158m above the streets of London gives one a pretty decent view of one of the most interesting cities in the world. Especially on a clear November night enjoying the views from the revolving dining room on the 34th storey. An opportunity to visit this iconic bit of London is not one to be ignored especially as it was in aid of BBC Children in Need and hosted by Advanced Workplace Associates. Apart from reminiscing about past CIN events I had the privilege to be involved with during my BBC days and discussing workplace trends; my mind turned to thoughts of how we see the workplace and how it is viewed by the general public and by decision-makers.
In writing this blog post, the seventies Johnny Nash song – ‘I can see clearly now’ is chiming in my ears. Considering not only how much one can enjoy the views of London from BT Tower one also gets a much better appreciation of how it all fits together – a holistic view. One can see how the river Thames acts as a navigation tool to help delineate parts of the city whilst the darkness of the big public parks helps one to see how the city is arranged.
As this event formed part of the UK’s Workplace Trends week, it stuck me when gazing out over central London that it is always useful to ponder about how things work, how they fit together? We are all searching for better ways to work in a smarter fashion – to do more with less. Yet the conversations around the table on Tuesday night, highlighted the challenge faced by all of us in making a coherent case for alternative workplace strategies. Maybe we should try to rise above the clouds of the day-to-day operational grind and the associated challenges to take a peek over the horizon, to imagine a different future, to see the big picture.
This reminded of my last visit to the BT Tower for the TW3 Awards a small but potentially powerful step by the UK’s Cabinet Office to promote smart working. TW3 has not had a lot of publicity outside of the public services yet it it something which I’m sure will bear fruit. So I went home thinking there has to be a better way for all of us to tell our story. One where we can start to make some sense of all the changes going on about us and how we can make much better use of our workplaces, maybe we can only do this by sticking our heads above the clouds…