71 episodes

Welcome to Work Better, the podcast where we think about work and ways to make it better. The rules of work are being rewritten and we’re all trying to figure it out. The first series of the Work Better podcast brings you into seven weekly conversations with leading thinkers, authors, designers, and researchers whose ideas and insights can help us make sense of what’s happening and navigate the massive change around us. We’re going to talk about topics like how hybrid will change work, new ways to lead, balancing privacy and collaboration, the future of the office, how to innovate in tough times, ideas to engage people, creating inclusive workplaces, and being better to people and the planet.

Brought to you by Steelcase, the people who’ve spent over 100 years learning about how people work and thinking about how to make it better. Stay-up-to-date on design, insights and research to help people work better at steelcase.com/subscribe .

Work Better Steelcase

    • Business
    • 4.4 • 36 Ratings

Welcome to Work Better, the podcast where we think about work and ways to make it better. The rules of work are being rewritten and we’re all trying to figure it out. The first series of the Work Better podcast brings you into seven weekly conversations with leading thinkers, authors, designers, and researchers whose ideas and insights can help us make sense of what’s happening and navigate the massive change around us. We’re going to talk about topics like how hybrid will change work, new ways to lead, balancing privacy and collaboration, the future of the office, how to innovate in tough times, ideas to engage people, creating inclusive workplaces, and being better to people and the planet.

Brought to you by Steelcase, the people who’ve spent over 100 years learning about how people work and thinking about how to make it better. Stay-up-to-date on design, insights and research to help people work better at steelcase.com/subscribe .

    Change Community and Your Company (S1:E8)

    Change Community and Your Company (S1:E8)

    Thinking about our communities outside of our office walls can actually strengthen our communities inside the workplace. In this episode, we talk to Kenny Clewett, a leader with Ashoka based in Spain. Ashoka is a global organization with a mission to mobilize a movement where everyone is a changemaker in the world. Kenny shares how organizations can find changemakers. What makes them so special and valuable to companies? And why being a changemaker can help people and organizations have a better experience at work.

    After hearing from Kenny, Kinga Pakucs, Steelcase learning consultant, joins us from Munich. She has led community projects through the Steelcase Changemakers global program and provides us with a valuable perspective on how to apply these ideas to the workplace.

    Additional resources:
    Find out more about Ashoka (https://www.ashoka.org/en-us)
    Learn more and be a part of the Steelcase Better Futures Community (https://www.steelcase.com/press-releases/steelcase-launches-better-futures-community/)
    Article: How Partners Unlock Potential and Ignite Impact (https://fellowship-europe.ashoka.org/interview-partnerships-for-impact-new)
    Steelcase Impact Report 2022 (https://www.steelcase.com/discover/steelcase/esg-overview/#impact-report-2022): Read more about our commitment to people + planet
    Get the latest workplace design, insights and research: www.steelcase.com/subscribe

    Work Better podcast is hosted by Chris Congdon. Produced by Rebecca Charbauski. Creative art direction by Erin Ellison and Emily Cowdrey. Technical support by Mark Caswell and Jose Jimenez. Digital publishing by Areli Arellano and Jordan Marks. Editing and sound mixing by SoundPost Studios.

    • 36 min
    Return to Office Is Like Returning From Deployment (S1:E7)

    Return to Office Is Like Returning From Deployment (S1:E7)

    Lt. Col. Adria Horn shares a unique perspective on talent and turnover, and draws interesting parallels between returning to the office and returning from deployment. She serves in the U.S. Army Reserve and is executive vice president of workforce for Tilson Technology Management. She contributed to a McKinsey article called “A Military Veteran Knows Why Your Employees Are Leaving” after disagreeing with a widely-shared theory that employers just didn’t know what employees want. She’ll explain what she thinks is really going on and how she coaches her leaders to think about what people are experiencing at work right now.

    Lt. Col. Horn has been in the military for 21 years after graduating from West Point in June 2001. After September 11, 2001, she was commissioned as a military police officer, deployed three times and then switched to psychological operations while in Afghanistan. She’s stayed on active duty for about 11 years and has had five total deployments in that time frame.

    To conclude our conversation, we will be joined by Nadia Johnson, director of leadership and adaptive teams at Steelcase. Nadia will help us think through how Lt. Col. Horn’s ideas can be applied to our day-to-day work.

