I arranged my office furniture so colleagues could not stop to talk | Jonathan Wolff

Once academic work was collaborative and enjoyable now for many its a series of lonely billable hours Folkore has it that the reason why the academic year is punctuated with a long summer break is to allow students to return home to help with the harvest. I suppose there must be a few students who still do this, but, frankly, it would seem to be something of a minority pursuit. These days the main purpose of the break is to allow universities to maximise their commercial revenue through summer rentals, and to provide purveyors of stationery a second annual opportunity to market their wares, and especially new diaries. Those academic year diaries have missed a trick, though, by not having …

As co-working spaces colonise cities, are workers paying the price? | Filipa Pajevi

As businesses look to save money and space, providers such as WeWork are booming, says Filipa Pajevi Co-working isnt just booming its taking over our cities. The co-working space provider WeWork is the in New York. This week we learned it is being paid 55m in in New Yorks Chrysler building and is speedily adding new locations across Eastern Europe and Asia and the Pacific to its already impressive arsenal. Co-working was originally practised by artists and other creative workers whose work was, by definition, off-the-cuff: project-based and commissioned. These workers would co-work in order to share resources such as client and supplier networks, as well as materials. Co-working spaces would typically be found in abandoned, derelict industrial sites where …

Most of us feel sleepy in the afternoon. Why cant work fit round that? | Andre Spicer

Now a third of Britons are sleep-deprived, work should be more flexible, says Andr Spicer, professor of organisational behaviour at the Cass Business School In the early afternoon, I often catch myself listlessly staring into the computer screen. I have things to do, but I cant concentrate. I try writing the same sentence five times and delete it six. During one of these afternoon torpors, I came upon a word: acedia. It seemed to perfectly define my mid-afternoon weariness. I discovered this originally Greek word was widely used by medieval Christian monks to describe a sense of indolence, a mood of lethargy, a feeling of being completely unconcerned about their duties and purpose in the world. Christian mystics who lived …