's insight:

I'm not saying multi-tasking is good for us. Other studies have proven it's counter-productive, but more study is need to determine which is cause and which is effect in terms of the grey matter issue.

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How one company's transformed its workplace into one that reinforces its mission at every turn

How one company's transformed its workplace into one that reinforces its mission at every turn | Agile Work News | Scoop.it

LRN is a company that has helped more than 500 organizations worldwide to develop ethical corporate cultures and inspire principled performance in business. Here's how they did it for themselves.

Kate Lister's insight:

LRN's CEO ripped up the org chart in favor of collectively working for the firm's mission. From the sign on the wall to the conference room names, their new space reflects that mission.

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Does co-location increase collaboration and innovation? This HBR article says "yes"

Does co-location increase collaboration and innovation? This HBR article says "yes" | Agile Work News | Scoop.it

"In Silicon Valley the tight correlation between personal interactions, performance, and innovation is an article of faith, and innovators are building cathedrals reflecting this. Google’s new campus is designed to maximize chance encounters."

Kate Lister's insight:

Companies are spending millions on the assumption that serendipitous encounters foster innovation. This article points to some small studies that suggest it does, but this is an area that needs to be studied with more rigor and on a broader scale. 

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Report shows Americans work longer hours—and stranger hours than other countries

Report shows Americans work longer hours—and stranger hours than other countries | Agile Work News | Scoop.it
Americans are far more likely to work on weekends or in the dead of night.
Kate Lister's insight:

The strange hours part isn't as troubling to me. I see it as a reflection of working when you choose, but we know that long hours can wear on a person's health and productivity. Is it time for an intervention, asks the report. 

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Wellness literally paying off: This company saved $300k on insurance by giving employees Fitbits

Wellness literally paying off: This company saved $300k on insurance by giving employees Fitbits | Agile Work News | Scoop.it
Armed with data collected from employee fitness wearables, Appirio convinced its insurance company to knock off nearly $300,000 from its bill.
Kate Lister's insight:

I've been hearing more and more about this kind of thing; companies partnering, in a very real way, with their insurance providers to promote employee wellness and well-being.

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Norm Miller's curator insight, September 6, 12:46 PM

There are now wellness ratings by Delos (Spelling?)  but it seems to be an effort that is worthwhile.

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Check out all the great sessions WE has planned for World Workplace New Orleans!

Click here to download the Full WE Schedule! 

Kate Lister's insight:
WE: Tuesday, September 16 

WE Master Class - Tuesday, Sept 16th 1:00 – 5:00 Room 290 (registration required)

Join us for the 1st WE Master Class.  This dynamic session will offer:

1.  Lessons learned based on 10 Workplace Case Studies from a wide range of industries

2.  WE Genius Bar:  Bring your workplace challenges and our experts will offer solutions

3.  A round-up of key insights shared at the UK Workplace Strategy Summit

Our Case Studies will offer a chance to hear from leading workplace strategists at: GSA, Wells Fargo, Motorola Mobility, MPAC, Verizon, Kaiser Permanente, City of Calgary, Cisco…just to name a few! 

The WE Genius Bar will allow you to pick the brains of some of the world’s top workplace experts. If you are interested in participating as an expert, please let us know.     

And if you missed the excitement at the 2014 Workplace Strategy Summit in the UK this June, you are in luck!  Presenters and attendees will share leading edge research and insights on workplace initiatives around the globe. Topics include: 

  • Managing the experience, not the space(s)—It’s not just about the office anymore
  • Measuring productivity in the new world of work
  • The big picture: How the consumerization of real estate will impact on urban areas and the built environment
  • The role of CRE and FM in the future of work 
WE: Wednesday, September 17:

WE: Connect – Wednesday, Sept. 17th – 7:30 to 10:00 -Room 291

Learn how to fully leverage your WE membership in our new Community!   Access our research, learn about WEknow, join our monthly Webinars, and hear about Friends of WE.  During this session you will meet our WE leadership team and Evolutionaries from across the globe as we brainstorm “what’s possible”. Last but not least, we will have some of the leading workplace authors talk about their books….and an opportunity to have your copy signed!

