Blog

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Why have people lost trust in experts?

By Dr. Richard A. MacKinnon – Insight Director The CIPD is launching a new initiative exploring the topic of employee voice called “The Future of Voice” and the Future Work Centre is delighted to be participating. As they put it: “Having a meaningful voice is critical to better work experience and better outcomes of work. […]

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Sell the sizzle, not the evidence-based sausage

We’re delighted to share a guest blog post by David D’Souza, Head of London & Head of Engagement (branches) at the CIPD. In this piece, David explores how to influence an organisation to become more evidence-based.    Whenever something goes wrong in the workplace there is rarely a shortage of people queueing up to ask […]

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No more night time email?

Legislation passed in France made it into the UK press this month, as it focuses on employees’ use of email outside working hours. The story has been reported in a variety of ways, from horror that employees can ‘ignore’ their email, to broader considerations of how technology is making it increasingly difficult to leave work […]

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Trustworthy scientific evidence for all

By Lorenzo Galli, Founder, ScienceForWork Accessing and making sense of scientific evidence isn’t always easy. One organisation has made it made it their mission to make high quality, trustworthy scientific evidence available to everyone. We’re delighted to partner with ScienceForWork, and in this guest blog post, their founder Lorenzo Galli, shares the mission and aims of the organisation. ScienceForWork […]

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The future of work. Should we not talk about the present first?

By Almuth McDowall In the first of series of guest blog posts, we’re delighted to share the thoughts of Almuth McDowall, Assistant Dean, Department of Organisational Psychology, Birkbeck University of London, about the many predictions being made about the future of work. Much is being written and said about the future of work. For many jobs […]

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HR Analytics: Useful insight or data fishing trips?

By Dr Richard MacKinnon, Insight Director I was delighted to share the Future Work Centre perspective on HR Analytics at this year’s CIPD HR Analytics conference in London earlier this week. My thanks again to the CIPD for the invitation to speak. The day was a game of two halves, with a presentation in the […]

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Predicting the future of work

By Dr Richard MacKinnon Introduction I was delighted to be invited to speak at this year’s CIPD Annual Conference in Manchester, taking part in two panel discussions about the future of work and technology’s role in that future. In fact, the topic was a popular one at the conference and it got me thinking about […]

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Join our team

We’re looking for a new member of the team, to help us achieve our mission to improve the quality and experience of work. This exciting new role is primarily focused on generating new business and growing our portfolio of clients. But as a key member of our team, you’ll also have an important voice in […]

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Common decision-making errors

In our last blog post, ‘Think like a Scientist!’, we outlined the benefits of adopting a sceptical approach to challenge myths, fads and fashions at work. Now we’re exploring some of the most common decision-making traps we all fall in to, along with some suggestions for how to avoid them. Here’s the bad news: we […]

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Think like a Scientist!

What do we mean by ‘Think like a Scientist!’? Let’s start by asking you to think of a scientist. Do you picture someone famous you’ve seen on TV? A character from CSI, working in a lab? A medical scientist, researching a cure for a serious illness. Our point is this: there are many kinds of […]

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Talking about evidence-based practice

Talking about the value of evidence-based practice is something we love to do, so it was a pleasure taking part in a podcast with Virtual Not Distant. They specialise in helping people in organisations become more effective at building and managing virtual teams. They also have an excellent blog and podcast series, focusing on how […]

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Lies, damned lies and statistics

By Katherine Evans Data and statistics are all around us, and it’s no different at work. Whether we’re making hiring decisions, analysing employee opinion surveys, or evaluating the success of training programmes, dealing with data is often a key step in making decisions. How well we do this can make the difference between making a […]

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Thinking of ditching email? Read this first.

The “no email” trend seems to be taking off – but we’re not convinced. Is abandoning it the right response to our growing frustration with email? Or could we just learn to use it better?  Why no email? Writers in the press have recently lauded a new ‘no email’ movement, where members eschew email in […]

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Employee engagement: emperor’s new clothes?

