• AWA Changing the world...of work
  • 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 – just what are they?

    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 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 AWA 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 organisations.  

    What do we mean by Workplace Transformation?

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

    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.   Eric Barends, Karen Plum and I have exposed the research to many senior leaders from the UK, Holland and the United States and in doing so have understood the depth to which

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

    So by now you’ve got a good handle on the 6 Factors, why they are important and how you can orientate everything in an organisation to achieve them. But what gets measured gets managed, right?! So the first question leaders keep asking us is ‘How can we find out how we stack up against the

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

    So we’ve talked about how space could support the 6 factors. In this chapter we’re going to take a look at the way we can use information and communications technologies to support them. Increasingly, technology is freeing us to make new choices about where, when and how we perform tasks. It allows us to work

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

    The 6 factors 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. For those in ‘workplace

    The 6 Factors of Knowledge Worker Productivity: Chapter 11 – The 6 Factors and Leaders & Culture How Good Can We Be?

    In the previous chapters I’ve outlined the 6 factors 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 we can have some

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

    The 6 factors 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 work therefore represents the

    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. I’ll be talking more about that in the next article.     ‘Trust: The firm belief in the reliability, truth or ability of others. It is created by the expectation

    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 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 third

    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?

    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 of workers, Knowledge Workers, people who ‘think for a living’. The outputs of Knowledge Workers are often

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

    Whilst the world has focussed 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