    Additional resources:
    A Military Veteran Knows Why Your Employees Are Leaving, (https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/people-and-organizational-performance/our-insights/a-military-veteran-knows-why-your-employees-are-leaving) McKinsey
    Get the latest workplace design, insights and research: www.steelcase.com/subscribe

    Work Better podcast is hosted by Chris Congdon. Produced by Rebecca Charbauski. Creative art direction by Erin Ellison and Emily Cowdrey. Technical support by Mark Caswell and Jose Jimenez. Digital publishing by Areli Arellano and Jordan Marks. Editing and sound mixing by SoundPost Studios.

    • 38 min
    Innovation as a Recipe for Engaging Talent (S1:E6)

    Innovation as a Recipe for Engaging Talent (S1:E6)

    Business leaders have been trying to crack the code on innovation since the beginning of time. But, Dr. Simone Ahuja has a new take on innovation. She says it’s not just about filling an unmet need in the market or solving a previously unsolvable problem. She says innovation is a recipe for engaging and retaining talent. Plus, she shares strategies for building microcultures of innovation in every organization.

    Simone is CEO of global innovation strategy firm Blood Orange. She’s a best-selling author. Her latest book is Disrupt-It-Yourself. She’s also the co-developer of Jugaad Innovation, a frugal and flexible innovation strategy. She’ll share the research she conducted in India that inspired Jugaad Innovation.

    After we talk to Simone, we will be joined by Amber Mathews, Steelcase director of Workspace Futures research in Asia and Europe. She’s spent a lot of time studying innovation within companies and how to support innovative teams.

    Additional resources:
    Connect with Simone Ahuja on her website (https://simoneahuja.com/action-plan/) and receive her worksheet
    Get the latest workplace design, insights and research: www.steelcase.com/subscribe

    Work Better podcast is hosted by Chris Congdon. Produced by Rebecca Charbauski. Creative art direction by Erin Ellison and Emily Cowdrey. Technical support by Mark Caswell and Jose Jimenez. Digital publishing by Areli Arellano and Jordan Marks. Editing and sound mixing by SoundPost Studios.

    • 35 min
    Be More Human in the AI Age with Kevin Roose (S1:E5)

    Be More Human in the AI Age with Kevin Roose (S1:E5)

    Can a robot take your job? Kevin Roose, New York Times technology writer and author of Futureproof, shares his take on how we can bring more of our humanity to work to avoid being replaced by AI. Plus, he lets us in on how a small bookstore in Oakland, California managed to thrive despite all the market forces working against it. It’s a story with a valuable lesson in why creating community at work can benefit people and business.

    Kevin writes and speaks regularly on many topics including automation and AI, social media, disinformation and digital wellness. His book Futureproof shines a light on how humanity is connected to the workplace.

    In addition to Kevin, Michael Held, Steelcase vice president of global design joins us. He wrote Will Creative AI Make Designers Redundant? He is the perfect person to help us connect Kevin’s ideas to a better workplace.

    Additional resources:
    Learn more about Kevin Roose and his book Futureproof at https://www.kevinroose.com/
    Sorry, But Working From Home Is Overrated by Kevin Roose (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/10/technology/working-from-home.html)
    Welcome to the Yolo Economy by Kevin Roose (https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/21/technology/welcome-to-the-yolo-economy.html)
    TED Talk with Kevin Roose, The Value of Humanity in an Automated Future (https://www.ted.com/talks/kevin_roose_the_value_of_your_humanity_in_an_automated_future?language=en)
    Will Creative AI Make Designers Redundant? By Michael Held (https://www.steelcase.com/asia-en/research/articles/topics/creativity/will-creative-ai-make-designers-redundant/)
    Get the latest workplace design, insights and research: www.steelcase.com/subscribe

    Work Better podcast is hosted by Chris Congdon. Produced by Rebecca Charbauski. Creative art direction by Erin Ellison and Emily Cowdrey. Technical support by Mark Caswell and Jose Jimenez. Digital publishing by Areli Arellano and Jordan Marks. Editing and sound mixing by SoundPost Studios.

