• AWA Changing the world...of work
  • Can happiness at work survive uncertainty?

    There is growing a belief that individual happiness has material causative effects on business performance and individual productivity. Harvard Business Review reports that companies with disengaged employees have 37% higher absenteeism and 60% more workplace errors – disengagement can occur when uncertainty lurks around the workplace. The negative effects can result in disastrous conditions for

    The Under-Productive Workplace

    No one can deny that high workplace productivity is the goal of most organisations. As a business manager or leader, it’s likely you want to improve the performance of your people – recognising that “doing okay” isn’t good enough. Advanced Workplace Associates share that view and work hard to help organisations achieve a balance between

    67% of Full Time Employees Wish to Utilise Flexible Working!

    In this modern time of 2017, workplace management continues to advance and develop as time progresses. Here at Advanced Workplace Associates (AWA), we have been advocates for workplace research, specifically in regard to how different workplace management styles and workplace designs impact employee culture, workplace productivity and cognitive performance. Agile working is an approach that

    Workplace Strategy and Workplace Data

    Categories: General Information

    Workplace strategy is about pulling all the big data and workplace analytics, then outputting the information into a strategic approach that best suits your workforce and office environment. Advanced Workplace Associates (AWA) have found that the key to effective workplace management is gathering the right data and interpreting it the right way. You may be

    World Mental Health Day – 5 Tips to manage the Winter Blues…

    Categories: General Information

    In recognition of World Mental Health Day – 10th of October 2017, one of our associates has shared her personal take on mental health and cognitive performance. I am a long-time sufferer of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Diagnosed in my twenties after moving 900km north from the ever-sunny South of France where I grew up,

    Workplace Strategy to Halve your Workspace!

    Categories: General Information

    Advanced Workplace Associates (AWA) have created a tool that reveals the utilisation patterns of your workplace. By this, we mean how employees use certain areas and features of your physical workplace. The tool acts as resource of guidance when organisations need to make workplace strategy decisions regarding office relocation, office designing or are thinking about

    Office Relocation and Human Performance

    Categories: General Information

    When organisations undergo office relocation, business continuity seems to dissipate. Unfortunately, senior leaders tend to forget that moving office should be about improving human performance rather than hindering it. It’s quite the surprise but most organisations don’t even consider an office design analysis before migrating across London. What’s the point of moving if your staff

    Is your Office Relocation Necessary?

    Categories: General Information

    There are some cases in which office relocation seems to be the only choice. For example, your employees are currently on top of each other in the office due to poor space planning. Or it may be that your office lease is expiring and you’re getting kicked out of the workplace. In the experience of

    3 Office Relocation Tips

    Categories: General Information

    There comes a time when your organisation may need to pick up and move operations to a new, more modern workplace. It may be because your lease is expiring and you need to seek a new cost-effective solution. Perhaps your real estate expenses are sucking you dry? Or maybe your office design and workspace is

    Workplace Productivity and the Employees of the Future

    The 21st century has brought about revolutionary and innovative workplaces. Some in which foster workplace productivity and some that don’t. When looking towards the next generation of the workforce, it is evident to conclude the workplace we had 5-10 years ago is beyond obsolete. This futuristic generation I mention is not far off, in fact

    Mitigating Risks to Agile Working Projects

    Categories: Agile Working

    In my previous blog I looked at the management of risks that occur in agile projects. The agile developments mentioned seek to deliver new ways of working and require organisation wide change that support workplaces and associated services. It is acceptable to assume risks are more volatile at times like these. The blog piece raised

    3 Healthy Workplace Tips for Leaders

    Business leaders are majority of the time (if not always) under incredible pressure and stress. When there are deadlines to meet and people to please it becomes difficult to keep on top of your health and well-being. Advanced Workplace Associates have done the research and are happy to present you with three healthy workplace habits

    Risk Management – Transitioning to Agile Workplace

    In this series of blogs on Agile Working we have discussed the difficulty of getting people to buy in to a different way of working; the potential dilemma of rapid change and consequential loss of control & the apparent comfort of remaining as we are when we cannot see how the future will pan out.

    Agile Working Gone off Track?

