Stories about our work

 
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Our work is all about gathering stories to help people notice things. We do that to inspire change, amplify good and enable amazing things to happen. Here's some of our own stories about the work we do and the impact it's had.

 
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Follow the thing

When you supply a product or service, over time you start to lose touch with procedures, strategy, and logistics. At the same time, the growth of a company will see a disconnect between geographic locations, departments, and people. When this happens, work, productivity, and culture suffer, having an impact on the bottom line and the people working with you.

We have developed a unique way to help you reconnect with your business, services, products and individuals, and we call it 'Follow the thing.' The thing is your product or service, and we document it's journey from start to finish, interviewing, observing and photographing everyone that touches the thing until it reaches your customers. We help you understand the findings, turning them into a workable strategy that supports your products and services.

Case study »

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A day in their shoes

We were commissioned by the CIPD to study three people working in the Gig Economy.  The gig economy can be defined as working without full time contract, and in this instance, accessing work through a technology platform.

We researched the different kind of platforms that are available and recruited three people to be shadowed across a day. We observed, interviewed and photographed them as they worked and turned the results into photographic essays telling the story of their work life.

This insight will be used by the CIPD to inform its future of work strategy.

Read the essays »

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Fieldwork Self

Fieldwork Self is all about gaining clarity on who you and how you work. We are big believers in participatory research, knowing there is even more investment in insight when the people being studied have taken part in the research. Because of this we designed an autoethnography kit, or in laymans terms, a camera and guidebook that enables users to unearth the stories in their lives.

The kit works like this: a person uses the kit to explore their working life, answering questions using a camera and notebook. This exploration gives them quick insight and understanding on who they are and how they work. This exploration is followed up with a 121 session with one of our team for us to add our analysis, pulling out stories, needs, ideas and actions connected to working life from the photographs and notes. 

Read about one of our clients experiences »

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Ethnography of a bus shelter

What happens when you turn a traditional bus shelter into a piece of art? Brighton and Hove Buses recently commissioned artists to paint a Grade II Listed bus shelter in bright and colourful paints. The bus company wanted a collection of stories from people that experienced the temporary piece of artwork.

We asked passers by to record their thoughts in sound and on postcards. We delivered the work as a digital book and audio material.

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Beyond Work

Beyond Work was the inspiration for Fieldwork. Founder Curtis James decided six years ago that he would document the working lives of individuals with his camera and notebook, and he's still doing it now in his spare time. The project is driven by a simple purpose, to unearth the working lives of people whose jobs and lives are often invisible.

Fieldwork commits time and money to Beyond Work as part of its desire to do good in communities. The project is about to embark on a 6 month study of life on the council estate Curtis grew up on. We will be helping a group of residents document their lives. The results will be used to design a wider study and future interventions based on real lived experiences.

Immerse yourself in human stories of work »

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Something about work

Something about work is a 30-minute audio-visual hosted by Fieldwork founder Curtis James for conferences, small events and companies that want to learn more about what it means to be a human at work right now. It features stories gathered from the Beyond Work and Fieldwork projects.

Already enjoyed by The RSA, Sony PlaystationusTwoClearleftMiniclickWolff OlinsIdeoAll About People and the CIPR.

Watch a video of the talk here.

Book for conferences, lunchtime and after work talks »

 
 
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Our Practice

We gather and document stories about people, places, services and work to inspire and kick start change.

 
 
 

Pulse surveys and staff satisfaction surveys don’t give you stories, they give you graphs and data, the corners and the edges of a puzzle, but you don’t get the context, you don’t get everything else. So Fieldwork’s research did that for us, it completed that picture, that puzzle”

— Abel & Cole

 
 
 
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Do one thing well*

At Fieldwork, we listen and observe and we deliver our findings as compelling human stories. That's the crux of what we do. We do this because we know it's hard to see what's going on from the inside. We focus on listening and observing because we don't want our judgement to be affected by considering how we can fix things. That way, it's clear when we share our findings with you that we are not trying to steer you in a particular direction so we can sell you a truckload of whatever the new zeitgeist is.

*Inspired by David Hieatt