The Office of the future?

I had an interesting lunch last week, hosted by Insider and with a theme about what working practices are currently and what they might look like in the future. I was part of a panel of people from various sectors in the Midlands.

A Google meeting room!

The early part of the discussion was centred around what the market is doing and the general consensus was that this was a tenants market, except perhaps in Grade A space – where the lack of supply has kept prices and deals up. This wasn’t the interesting part – as we all knew this!

The ‘panel’ did consider some interesting questions – notably what we actually do in the workplace. Much of our offices a now open plan and have become places to collaborate, but sometimes we need some protocols or strategies to allow people to work – mine is to employ an iPod! But there was a serious point, workplaces need to provide acoustic spaces and private areas – staff also need ownership. The latter can be a desk or a helping choose colours on the walls.

We touched upon The Equality Act and how that might stifle the office environment. I have strong view about this particularly legislation.

There was some amusement when a discussion ensued about the ageing nature of the workforce. The reality is that it is going to be difficult for some people to retire due to the pensions deficit. Some enlightened employers have recognised this and have installed quiet spaces. – perhaps even spaces for people to power nap (wasn’t that an 80′s thing?). Rest and recuperation may well become part of our working day, some days I feel I need it now!

Inevitably there was a section of the discussion that focused on ‘sustainability’ which generated some interesting comments. There was a very pragmatic approach which suggested that it is not always possible to build the greenest building because it can’t be afforded. Or that the users socially won’t use it. Sustainability is something that encompasses green technology, but can also be sustained in both economic and social terms.

One comment on “The Office of the future?

  1. Pingback: The new citizen office « Tim Garratt's Blog

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