Happiness and the paperless office

I read this article today on the advancement of the paperless office which got me thinking about the way we work in offices and how tablets and clouds will ultimately free us from desks and enable us to work in a way which is more natural to the individual. I then contributed to this post from Nixon McInnes which got me thinking around the subject of happiness at work.

It struck me the increased mobility of work could create a better understanding of what makes workers happier, er, at work. Management, Internal Communicators, Organisation Designers and Interior Designers can gleam a wealth of data from users of mobile tools which could directly change the performance of the organisation for the better.

My theory is based on a model used by a LSE venture called Mappiness where users of the app receive up to 5 alerts a day asking them about their happiness levels at that point in time. The alerts also ask for data about who the user is with, what activity the user in engaging in and so forth. After a while the app builds up a profile of the user’s happiness levels based on location, activity and company. This is then shared between the LSE and the user, enabling the LSE to build a macro understanding of the happiness levels in the country, whilst the user gets to understand their behaviour through the data.

If this model was transplanted into an enterprise version and added onto the tablets/devices of the newly mobile workforce then the organisation would be able to analyse the data and find out crucial information such as; what time of the day their workforce are more likely to be proactive and productive and base a workflow around that. Employee responsiveness could be measured enabling the best timing for the delivery of communications.

As one would expect a mobile workforce to work in areas where they are most comfortable, the data will enable the organisation to find out what sort of environmental design works best for their workforce. The data could also be used to examine happiness of clusters against outcomes to find out which groups are working well together and which are not.

There is a huge opportunity in this space for a real data capture which can help organisations with achieving the right outcome in important decision making. Firstly, the tablets/devices must be adopted, along with a freeing up of individual workspaces. Individual happiness must also be taken more seriously in organisation. Once these hurdles have been overcome then the happy paperless office can be more than a pipe dream.







Media Owned Agencies.

Have a look at this http://adage.com/agencynews/article?article_id=143491 and if your still interested this http://econsultancy.com/blog/5809-media-company-as-agency-a-trend-long-overdue?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed. Now I know I’ve blown the usual protocol of keeping readers on your page out of the water. But it was important to get a bit of background on this post first. So i’m thinking why the hell would any one go to a media owner to come  up with creative campaign?

Well, the first advantage I can think is that the media owners ‘agency’ gets the audiences mindset totally. The knowledge on tap inside the building through the content makers, the marketing guys and communications teams puts the media owners at a distinct advantage over external agencies (include the more niche agencies). The the record I’m assuming that it would be a luxury brand using the Conde Nast agency and not KFC.

Blue Sky Thinking - Ha

I’ve worked in agencies and the best the best ideas didn’t necessarily come from the AM/Ad’s who knew the clients universe inside out but also from people who have not worked in that vertical before bring fresh ideas and practices with them and cross pollinating (oops) these ideas across the business. Now I’m on the other side, I look for client diversity in an agency rather than expertise within one market. As a challenger brand/New entrant what other choice do I have?

I’ll be watching this development closely, I’m not sure it will be the best thing for creativity, but with the budgets behind them the ‘Inhouse’ agencies will no doubt be given a good crack to prove themselves.

genuis moi

starckIf you are sitting in front of the TV on Monday night around 9pm, I would recommend you flick over to BBC2 and indulge yourself in a fascinating program called Design for Life.

The program is similar to The Apprentice in that a group of contestants are all tasked, with various projects with the winner gaining a prestigious work placement. The difference here is that Philippe Starck plays the role of judge/client/interviewer instead of Sir Alan and the contenders all have design rather than business backgrounds.

The programme is intriguing as none of them really have a clue what Starck is talking about. This isn’t because of language or cultural barriers, it’s because Starck is a one-off: completely off-the-wall with his ideas, and his brain ticks over faster than his mouth can articulate. In other words he fits the mould of a true creative genius.

It’s a frustrating experience watching the team briefings and the feedback meetings. You get the impression that neither Starck nor the contestants can express themselves clearly to each other, which is strange as both have similar creative roots so their thoughts shouldn’t be poles apart. Obviously working with such a charismatic genius creates its own set of problems. So what can be done to create more understanding between a highly creative leader and the rest of the group?

The first building block is to make sure that the leader understands this problem – this may be harder for some than others – it will take a lot of perseverance from a team of communication advisors. The second is to add people to the leader’s team who can understand what the leader wants and can express these views in a clear contextual manner to the rest of the workforce. The third building block is to work with different forms of media to find the most suitable one for mass communicating.

If these communication concepts were used during the programme, then the contestants would have a clearer understanding of the briefs they’re given and what Starck really wants from them. In a business context clearer understanding of what leaders want will ultimately lead to a more productive and efficient workforce.