Introduction Last week, we held the latest in our series of ‘Evidence Matters’ breakfast seminars, in London. The focus was ’employee engagement’, an extremely popular topic in the HR world. We wanted to get under the skin of this concept, examine the claims made for its impact on people and organisations and start a debate. […]

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Reconsidering the performance review

The annual performance review is something that remains memorable to managers and their teams – sometimes for all the wrong reasons! Managers often question the workload involved in rating the performance of their direct reports, while the recipients of the review sometimes question the fairness and accuracy of the process. And yet, we continue to […]

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The journey to evidence-based practice

By Charlotte Abbott At the Future Work Centre, we’re passionate about researching the world of work. Evidence underpins everything that we do, and we believe it’s vital for organisations to take an evidence-based approach in order to make the right decisions. We aim to bridge the gap between high quality research about people and work, […]

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Pathway to success

By Katherine Evans As an early career psychologist, still new to the world of occupational psychology, I was lucky enough to take part in the Future Work Centre’s session about developing new psychologists at the Division of Occupational Psychology (DOP) annual conference last week in Nottingham. This was a great opportunity for me to share […]

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Taking your first steps as an occupational psychologist

By Rhiannon McGuinness It’s graduation day and you’re feeling a real sense of pride and relief at finishing your occupational psychology course. Whilst celebrating with your friends, one of them asks you ‘So what’s next for you?’ How would you answer? Within the field of occupational psychology, there is a wealth of different career paths […]

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Leadership development: some worrying disconnects

A recent post from HR Magazine – Leadership development ‘disconnected’ from business needs – caught our eye and got us thinking about how leadership development methods are viewed by organisations. The article references the 2015 Leadership Survey by Mercer, where 81% of organisations surveyed fail to calculate the return on investment made in leadership development. […]

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Beyond the ‘happy sheet’

It’s the end of the financial year and your CEO corners you in the lift and asks: ‘How’s that £2 million training programme going? What impact has it had on our productivity?’ Would you be able to answer? UK businesses invest significant sums of money in training and development every year – investment that should […]

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How to tame your inbox

In our series of blog posts on the topic of email, we’ve outlined why and how email can simultaneously be a great communication tool and a source of frustration and stress. You’ve probably experienced this at some point at work; taking a deep breath before opening your email application, or worrying about how your inbox […]

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Why one-size-fits-all solutions don’t work for email

It’s the end of a long working day full of meetings and, just before you leave your office, you realise you haven’t responded to an email from a key client. Feeling slightly guilty, you head back to your desk and spend the next few minutes writing them an apology and answering their various questions. Breathing […]

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A double-edged sword: the pros and cons of email

Picture this – an empty email inbox. How do you feel about that? Relieved? Worried? Skeptical? As we’ve noted before, email plays a big part in many people’s working lives. It can definitely be our friend – but why then can it also be such a painful activity for some of us? Research from the last twenty years […]

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Friend or foe? How do you feel about email?

Email is a big part of our lives. Since its creation in the 1970s, its growth has been unprecedented, facilitating quick and easy communication between individuals across borders and time zones, for both business and personal use. But despite its widespread usage and popularity as a communication tool, for some individuals and employers, it can […]

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What the Miracle on the Hudson can teach us about making better decisions

Remember Chesley Sullenberger? He was the pilot who safely landed a passenger plane on the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 passengers and crew on board. And as Professor Frank Bond told delegates at our launch event, No More Blind Faith – Just the Facts, he did it by making good use of […]

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Why making work better for everyone is a two-way street

Welcome to our new website. It’s home to what we know about work and how to make it better for everyone. But it’s a two-way street. To achieve our mission – of making work better for everyone, now and in the future – we need your help. That’s why, for this website, we asked some […]

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Is it you we’re looking for?

Applications are now open for early-career psychologist roles at the Future Work Centre – could one of them be yours? Imagine a role where, from day one, you’re doing nothing but psychology. Where you embark straightaway on a three-year structured development program to teach you the skills and experience organisations are looking for. And where […]

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What does work mean to you?

‘Work means getting the job done in a fun way.’ ‘It defines who I am.’ ‘It’s a way of making money but it’s also a passion.’ These are some of the answers we got when we took to the street to ask people two questions: what does work means to you, and why is it […]

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The secret of making successful decisions

We live in the age of information. Technological and scientific advancements mean that we’re increasingly bombarded with suggestions about how to make improvements to our lives. Yet these suggestions often seem to differ or conflict. With an abundance of information, how do we know which suggestions to give credence to, and which to act upon? […]

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What is occupational psychology?

What is occupational psychology? Dr Richard A. MacKinnon, insight director Working as a psychologist, one of the most frequent questions I get asked by people (aside from ‘Can you tell what I’m thinking?’) is ‘What do occupational psychologists actually do?’ First, let’s put to rest any images of the “patient” lying back on a couch […]