    • 34 min
    Loneliness, Lingering + Libraries with Eric Klinenberg (S1:E4)

    Loneliness, Lingering + Libraries with Eric Klinenberg (S1:E4)

    What’s the real impact of community? NYU professor and author Eric Klinenberg’s research about a deadly heat wave in Chicago is a powerful example of just how important community is to humanity’s resilience. Eric joins us to share what he’s identified about the importance of “social infrastructure” like libraries and parks — something he says is just as important as physical infrastructure like roads and bridges. His work is foundational to how we have been re-envisioning the workplace to be more like some of the best neighborhoods and communities where we live. Eric helps us connect what he’s learned about great communities to ideas for a better workplace.

    Eric is a professor of social science and director of the institute for public knowledge at NYU. He’s the author of Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life. He’s written a number of other books as well including Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone and Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago. He’s been published in scholarly journals and contributed to The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, and This American Life.

    Following our conversation with Eric, we’re joined by Susana Cantu, architect and designer at Steelcase who focuses on reimagining spaces to support how work is changing. She helps connect Eric’s research and insights to the way workplaces need to be designed differently.

    Additional resources:
    Eric Klinenberg’s website and books: https://www.ericklinenberg.com/
    The Atlantic: Worry Less About Crumbling Roads and More About Crumbling Libraries (https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/09/worry-less-about-crumbling-roads-more-about-crumbling-libraries/570721/)
    NYU Keynote Address by Eric Klinenberg https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzJd0HKKTsM&t=102s
    Work Better Article: The New Hybrid Neighborhood https://www.steelcase.com/research/articles/topics/culture-talent/new-hybrid-neighborhood/
    Get the latest workplace design, insights and research: www.steelcase.com/subscribe

    Work Better podcast is hosted by Chris Congdon. Produced by Rebecca Charbauski. Creative art direction by Erin Ellison and Emily Cowdrey. Technical support by Mark Caswell and Jose Jimenez. Digital publishing by Areli Arellano and Jordan Marks. Editing and sound mixing by SoundPost Studios.

    • 37 min
    Groupiness at Work with Annie Murphy Paul (S1:E3)

    Groupiness at Work with Annie Murphy Paul (S1:E3)

    We’re busting myths about how the brain works with guest Annie Murphy Paul, author of The Extended Mind: The Power of Thinking Outside the Brain. Annie shares her research into how “context sensitive” our brain actually is and why our environment matters so much when it comes to how we think and work. Plus, she shares how we need to rethink the way we create groupiness (a real scientific term) at work in the hybrid era.

    Annie is an acclaimed science writer who's also had work in The New York Times Magazine and Scientific American, among other publications.Her TED talk about how we learn before we're even born has been viewed nearly 3 million times. But in this episode, we’re talking about thinking and learning as grown ups at work.

    Following our conversation with Annie, we’re joined by Steelcase workplace researchers Patricia Kammer and Patricia Wang to connect Annie’s scientific study of the brain with the workplace today and work they’ve done this year to study hybrid workers.

    Additional resources:
    Annie Murphy Paul’s work and book The Extended Mind (https://anniemurphypaul.com/)
    Annie’s TED Talk, What We Learn Before We Are Born (https://www.ted.com/talks/annie_murphy_paul_what_we_learn_before_we_re_born?language=en)
    Hybrid worker research https://www.steelcase.com/NewHybridNeeds
    Get the latest workplace design, insights and research: www.steelcase.com/subscribe
    Work Better podcast is hosted by Chris Congdon. Produced by Rebecca Charbauski. Creative art direction by Erin Ellison and Emily Cowdrey. Technical support by Mark Caswell and Jose Jimenez. Digital publishing by Areli Arellano and Jordan Marks. Editing and sound mixing by SoundPost Studios.

    • 33 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
36 Ratings

36 Ratings

Caddisbug1994 ,

Enjoyed this!

Found the series to be intriguing and also informative. Steelcase has always been a leader in their field and this is no different. Impressive lineup of speakers. Enjoyed it very much.

marthak672 ,

Very interesting

I’ve started listening to all the podcasts episodes and they are very enjoyable and interesting. I was just hired by Arbee and I am trying to educate myself on SteelCase and this podcast offers me the ability to learn on my own time and stay up to date on the industry! I have already recommend it to some colleagues!

Jtomko91 ,

crappy approach and meaningless

people hate open office plans for a reason. every time i listen to this podcast i feel like it just brushes off the criticism rather than make sense of it. Following this, we never actually reach any real insight on how to improve office designs. Was hoping for some real in depth investigation but this ends up being a steel case advertisement series and a PR campaign for open offices.

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