On 24th June 2020 Riaan Louw wrote:

ReWork: rethinking workplaces

Last week I attended an NLA webinar about the future of the workplace and how it might be transformed in a post COVID-19 world. Various inputs and opinions were given from different experts.

John Avery from LOM Architecture and Design anticipates that the traditional workplace will become more mixed-use and diverse, while the role of the head office will be redefined and be more of symbolic value. At a larger scale, the role of the city will change as we know it and business areas will also become more mixed-use.

Beth Kay from the London Borough of Haringey argued that there should be more emphasis on offer, promote collaboration and digital inclusion, and create more diversity, especially in high streets and town centre spaces.

Dan Gardner from Savills shared some findings on a survey that they have started since the lockdown; it showed that, in the future, most people want to work two to three days at the office. He feels that the office is still vital but needs to change, especially with the provision of break-away spaces for meetings with video call facilities.

Martin Murphy form Hilson Moran envisaged that we will see healthier office buildings that will be better ventilated. He sees a great opportunity through collaboration to create new kind of office spaces which focuses more on health and wellbeing.

One conclusion was that we should be careful not to place too much on the benefits working from home, as a physical office space still has an important role to play. However, as lockdown measures are eased, we are all presented with a unique opportunity to create and explore new workplace and office typologies.