This week: Workplaces, inclusion, offices and remote work!

Four day weeks. They seem to fly by with the same level of work but less hours in the days. Surely physiological. With travelling a little more I’ve had time to listen to a few more podcasts and read more articles so certainly made writing the below easy. 

In my ears this week has been (as always) the Workbold Podcast with Caleb Parker and in this episode Michael Cockburn (of Desana). Refreshing to listen to something talking about the importance of the office. I’m a big fan of remote and hybrid working but I love the office too. I’ll never get the same feeling meeting someone virtually as I do IRL! Embracing the office and technology will help organisations undoubtedly. Desana facilitates flexible working across organisations – knitting it together effectively- different brands and workspaces under one common platform. And you can easily see a scenario in the future where every real estate asset has a proportion of flexible working – either branded or not – creating a blend of how buildings are used compared to the now. 

In development news, Austin has a new skyscraper as Google’s sailboat-shaped skyscraper tops out. It’s not the first city I think about, well for anything. Yet looking at the pictures in this article by The B1M shows a city that has a more impressive skyline than Sheffield and houses a HQ building for Google now. Designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects it focuses on collaboration and sustainability. You know those things that are now VERY key for the workplace and workplace culture. Some key designs like overhanging balconies provide shading for the floors below and rooftop gardens for social interaction. To think the site was a water treatment plant before!

Managed to find some time this week to watch an insightful Webinar: Design the Perfect Post-COVID Office  (don’t worry it’s only 42 minutes!) on creating office space in a post pandemic world from Dreamplex. A balance between really understanding the purpose of the office going forward, Daan van Rossum explains the expectations of the office in a diverse and flexible world and how you can curate the space with insight from Melanie Jones at CORT and Nellie Hayat at VergeSense planting the idea in my head of a “laptop free day”! Overall a great explanation of why we need the office still and how we can make that experience work.

And reading this article by Dror Poleg – Here Are The Winners of Remote Work – has really made me think about how the world is being shaped for the future. Are we creating equality or further division. It depends which way you see. Those with a talent that is in demand can set some of the rules. If that talent can be performed remotely even more so. They hold some cards. The flip side means that people are limited in their options. 

And lastly Listen to episode 7 of the Beyond 1% podcast – An episode where host Nic Errol speaks to Amy Truesdale and Richard Whitehead, two world class athletes who will be representing ParalympicsGB at the upcoming Paralympics in Tokyo. I  challenge anyone not to feel proud of what the paralympics team is achieving in Tokyo and therefore translating to work shows how inclusion should involve a diverse population. Everyone can bring something to the table.

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