Post Lockdown: What does that mean for the office and working from home?
With the PM's roadmap out of lockdown finally announced, Andrew Cooke, Strategic Director at Bruntwood Works has produced a comment on what the future of work and the office will look like for businesses.
“Many businesses had to adapt quickly to enforced home working and were simply not set up to work in this way. Video conferencing software like Zoom and messaging platforms Slack have filled the gaps where physical connection isn't possible, but for many people it just isn’t comparable to face-to-face interactions and can't provide the positive social aspects of a good workspace.
Through regular engagement over the last 12 months with the 2500 businesses in our portfolio, we can see that customer behaviour has started to change. That said it's a pendulum swing and we are yet to see where behaviours and expectations finally land.
Hybrid working, where customers split time between workspaces, home working and third spaces has steadily grown over several years, but the pandemic has acted as a nationwide social experiment that has supercharged this trend. We were already designing our buildings for this change– we launched a £50million Pioneer project to evolve our workspace for a different type of working for this reason.
The office and working from home are both key parts of every business’ toolkit and the balance between the two post pandemic will inevitably change. That means we need to see the office as an opportunity to provide spaces and environments that you just can’t replicate elsewhere. This means creating spaces which add value to our customers' business and which power productivity. We are creating spaces which keep our customers teams happy, healthy and culturally fulfilled in their cities and towns with blended spaces that merge work and lifestyle.
Post the now third UK lockdown such a significant length of time has passed that it feels like a good workspace is an environment which will be even more appreciated for many of our customers. We want to create a place where teams can be collaborative, productive and can also separate their personal and professional lives. It will hopefully be a fresh start for businesses to kickstart a new way of working.”