Workplace Matters #2

January 2018

Hello again...

And welcome to the second sparkling instalment of the Workplace Matters newsletter, our carefully curated monthly selection of (mostly) workplace-related content to read, explore, listen to and watch.

This month we’ve mostly been writing about the value of workplace for the British Institute of Facilities Management, developing our workplace learning products (more on both of these in issue #3), producing podcasts, publishing the Workplace Leadership Manifesto, and polishing off the remaining Christmas cake and chocolates, in bitter protest against ‘dry January' (shudder). Enjoy!

Free download of the #WpLeadershipManifesto

We love manifestos. They're are a call to arms and a declaration of intent, balancing positive dissatisfaction with opportunity. With enough direction to inspire, but equally enough space to live them yourself, they embody the essence of the movement they represent. And so, our new Workplace Leadership Manifesto - co-written with workplace strategist and author of The Elemental Workplace, Neil Usher - is available for free download here (the signup process covers the new GDPR requirements by the way, as below). Spread the word and become agents of workplace change, comrades.

A Danish podcasting mini-adventure

Northern Europe plays a progressive role in the evolution of workplace, including strong academic heritage, inclusive legislation, and convention-challenging architecture - like Herman Hertzberger’s Centraal Beheer in Netherlands, which provided a ‘spatial framework’ for users to fill through their own agency. So we’re excited to be taking the Workplace Matters podcast recording kit to Copenhagen in February to record a Danish mini-series featuring ISS CMO Peter Ankerstjerne, Signal global head of workplace management and design Per Feldthus, and Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies director Jeff Saunders. Subscribe to ensure you get the series as soon as it’s out. Also, on February 22nd Ian will be speaking at the ISS quarterly business forum - learn more and sign up to attend or live-stream here.

Engage: a toolkit approach to inclusive place design

We’re delighted to be speaking at the Workplace Trends Learning Environments conference on May 17th in London, where Ian will be presenting with Sinead O’Toole, Future Spaces Manager at Sheffield Hallam University. Workplace change in higher education environments is notoriously challenging. We worked collaboratively with Sinead to co-create an innovative, scalable toolkit to use during the early stages of any project to achieve a solid design brief, where project aims reflect strategic goals, and staff are actively engaged throughout the project. Come and hear our story, or contact us directly to learn more about this transferable approach.

Charity challenge for Samaritans: chop chop!

Our charity commitment this year comes in the undulating form of the Yorkshire Three Peaks... with a twist. Most aim to complete the 24 mile, 5200ft of ascent challenge in 12 hours. Those crazy fell-runners tend to do it in under 6. The record is under 3! Joined by honorary 3edgers Gareth Chaplin from Unite Students and Conor Moss from Sheffield Hallam University, our target is under 8 hours, this September. We’re raising money for Samaritans, a life-changing listening service close to our hearts, under more demand now than it has ever been. Our fundraising goal is £5,000. You can donate on our Virgin Money Giving team page, including gift aid. Please give generously to help this worthwhile cause. We’ll keep you posted with our progress.

Feed your brain

The long read form The Guardian rarely disappoints. What’s even better is that many get converted into podcasts, for a long listen! Here are three workplace-related gems to get you started:

  • Like watching episodes of the BBC’s W1A, Organisational Behaviour Professor André Spicer’s* critique of business bullsh*t ought to make you check yourself. Read or listen.

  • The challenges of renovating ‘arguably the most complex building in the country’ - the Houses of Parliament - ends any discussion of whether workspace and culture are linked: they are. This behind the scenes account of a workplace on the edge will astonish you. Read or listen.

  • As the robots advance, what if a meaningful ‘post-work’ future starts with challenging the very notion of work? ‘The end of work as we know it will seem unthinkable – until it has happened.’ Read only.

(*Spicer also co-authored an excellent, wide-ranging academic paper on organisational space in 2007)

Are you ready for GDPR? Tick tock

New EU data protection regulations come into force on May 25, following a lengthy lead in. They impact organisations large and small to better protect us in an increasingly digital business world, overhauling data protection requirements now over two decades old. Brexit means the UK will implement a new Data Protection Bill which broadly includes the provisions of GDPR. In short, dry as this topic is, you need to be aware. Very aware. This article from is a readable start, and the Information Commissioner's Office has great support and an informative blog.
By Giga Paitchadze (originally posted to Flickr as Bruce Lee) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Handspan: The Dark Is Rising

3edges friend and composer of our podcast theme, the super-talented Handspan, is putting the finishing touches to his first album. It’s a soundtrack to the classic 1970s novel by Susan Cooper, The Dark Is Rising. In December Handspan previewed the album as part of #TheDarkIsReading, a fantastic example of how social media can fuel collaborative creativity. Listen all about this brilliant project here, and follow Handspan for the album release. What does Handspan do when he’s not composing? He’s the Skating Music Guy, of course, editing, remastering and remixing music for all types of figure skater, from club to Olympian. And boy is he good at it - listen out when Team GB ice dancers Penny Coomes and Nick Buckland compete at the Winter Olympics later this month.


We hope you’re enjoying Workplace Matters. If you think someone else would like to receive it, please sign them up here. We’ll never give our readers’ personal details to anybody else. And remember, we’re always up for a walk - the perfect opportunity to get outside, think differently and explore new ideas. If you fancy joining us for a stroll, rain or shine, just get in touch.

Ian Ellison & James Pinder

Co-founders, 3edges
Copyright © 2018 3edges Workplace Ltd, All rights reserved.

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