    Categories: Agile Working

    All business changes require preparation, planning, execution and maintenance if they are to be successful and persist into the future. Typically at Advanced Workplace Associates, what we see is a HUGE amount of work going into the “birth” of the agile initiative, from those supporting the users and the users themselves. However, once the first

    Knowledge Sharing in the Workplace

    Having researched the things that influence team productivity, we know that social cohesion is the most important factor. If we like our colleagues and know them well, we are more likely to trust them and participate in knowledge sharing. It therefore follows that in order to establish a work culture that enables productivity and fosters

    Want to know how to implement Agile Working?

    Categories: Agile Working

    The team at Advanced Workplace Associates has been supporting organisations wanting to make a change to agile ways of working for over 25 years. While every client’s needs and circumstances are different, we have seen several trends emerge over the years. We are often asked to help clients when they are already on their agile

    The Importance of Social Cohesion

    As a business manager, it is your role to create a work culture that fosters productivity and employee engagement. Social cohesion is the key to productivity and instrumental to a successful work culture. This term ‘social cohesion’ can be characterised as a shared liking or team attraction that includes bonds of friendship, caring, closeness and enjoyment of

    When moving to agile working, things must be “Right on Day One”

    Categories: Agile Working

    One of my Advanced Workplace Associates colleagues has these words as her middle name! When supporting and guiding agile working implementation teams, we spend time and energy explaining why “just in time” or “we’ll do it next week” just won’t work. Being proactive always beats being reactive. Remember what we’ve been discussing in this series

    Summer in the Office

    Here we are, in the middle of summer 2017. The sweat is pouring as the temperature is climbing. As a workplace consultancy, Advanced Workplace Associates (AWA) can professionally tell you that hot weather can significantly decrease the productivity of your employees.   Hubspot reports that once the temperature reaches 90 Fahrenheit (33 Celsius) that productivity

    Workplace Productivity: An Introduction

    “How can I make my workplace more productive?” – a common question with a complex answer. If you have asked yourself this question, then you would know that measuring the productivity of people who ‘think for a living’ can be undertaken in a multitude of different ways – none more logical than the other. Advanced

    Why your BAU process won’t work when implementing agile working

    Categories: Agile Working

    Most BAU move processes are designed around moving people from a fixed position to another fixed position (from “my old desk” to “my new desk”). Although not anxiety free, people have a good idea about how things will work in the future and most will be happy with some preparation activity just before the physical

    How to Sell Agile Working

    Categories: Agile Working

    The question people often ask us is how they can “sell” agile working within their organisation. Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone wanted to “buy” so that you didn’t need to sell the idea to them? Well essentially that’s the essence of Advanced Workplace Associates’ approach – to help people to buy. Really it’s all

    Do we really need to collect so much data to support our plans for agile working?

    Categories: Agile Working

    This is a question asked by a client some while ago. They were in a hurry and were a trifle frustrated that we wanted to spend valuable time running surveys, interviewing people and engaging with their senior leaders. As far as they were concerned they had the green light from the CEO and had left

    Why can implementing agile working be so hard?

    Categories: Agile Working

    The simple answer is that if you’re going to become more agile in the way you work and operate, people have to change their behaviour. Now, think about that word – CHANGE! People say “change is hard” – but not all change is hard! Generally change that you don’t understand, that you can’t influence or

    5 common mistakes organisations make when introducing agile working

    Categories: Agile Working

    People have been implementing agile working for years. There are lots of good examples, but probably even more where agile working has failed to achieve its potential. So what are people typically doing wrong? For a start, let’s be clear about our terms. We use “agile working” as it relates to agility in organisations –

    Agility and the Rate of Change

    Categories: Agile Working

    Bill Gates is often quoted as saying that “we overestimate the degree of change in the next 2 years and underestimate the change in the next 10 years.” If that is true, and it does seem credible, one could be excused in placing more weight upon change strategies that are less disruptive now and rely

    The Difference between Agile Working and Flexible Working

    For years the two terms have been used in a rather arbitrary way. This had led to confusion and not benefited the management of modern workplaces. The dictionary meaning of flexible is adaptable, variable, or easily persuadable, tractable. Not the same as agile which evokes speed – rapid adaptability. Graham Jervis, Director at AWA, examines

    Is Agile a weasel word?

