The last couple of years have seen the sharp rise of a very welcome idea: working less. With trends like working from home and the Great Resignation, our collective mentality towards work has undergone significant change. One of the ways we are now seeing this manifest is in the four-day workweek, which is increasingly looking like it’s here to stay.
Many of us assume the idea of a Monday to Friday working week is something that humans have always done – that it reflects some unspoken law about how the nature of work should be. And yet the notion of working five days per week is actually a relatively new concept. In fact, it was stonemasons in Melbourne, Australia, who were the first to achieve an eight-hour, five-day workweek back in 1856.
The demand for sustainability has no less than revolutionised the way companies do business. In the last decade, the move towards sustainable products, waste solutions and emissions reductions has forced businesses to pursue purpose over profits, leading the way to a new and positive form of conscious capitalism.
The call for sustainable packaging has been one of the strongest demands of our sustainability goals, forcing us to turn away from the abundant plastics embraced by older generations. While recyclable materials and a shift away from single-use plastic is nothing new, emerging models for addressing unsustainable packaging offer an exciting glimpse of the future.
By now we have all heard of the metaverse. Despite having heard of it, it’s likely that many of us are still baffled by what it actually is, and even more bewildered by the thought of what might actually go on there. Far from being gimmicky or niche, this is an innovation that will be commonplace before we know it, and which is already presenting businesses with opportunities they’ve never had before.
In years past, flying cars were the stuff of science fiction and fantasy. Developments of the last decade, however, are seeing the reality of this vision edge closer and closer. Unlike the fantasy and luxury imagined in our previous visions, the future of our driving cars serves practical purposes – cutting down commute times, enhancing efficiency and enabling contactless transactions.
In the office, it now seems the employer and employee simply want different things. The impasse between company and worker expectations around the future of the in-office work is a key factor driving what’s become known as ‘The Great Resignation.’ While there are some who dismiss this notion as an invention of HR and business consultants, the data does indicate that the latter stages of the COVID pandemic have seen a marked uptick in the number of employees quitting their jobs. In order to keep employees interested, businesses are having to change tactics.
Albert Einstein once suggested that if he had an hour to solve a problem and his life depended on it, he’d spend the first 55 minutes determining the best question to ask. ‘For once I know the proper question,’ he said, ‘I could solve the problem in less than 5 minutes.’
Good questions yield good answers. As pointed out by one of histories greatest geniuses, problem solving is largely dependent on the ability to ask the right questions. But beyond problem solving, good questions are irreplaceable tools in the art of persuasion. Where we are most inclined to bolster our own arguments, ideas or products with supporting facts, stats and data, often the best move is to ask a good question.
The 20th century model of learning has well and truly had its day. Time spent memorising, cramming, and silently listening to teachers lecturing is wasted in an age of accessible information and collaboration. Schools in the 21st century are quickly discovering the necessity of adjusting their teaching methods for an era that makes very different demands of the individual than the previous one.
We all consider ourselves to be fairly sound judges. When faced with problems or challenges, we tend to trust our judgements and rely on our estimations, believing that we are immune to the biases and mental manipulations that others experience. In a world of fake news, alternative facts and ever-increasing hostility between those of differing opinions, this belief in the superiority of our judgements poses some significant threats.
There are a range of cognitive patterns which we all believe we are immune to, but regularly experience all the same. Here are 3 you might recognise: