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The Elemental Workplace
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The Elemental Workplace
The 12 Elements for Creating a Fantastic Workplace for Everyone

  • Neil Usher - Property Professional, Speaker, Performance Poet


July 2018 | 236 pages | SAGE Response

Everyone deserves a fantastic workplace. It can boost engagement, trust, energy, commitment, innovation, motivation, happiness and productivity. Yet most people stoically tolerate a mediocre, unimaginative and poorly equipped working environment that serves neither their needs nor those of their organizations. It is a ‘lose-lose’. But this need not be the case.

Crafted from over 25 years’ experience of transforming large-scale working environments for thousands of people all over the world, this book shows you how to create a fantastic workplace by focusing on 12 key elements and creating a change programme that builds a spirit of possibility – wherever you are, whichever sector you work in, whatever budget you have and whichever style of working you prefer. Written in everyday language for everyone who works in an office, it is a simple and practical framework challenges much of the established practice in the property world. It will make you want to go back to your office and get started. Today.

 
Acknowledgements
 
Foreword by Jeremy Myerson
 
Part One: Why
 
Ridiculous Beginnings
 
Why Create a Fantastic Workplace?
 
What This Book Won’t Tell You
 
Part Two: How (First Fix)
 
How: Workplace Design Principles
 
Scope: The Social Workplace
 
Part Three: What
 
The 12 Workplace Elements
 
Daylight
 
Connectivity
 
Space
 
Choice
 
Influence
 
Control
 
Refresh
 
Sense
 
Comfort
 
Inclusion
 
Wash
 
Storage
 
The Ephemera
 
Part Four: How (Second Fix)
 
Rivers Of Change
 
Bringing the Workplace Alive
 
What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
 
Hidden Forces
 
Part Five: Resources
 
The Elemental Standard
 
Further Reading

“Starting with the compelling promise that everyone deserves a fantastic workplace, The Elemental Workplace sets out to understand how to design workplaces that suit people and organizations. The complexities of workplace design are unpacked and organized into 12 Elements including an easy to follow set of guidelines and metrics. Neil Usher’s book is timely and urgently needed. In an industry where buzzwords are too common and myths abound, this book is based on evidence but at the same time down to earth and practical. And funny. A must-read for anyone interested in how to make workplaces work. And that should be all of us.”

Dr Kerstin Sailer,
Reader in Social and Spatial Networks, Space Syntax Laboratory, The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London (UCL)

“This is the handbook for anyone asked to oversee an office design for the first time. It is a clear, comprehensive and thoughtful guide, and the reader will benefit hugely from Neil’s vast experience in this field. With a liberal sprinkling of philosophy and poetry (for which he is renowned), Neil applies the same level of scrutiny to high level strategic questions as to the tactical details, giving the reader the benefit of his wisdom and practical experience. Regardless of budget, this is essential reading for anyone tasked with ‘the office move’. If there was a degree in ‘Workplace’ this would be the textbook.”

Gill Parker,
CEO, BDG architecture + design

“Neil has produced an informative, witty handbook for creating a great place to work. Keep it close at hand when the consultants come visiting.” 

Andrew Brown,
Built environment PR consultant

“Paradoxically, as technology automates much of the work we do, the workplace has never been more important. Today, though, it has to provide a space that enables us to make the most of the human skills that set us apart from the machines. The Elemental Workplace brilliantly explains what is needed to make this happen. By focusing on 12 ‘Elements’ that are common to all successful workplaces, and then defining both why they matter and how to get them right, this book provides you with a framework to create the space that is right for your company. Each workplace is different, but the good ones are all built on the same foundations. This book will make you think about what matters, what is indeed Elemental.” 

Antony Slumbers,
Innovation in Real Estate, People, Product and #PropTech

“The Elemental Workplace sounded (characteristically for Neil Usher) intriguing. Neil has a turn of phrase that is poetic and ahead of the times. This makes his work appeal even more to me. Art always precedes science, business and the rest. So, is Neil an artist? In my view, yes. Is the concept and this book an artform? It is. Like Punk, Hip-Hop and Jazz are to music. Not manufactured and faux. Designed and emergent. Of the people, for the people. If you want to know how to find, build, convert and set up the most human and productive of workplaces, you can find what you need in this book. Space; pace and face. Neil’s writing helps you put the smile into all three.”

Perry Timms,
Founder and Chief Energy Officer, People and Transformational HR Ltd

“An enlightening read from someone who doesn’t just talk about the workplace but has delivered some of the best. Thought provoking, insightful, jargon-free and entertaining. One for anyone working in the field to keep within arm’s reach.”

Mark Simpson,
Principal, Chair of Design, Head of Workplace, BDP

The Elemental Workplace is rooted in Neil’s professional experience. Despite this being in large, global corporates, I was pleased to read early in the book that the Elemental Workplace can be achieved at low cost, is far from difficult to achieve, and is attainable. I’m looking forward to using the Elemental Framework and Elemental Standard tools.”

Dr Anne Marie Rattray,
Founder at The Smart Work Company Ltd

“In this meta world where it seems acceptable to remix and repurpose ‘knowledge’ at will, the wisdom of the past is often forgotten, and the same workplace challenges, bad decisions and mediocre solutions play out like Groundhog Day. With the heart of a leader, the mind of a scholar and the pen of a wordsmith, Neil Usher finally offers something different: a memorable, deceptively simple vision of an Elemental Workplace that draws from his professional learnings. The result? Inspiration and hope for us all, because workplace really does matter.”

Ian Ellison,
Workplace Matters podcast host and co-founder of 3edges

“Starting with the compelling promise that everyone deserves a fantastic workplace, The Elemental Workplace sets out to understand how to design workplaces that suit people and organizations. The complexities of workplace design are unpacked and organized into 12 Elements including an easy to follow set of guidelines and metrics. Neil Usher’s book is timely and urgently needed.”

Kerstin Sailer,
Reader in Social and Spatial Networks, Space Syntax Laboratory, The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London (UCL)

Preview this book

Neil Usher

For more than 25 years in the property profession, Neil has been there and done it (strategy, development, transactions, workplace creation, change programmes, capital projects, operational management) at scale for a host of large and diverse organizations. The common theme in each case; organizations with a desire to transform their workplace, in need of the vision, plan and creativity to make it happen. From a blank piece of paper, he has created amazing people-centric workplaces across the globe, in Australia, Singapore, America, Canada, South Africa and Europe. Most recently he completed a multiple-award-winning workplace in West... More About Author

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ISBN: 9789352807482
₹395.00