    Categories: Agile Working

    I have been thinking about agility quite a lot recently and in the last few articles I have written have explored some of these ideas. But it occurred to me that if we individually or organisationally see agility as a good thing and regard it as a strategic goal then what KPI would we seek

    Agile Office Environments

    Categories: Agile Working

    Blogging has its risks. If people read them then they often come back with searching questions that require further consideration. Recently I blogged my thoughts on what people meant when they talked about agile workplaces and agile working and expressed the wider view that businesses and organisations need to meet the challenges of unforecastable change

    Agile Working? The Agile Workplace? What do we really mean?

    Categories: Agile Working

    There is no doubting the interest that various professional groups and management gurus have in the term of “Agile Working”  or Agile Workplace”. Graham Jervis, Director at AWA, examines the terminology.   The CIPD has linked it to productivity improvements. Others have seen it as a means of desk sharing,  reducing floor space, providing enhanced

    Cognitive Fitness Chapter 15 – What’s on your Mind?

    Our latest research has looked at factors that impact our cognitive performance – so both individuals and organisations can understand and adopt best practices – getting everyone’s brain in peak condition! This blog looks at the impact of cognitive memory training and mindfulness. There are many claims that cognitive / memory training is effective in

    Cognitive Fitness Chapter 14 – What’s that Smell?

    Our latest research looks at the factors that most impact our cognitive performance – so individuals and organisations can understand and adopt best practices to get everyone’s brain in peak condition. Recent blogs have considered environmental factors as we build up a picture of what goes on in the office. This time we consider the

    Cognitive Fitness Chapter 13 – Use it or lose it!

    Our latest research looks at the factors that most impact our cognitive performance – so individuals and organisations can understand and adopt best practices to get everyone’s brain in peak condition. Recent blogs have considered environmental factors as we build up a picture of what goes on in the office. This time we consider the

    Cognitive Fitness Chapter 12 – Is it dim in here?

    Our latest research looks at the factors that most impact our cognitive performance – so individuals and organisations can understand and adopt best practices to get everyone’s brain in peak condition. Recent blogs have considered environmental factors as we build up a picture of what goes on in the office. This time we consider the

    Cognitive Fitness Chapter 11 – Is multi tasking a myth?

    Our latest research looks at the factors that most impact our cognitive performance – so individuals and organisations can understand and adopt best practices to get everyone’s brain in peak condition. Recent blogs have been considering environmental factors such as noise and temperature. This time we consider the effect of task interruptions…   For most

    Cognitive Fitness Chapter 10 – Can you concentrate when it’s hot?

    Our latest research looks at the factors that most impact our cognitive performance – so individuals and organisations can understand and adopt best practices to get everyone’s brain in peak condition. The last blogs started to look at environmental factors when we looked at noise. This time we consider the effect of temperature…   Our

    Personal reflections on IFMA’s World Workplace: San Diego, October 5th-7th 2016

    A Workplace Evolutionary By Chris Hood   The very fact that the globe’s largest facility management association is describing its largest annual gathering as World Workplace acknowledges the fact that this profession is spinning away from the purely tactical to a more strategic and important role in supporting the mission and value of the workforce.

    Cognitive Fitness Chapter 9 – Can You Hear Yourself Think?

    Our latest research looks at the factors that most impact our cognitive performance – so individuals and organisations can understand and adopt best practices to get everyone’s brain in peak condition. The last 6 blogs have considered “personal” aspects such as sleep and hydration. Now we are turning our attention to environmental factors – starting

    Cognitive Fitness Chapter 8 – Your brain needs sugar…really?

    Our latest research looks at the factors that most impact our cognitive performance – so individuals and organisations can understand and adopt best practices to get everyone’s brain in peak condition. Last time we looked at the impact that caffeine has on the brain. This time we are looking at the effects of glucose on

    Cognitive Fitness Chapter 7 – Had any psychoactive drugs today?

    Our latest research looks at the factors that most impact our cognitive performance – so individuals and organisations can understand and adopt best practices to get everyone’s brain in peak condition. Last time we looked at the importance of exercise and having an active lifestyle. This time we are looking at the effects of caffeine

    Cognitive Fitness Chapter 6 – Don’t be a couch potato!

