Building a better workplace: Magnetic Circle

Magnetic Notes
Published in
4 min readMar 13, 2023


In this month’s edition of Magnetic Circle: our crowd-sourced blog, we’re talking about the future of work post-pandemic and how leaders and businesses are balancing their approach to meet the needs of their customers with the quality of life of their people.

Join us as we dive into some interesting and inspiring articles.

Here are our learnings. Join the circle.

  • Don’t build a company, build an ecosystem. How CEOs make the shift from outdated systems and move their company into more interconnected structures in which the business is dynamic, free-flowing, adaptive and alive will be essential for the future of work. [link] Credit: Gem
  • Not all individuals are equally impacted by the WFH revolution. A recent ONS survey found that working from home is becoming much more of a norm. Employees in the 27 country-wide sample spent an average of 1.5 days working from home. The UK average was 2 days. Workers on salaries >£50K, people with degrees, Londoners and white people had the highest rates of home or hybrid working. [link] Credit: Oli
  • The future line manager is your current mentor. In the near future, as we become increasingly aware of the importance of strong mental health, organisations should focus on creating a network of developmental relationships rather than having traditional line managers. [link] Credit: Paul
  • Flexible & Hybrid working — it’s a mixed bag. Here’s just a few examples:
  • Yelp’s CEO does not believe in the benefits of hybrid working, completely rejecting it for 100% remote working. [link] Credit: Zunaid
  • Amazon called staff back to the office 3 days per week to ‘improve teams working together’. [link] Credit: Jon
  • Disney’s returning CEO insists workers must be in the office 4 days per week to ‘encourage creativity and bonding’ amongst employees [link] Credit: Zunaid
  • Other companies are doubling down on remote work. Airbnb, 3M, Spotify and Lyft have all enshrined permanent home-working set-ups [link] Credit: Gem
  • The death of hybrid working is greatly exaggerated [link] Credit: Jenny
  • The productivity debate. Hybrid working isn’t solely to blame for lower levels of productivity. [link] Credit: Jenny
  • People vs Processes — shifting workplace challenges. Post Pandemic there was a huge emphasis on employee tensions that were bubbling under the surface. Now attention is being paid to the processes and systems, and culture. The three areas of focus for companies to address: are digital transformation, organisational design and culture, and the changing nature of work. [link] Credit: Prudence
  • Spending quality time. Once you’ve figured out the need for a meeting or gathering, the next step is to ask: what do I actually do with all these people? How should we structure our time together? [link] Credit: Tom
  • Are life-centric businesses the future? Facing this barrage of uncertain and chaotic external forces, people are rethinking who they are and what matters to them. Businesses are increasingly shifting to being product-based. Focusing on customers’ lifetime needs and reshaping themselves to meet those needs may be how corporates function in the future. [link] Credit: Prudence
  • For the first time in history, there are 5 generations in the workforce. 9 things we learnt from the CBI Future of Work conference. [link] Credit: Credit: Jassi & Natalia
  • Learning from hunter-gatherers. Knowledge workers are already exhausted by their jobs, so what can we learn from the past to improve the future? Research on early human societies offers lessons about improving our jobs today [link] Credit: Jen
  • Are degrees still important? Other routes to skills and knowledge may be preferred now. [link] Credit: Zunaid
  • The world’s biggest four-day workweek trial. A major breakthrough moment. 56 of the 61 companies involved are extending the trial, and 18 are embracing it permanently. The norm of 40 working hours a week continues to be questioned. [link] Credit: Clare
  • Climate benefits from a 4 day working week. Environmental consultancy, Tyler Grange, joined the world’s biggest ever four-day workweek trial not only to measure productivity, but also to measure the impact on the company’s carbon footprint. By cutting out unnecessary meetings they saw a 21% reduction in the number of miles travelled by car [link]. Credit: Oli

Join the circle and access the latest on design and innovation at work.

Curators: Oli, Zunaid, Gem

Magnetic is a design and innovation company that helps design better futures. We’ve worked with global businesses to build capabilities, products, services and transform organisations. To find out more, get in touch: