Agile Work News

  • Could halving your hours increase your productivity? This research says ‘yes’ 

    Are you working your brain too hard? Take it easy – like Charles Darwin, Alice Munro or Thomas Jefferson


    I suspect part of why it works is that it causes you to focus on what needs to be done. I find this happens when I’m traveling. It feels like I do in a hour what would normally take me all day . I know I only have a limited time, so I don’t let myself get distracted.

  • Office environments should be fluid

    “Offices aren’t museums; they are like mechanic shops,” says Clarke. “It’s not about how cool the tech is, it’s about whether it is relevant. It’s about bringing together the right assets because the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”


    They recommend a mix of spaces to accommodate team work as well as privacy.

  • Creativity in teams isn’t about IQ, it’s about psychological safety and trust

    “When you don’t feel psychology safe within your workplace, a team’s success rate drastically diminishes. Individuals are afraid to ask questions or challenge dominant group-think.”


    The article cites a study by Google showing the most successful teams were the ones with a sense of psychological safety. This factor trumped high collective IQ by a large margin. 

  • Chicago employers find telecommuting reduces stress, increases loyalty, and increases productivity 

    Working from home, or anywhere in the world, is rising even as some firms withdraw the perk for more face time. When does it work and when does it fail?


    Though much touted in the news, IBM’s recall of teleworkers does not represent a trend, even within IBM where the change effected only 2% of staff.

  • Are driverless cars coming to disrupt your industry? Real Estate, Insurance, Hotels?

    Fast food, real estate, hotels, and airlines — many large industries will have to shift their strategies in the wake of driverless cars.


    Think 20 years out, what are driverless cars likely to do to your industry? This disruptor will change more than just the obvious ones.

  • Four out of ten 12th graders don’t have adequate reading and writing skills

    “Three-quarters of both 12th and 8th graders lack proficiency in writing, according to the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress. And 40 percent of those who took the ACT writing exam in the high school class of 2016 lacked the reading and writing skills necessary to successfully complete a college-level English composition class, according to the company’s data.


    This lack of basic skills is scary, particularly since emotional intelligence and the ability to communicate clearly will be key to the future of jobs.

  • Stress does NOT decrease longevity…unless you believe it does

    Eight year study of 28k people “found that having a lot of stress in your life was not linked with premature death. But having a lot of stress in your life and believing it was taking a toll on your health increased risk of dying by 43 percent.


    The lesson here is we need to learn how to change how we think about stress and even use it to our advantage.


    The next time you’re feeling stressed, think about how: 

    • That pounding heartbeat gathering energy to ready your body for the challenge
    • Your heavy breathing is simply oxygenating your brain to help you think more clearly
    • Your increased blood pressure is fueling your muscles and strengthening your body
  • Japan turns to telework to improve work-life balance

    More and more Japanese companies are rising to the call of prime minister Shinzo Abe to fix Japan’s moribund economy by giving employees the flexibility to work remotely. The practice is known as “telework,” or terewaku, in Japan, and it’s slowly gaining traction in a country where corporate norms such as putting in face time i


    Here’s a interesting read about the push for more workplace flexibility in Japan that’s actually being led by the prime minister. The challenges they mention are a flashback to decades past in the US and other countries. But their strong culture of facetime may be a unique change management issue.

  • Future of Work Predictions: Technology will be liberate us from the tyranny of geography

    “In short, we will see more disruptive innovation than in the whole of the 20th century…Increasingly, in most business sectors, we will be able to work wherever we want to. In this ‘anywhere economy’ the glue that holds everything together as a fluid and functioning dispersed work eco-system will be hyper-connected digital networks”


    I love the sentence about being “liberated by the tyranny of geography.” The author talks about the impact of BYOD, fear of being replaced by technology, flying cars, eating bugs, and more.

  • Deloitte video on the future of work

    The future of work holds myriad possibilities for change. In order to adapt, we need to zoom out and understand the interconnections among evolving technology, demographics, and power dynamics. Are you prepared?


    There’s nothing particularly new here but this short video would make a great conversation starter for your next planning session.