    Our latest research looks at the factors that most impact our cognitive performance – so individuals and organisations can understand and adopt best practices to get everyone’s brain in peak condition. Last time we looked at the importance of getting enough quality sleep…this time we are concentrating on exercise and the benefits of an active

    Cognitive Fitness Chapter 5 – How did you sleep last night?

    Our latest research looks at the factors that most impact our cognitive performance – so individuals and organisations can understand and adopt best practices to get everyone’s brain in peak condition. Last time we looked at the importance of making sure you are hydrated….this time we look at sleep and you’ll see everything is connected!

    Cognitive Fitness Chapter 4 – Are you dehydrated?

    Categories: Cognitive Fitness

    Our latest research looks at the factors that most impact our cognitive performance – so individuals and organisations could understand and adopt best practices to get everyone’s brain in peak condition. Last time we looked at the importance of starting off the day with breakfast….this time we look at hydration – clearly it’s important to

    Cognitive Fitness Chapter 3 – Did you have breakfast today?

    Categories: Cognitive Fitness

    Our latest research set out to discover the factors that most impact our cognitive performance – so we could guide organisations and individuals who wanted to adopt the best practices and provide the best conditions for our brains to do what they need to, every day. The research identified 13 factors and we are starting

    Cognitive Fitness: Chapter 2 – Cognition…what’s it all about?

    Categories: Cognitive Fitness

    ‘Cognition’ is just a scientific term for the functioning of the brain. Until recently measuring the effectiveness of the brain was a difficult challenge requiring laboratory conditions and very expensive equipment. However over the last few years, researchers have designed software that reliably measure the performance of different parts of the brain. There are many

    How Can Organisations Improve Knowledge Worker Productivity?

    Categories: Media

    AWA’s Karen Plum on Shareradio’s Morning Money to discuss how organisations can improve the workplace productivity of their knowledge workers.   Related Content The 6 Factors of Knowledge Worker Productivity

    Cognitive Fitness: Chapter 1 – Cognition and Cognitive Fitness Research…why bother?

    Categories: Cognitive Fitness

    For some years, we at Advanced Workplace Associates have been supporting the professional development of ‘workplace’ leaders through our Workplace Performance Innovation Network (Workplace PIN). We’ve given many senior leaders the confidence, knowledge, support and tools to evolve to more innovative models of work, workplace and workplace management, providing higher levels of value to their

    Describing Workplace Transformation

    Recently I was asked for my views on how Workplace Strategies were resulting in workplace transformation. It got me thinking… Could you have a workplace transformation without having a workplace strategy in the first place? Workplace transformation describes one option for change that supports or aligns with a workplace strategy or objective. Furthermore, what did

    The 6 Factors of Knowledge Worker Productivity: Chapter 15 – The 6 Factors and Traditional Organisational Models

    Over the course of the study and the chapters set out here, our team have realised the power of the 6 factors of knowledge worker productivity. Our executive team at Advanced Workplace Associates (AWA) have exposed the research to many senior leaders from the United Kingdom (UK), Holland and the United States of America (USA)

    The 6 Factors of Knowledge Worker Productivity: Chapter 14 – Using the 6 Factors to Make a Difference in Workplace Productivity

    So by now you’ve got a good handle on the 6 Factors of Knowledge Worker Productivity, why they are important and how you can orientate everything in an organisation to achieve a significant increase in workplace productivity. Performance management and productivity measurement are key to business success. As they say, what gets measured gets managed,

    The 6 Factors of Knowledge Worker Productivity: Chapter 13 – The 6 Factors and Workplace Technology

    So we’ve talked about how space could support the 6 factors of Knowledge Worker Productivity. In this chapter we’re going to take a look at the way we can use workplace technology to support your knowledge workers. Increasingly, workplace technology is freeing us to make new choices about where, when and how we perform tasks.

    The 6 Factors of Knowledge Worker Productivity: Chapter 12 – The 6 Factors and Workplace Design

    The 6 Factors Knowledge Worker Productivity describe a sort of ‘social infrastructure’. Fundamentally what we’re saying is that where organisations or units depend on creativity, ingenuity and knowledge for their business success, the 6 factors are vital in releasing the energy, commitment and insights of individuals and organisations and focusing it on business goals. Workplace

    The 6 Factors of Knowledge Worker Productivity: Chapter 11 – The 6 Factors and Leaders & Culture

    In the previous chapters I’ve outlined the 6 factors of Knowledge Worker Productivity and tried to give you a sense of why they matter. The 6 factors are frighteningly simple and some would say obvious, but they are based on a concrete review of studies undertaken all over the world, and for the first time

    The 6 Factors of Knowledge Worker Productivity: Chapter 10 – Making Sense of the 6 Factors

    The 6 factors of Knowledge Worker Productivity, as outlined in the earlier chapters have been derived through a scientifically robust review of over 800 research studies. The papers were published in English, the lingua franca of scientific research and the studies were undertaken in many leading academic institutions across the world. We believe that our

    The 6 Factors of Knowledge Worker Productivity: Chapter 9 – Factor 6 – Trust

    Here’s the 6th and final factor: Trust.  I hope by now you are beginning to get an overall view of how all these factors link. Knowledge Worker Productivity is simple with the right ingredients and methods. I’ll be talking more about that in the next article.     ‘Trust: The firm belief in the reliability,

    The 6 Factors of Knowledge Worker Productivity: Chapter 8 – Factor 5 – External Communication

    From their review of over 800 papers our researchers identified 6 factors that are associated with Knowledge Worker Productivity. Whilst most of the research related to the productivity of Knowledge Worker teams, many of the findings can be translated to apply to organisations, divisions or units. Here’s the fifth factor: External communication.     ‘External

    The 6 Factors of Knowledge Worker Productivity: Chapter 7 – Factor 4 – Vision / Goal Clarity

    From their review of over 800 papers our researchers identified 6 factors that are associated with Knowledge Worker Productivity. Most of the research related to the productivity of Knowledge Worker teams, but many of the findings can be translated to apply to organisations, divisions or units. Here’s the fourth factor: Vision and Goal Clarity  

    The 6 Factors of Knowledge Worker Productivity: Chapter 6 – Factor 3 – Information Sharing and Transactive Memory System

    We’re on to the 3rd factor that our research team identified as being associated with Knowledge Worker Productivity performance through their review of over 800 papers. Most of the research related to the productivity of Knowledge Worker teams, but many of the findings can be translated to apply to organisations, divisions or units. Here’s the

    The 6 Factors of Knowledge Worker Productivity: Chapter 5 – Factor 2 – Perceived Supervisory Support

    From their review of over 800 papers our researchers identified 6 factors that are associated with Knowledge Worker Productivity. Most of the research related to the productivity of Knowledge Worker teams, but many of the findings can be translated to apply to organisations, divisions or units. Here’s the second factor: Perceived Supervisory Support.    

    The 6 Factors of Knowledge Worker Productivity: Chapter 4 – Factor 1 – Social Cohesion

    In answering our second research question:  What is known in the world’s academic research about the factors associated with Knowledge Worker Productivity? From their review of over 800 papers our researchers identified 6 factors that are associated with Knowledge Worker performance. Most of the research related to the productivity of Knowledge Worker teams, but many

    The 6 Factors of Knowledge Worker Productivity: Chapter 3 – Measuring Knowledge Worker Productivity…it’s not what it seems

    Many researchers around the world have been in search of a ‘Holy Grail’ measurement of Knowledge Worker Productivity for many years. Whilst the measurement of work in manufacturing and service organisations is relatively straightforward using measures of output per unit of resource like ‘calls per agent per hour’ or ‘units per week’ or ‘cost per unit’, these are increasingly in appropriate for Knowledge based businesses and in fact have a potential to destroy corporate value.

    The 6 Factors of Knowledge Worker Productivity: Chapter 2 – When is a worker a Knowledge Worker?

    As we continue into Knowledge Worker Productivity, it is appropriate to define what a knowledge worker is. The term ‘Knowledge work’ was originally coined by the great Peter Drucker in 1956. Even back then he saw the emergence of new forms of organisation that relied on the creativity, ingenuity and competence of a new breed

    The 6 Factors of Knowledge Worker Productivity: Chapter 1 – Beyond Agile Working

    Whilst the world has focused heavily on the asset productivity of offices over the last 30 years, reducing the cost of offices per head, often using agile working as a tool for achieving this, it’s becoming clear that the mobility afforded by the latest technology products can be used to aid Knowledge Worker Productivity.

    Advanced Workplace Associates