We gather and document stories about people, places, services and work to inspire and kick start change.
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.
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.
Doing the research is just the beginning. The enemy of proper research is a dusty shelf or email inbox, and it's an enemy we always have in our sights. We strive to take the study beyond boring, dry reports. If you need your story to engage with multiple stakeholders like your workers, senior leaders, shareholders, policymakers and the public, it needs to be compelling as well as methodologically sound.
We've turned some of our research into a series of podcasts, easily consumed while doing other things, or video's for people to sit down and watch with a nice cup of tea. We've produced talks, events and exhibitions, delivered to large groups, or just in the boardroom. We turn our research data into useful and interesting blog posts and newsletters that people want to read and pass on. And yes, we can print reports, but we make them stand out, by turning them into beautifully designed books and newspapers that people want to read and keep.
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.
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.
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 in the community 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.
Something about work is a 30-minute audio-visual talk 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.
Watch a video of the talk here.
— Abel & Cole