WE: Thursday, September 18:

Workplace Track in the WE Room – Sept. 18 Room 294

  1. Workplace as Experience:  No longer a commodity, the definition of workplace now includes services, tools and technologies. 8 – 9AM
  2. Academic Trends Influencing Workplace:  Fierce competition for talent has led to innovations lifted from academia.  9:30 – 10:30AM
  3. Making Mobility Work: Learn how to move past impediments to successfully implement a mobility as a key element of a broader workplace strategy 2:30 – 3:30PM
  4. Emotional Intelligence:  Increase employee engagement. Learn why only 13% of employees are emotionally invested and focused on creating value for their firms. 4 – 5PM

WE EAT – Thursday, Sept 18th at 7:00 – Bacchanal Restaurant

Are you ready to really experience New Orleans?  Come share a meal at Bacchanal Restaurant (600 Poland Avenue, in the Bywater), an authentic, fabulous restaurant and network with your peers.  RSVP Required: bryant@equalc.net or kate.north@e-work.com

WE: Friday, September 19: 

Workplace Track in the WE Room – Sept. 19th Room 294

  1. Organizational Performance:  Move the discussion beyond productivity to show the value of workplace design strategies 8 – 9AM
  2. Dollars and Sense of the Healthy Workplace:  People costs trump facilities by a wide margin. Learn how reducing costs can come at the expense of the occupiers 9:15 – 10:15AM
  3. Are your Workplace Metrics in Order?:  Evolving workplace and technology have added flexibility, but also complexity. How to measure the effects? 2:30 – 3:30PM
  4. Bending Boundaries SAP’s User-Designed Workplace:  Learn how SAP has empowered their employees to create the space they need.  11:45AM – 12:45PM
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Study: Nobody Is Paying Attention on Your Conference Call - 47% in the Loo

Study: Nobody Is Paying Attention on Your Conference Call - 47% in the Loo | Agile Work News | Scoop.it

... "Derek, what do you think? Derek. Derek!"

Oh, that's right. I'm on a conference call.

"Sorry, I was on mute," I say."

Kate Lister's insight:

Okay, the study is a bit sensational but we all do it, right? In spite of the fact that we know it's bad for our psyche, let alone the meeting quality. Other categories of distraction include:

  • Doing other work
  • Sending emails
  • Eating
  • Texting
  • Playing games
  • Shopping
  • Exercising (I kinda respect that)

Once again, this points to the colossal amount of time is wasted in meetings. There's gotta be another way.

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Are you going to World Workplace in New Orleans next month? If so, be sure to sign up for the WE (Workplace Evolutionaries) Master Class on 9/16.

Are you going to World Workplace in New Orleans next month? If so, be sure to sign up for the WE (Workplace Evolutionaries) Master Class on 9/16. | Agile Work News | Scoop.it
WE have an exciting lineup of activities planned for World Workplace in New Orleans this year! Read all about it below or Click Here to Download the Full WE Schedule! Click here to learn
Kate Lister's insight:

The WE Master Class is going to be fantastic! Seating is limited so sign up early for:

  • Workplace strategy case studies presented by experts who made it happen at GSA, Motorola, Kaiser Permanente, and more
  • A WE Genius Bar where you can bring your workplace challenges and get solutions
  • A round-up of all the great sessions that took place at the Workplace Strategy Summit (held in the UK this past June)
  • And more ...
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PLACEMAKER: throughout life, there is a time and a place — The Occupiers' Journal

PLACEMAKER: throughout life, there is a time and a place — The Occupiers' Journal | Agile Work News | Scoop.it
by Paul Carder , @paulcarder How often has someone said to you, “there is a time and a place…”? In my case, it is usually because I have chosen the wrong time, or place…or both! My card was stamped early: […]
Kate Lister's insight:

The article brings up a point I've been pondering for quite a while. Many of us talk about how the Millennials are changing how, when and where we work. But we Boomers were their age once and we're very different now. How do you design workplaces, urban spaces, and suburbs so they are agile enough to shift with the times.

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Who Doesn't Love a Living Wall?

Who Doesn't Love a Living Wall? | Agile Work News | Scoop.it
They reduce stress, help us think more clearly, and look supercool. Learn more in our interview with David Brenner, the founder of Habitat Horticulture.
Kate Lister's insight:

The article states that living walls benefit our mental health and our air quality.

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Academic study shows telework can actually improve manager/employee relationship | University of Illinois

Academic study shows telework can actually improve manager/employee relationship | University of Illinois | Agile Work News | Scoop.it

"...our research shows that telecommuting has positive effects not only for an employee’s task-based performance, but also for their contextual performance in the work environment itself.”"

Kate Lister's insight:

It's great to see a rigorous academic study that debunks the telework myths regarding lower productivity and social connection.

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The New Work Reality Show: Conference Room Brawls

The New Work Reality Show: Conference Room Brawls | Agile Work News | Scoop.it
A mundane fixture of office life, the conference room, has become a flash point for conflict amid dueling meetings and scarce space.
Kate Lister's insight:

It's pretty clear that conference room/collaboration space hasn't kept up with how people are actually working. Think more small places, less big places, and a reservation system that makes it work seamlessly.

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Deloitte: 87.7% of the workforce lacks passion for what they do.

Deloitte: 87.7% of the workforce lacks passion for what they do. | Agile Work News | Scoop.it
By cultivating the traits of worker passion in their workforce, organizations can make sustained performance gains and develop the resilience they need to…
Kate Lister's insight:

The article indicates that 87.7% of the US workforce doesn't have passion for their work and offers ways to close the "passion gap."

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Fred Zimny's curator insight, October 14, 11:52 PM

A known fact and the lost of relevance of HR and relationships in the workplace.

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Don't Fix Management; Replace It (or do away with it) - Jim Ware on HuffPo

Don't Fix Management; Replace It (or do away with it) - Jim Ware on HuffPo | Agile Work News | Scoop.it

"I believe that way of managing well-educated, creative knowledge workers accounts for the low level of employee engagement, the high level of employee turnover, and the increasing popularity of self-employment in the United States."

Kate Lister's insight:

Another great article about re-thinking how we manage. These companies threw out the rulebooks. 

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Insightful tips about ow to lead people by letting go

Insightful tips about ow to lead people by letting go | Agile Work News | Scoop.it
Companies and managers need to be agile, and achieve that you need to “lead by letting go,” writes Terri Griffith.
Kate Lister's insight:

Griffith offers some insightful tips about mentoring, hiring, performance reviews, and flexibility.  

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Worried about all the sitting you do? This report says a 5 minute walk could save your life.

Worried about all the sitting you do? This report says a 5 minute walk could save your life. | Agile Work News | Scoop.it
Five minutes an hour of walking really helps for those of us sitting at our desks all day.
Kate Lister's insight:

The article delivers scary news: Sitting for 3 hours can reduce artery function by as much as 50%!


Walking 5 minutes every hour doesn't seem so onerous. Why is it so hard to do?

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Work-Life Programs without Cultural Integration Don't Work

Work-Life Programs without Cultural Integration Don't Work | Agile Work News | Scoop.it
Office policies aren’t worth much without a supporting culture.
Kate Lister's insight:

Once again, culture trumps policy by a wide margin. 


The other problem with these statistics is that while more firms are offering flexibility for some of their people, most do not offer it to everyone. Often those who need it most, get it least.

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Germany considering ban on after-hours work emails and calls

Germany considering ban on after-hours work emails and calls | Agile Work News | Scoop.it
There are growing demands for workers to be given the right to enjoy their downtime without being constantly on call, and now this could even become law in Germany.
Kate Lister's insight:

While I am all for solution to our increasingly always-on culture, this strikes me as a "one size fits none approach.

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This Deliberately Inconvenient Furniture Forces You To Be Active And Not Just Lie On The Couch

This Deliberately Inconvenient Furniture Forces You To Be Active And Not Just Lie On The Couch | Agile Work News | Scoop.it
With shelves that are a little out of reach and a chair that requires balancing, the idea is introduce a "bearable discomfort" to make life...
Kate Lister's insight:

Their solutions include a two legged chair and lights that go off frequently so you have to get up and turn them back on.


Have we really come to this?  What would the ergonomics police have to say about an intentionally uncomfortable chair?

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Norm Miller's comment, August 27, 4:12 PM
Id fall over ten times a day
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New study deepens understanding of causes of poor employee engagement

New study deepens understanding of causes of poor employee engagement | Agile Work News | Scoop.it

"Root Inc., the strategy execution consulting company, today announced the results of a survey conducted by Kelton titled “America’s Workforce:  A Revealing Account of What U.S. Employees Really Think About Today’s Workplace.” 

Kate Lister's insight:

We've been reading a lot about poor employee engagement. This study shows the biggest problems lie in:

  • Frustration at work
  • Poor relationship with manager
  • Lack of understanding of strategic direction
  • Risk averse attitude
  • Managers not walking the walk
  • Collaboration difficulties
  • Poor training


It offers some tips for improving engagement.

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Check out the new WE (Workplace Evolutionaries) web site!

Check out the new WE (Workplace Evolutionaries) web site! | Agile Work News | Scoop.it
Kate Lister's insight:

WE is now a Community of Practice in IFMA. Check out their website at http://we.ifma.org. And if you're not yet a member of WE (Workplace Evolutionaries), click here for all the great reasons you should be. It's the best $25 you'll spend this year!

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