Future Dialogues - Road Map for Return in practice

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Future l Dialogues

Road Map for Return in practice

Virtual Webinars 25.06.2020 & 30.06.2020

Future Dialogues

Road Map for Return in practice This is a write up of our Future Dialogues Webinars hosted on 25 and 30 June.

Perkins and Will Speaker Panel

Natalie Smith Associate Principal Workplace Strategy

Carlotta Dove Organisational Psychologist Workplace Strategy

Jack Pringle Chair 25.06.20 Principal Regional Director, EMEA

Linzi Cassels Principal, Design Director

Adam Strudwick Chair 30.06.20 Principal Workplace Interiors


Response Workplace restrictions follow government regulations to contain the spread of the virus.

Interim workplace options are established to address reasonable protection in the workplace and individual level of comfort around returning.

Future Prep On-going workplace policies / protocols are adjusted to integrate new ways of working and optimize workplace well-being.

Phases of the Pandemic

The Road to Return - What Happens Next? Moderated by Jack Pringle, EMEA Regional Director, and Principal Adam Strudwick across two sessions, we held our latest webinars in the Future Dialogues series, drawing on our recent Road Map for Return document and AT HOME survey, to explore what will happen next for the future of the workspace in a post-COVID-19 world. As the UK launches into a transition phase for workspaces with employees returning to socially distanced, lower capacity offices, it is essential to remain focused on what the long-term future is for offices and their employees. The days of going into the office to sit at a desk to send emails are likely gone, argued Jack and Adam. But with significant talks happening around ‘Building Back Better’ we’re hopeful that as a design and construction community we can contribute to that and push forward a new, higher-quality model of workplace.

“There is a widespread expectation that our working lives need to change”

Beyond the ‘New Normal’ Some companies are already making some permanent changes to day-to-day operations, with social media giant Twitter announcing that its employees will be allowed to work from home “forever”. Facebook also says it expects half of its employees to work remotely for the next five to ten years. With this in mind, Natalie Smith, Associate Principal of Workplace Strategy, said that while flexible working is nothing new, it is time to start thinking of the new normal beyond 2022. “They’re conversations that we’ve been having with our clients for years, if not decades”, says Natalie. “So, one has to question, is this pandemic just an opportunity to fast-track some of those trends that we’ve all been talking about, that will enable us to improve the quality of our lives?” What’s interesting, she said, is that going on holidays and to restaurants have also mainly been impacted by the lockdown. However, we do expect and eagerly anticipate these sectors to return to pre-COVID-19 normality at some stage. Yet, with office space, there is a widespread expectation that our working lives need to change and have the opportunity to improve.

Future Dialogues

Gen Z


Middle Adulthood

Baby Boomers





What Workers Want Looking at our recent AT HOME survey of 3,348 respondents across 39 offices, this is something that employees want, explained Carlotta Dove, Occupational Psychologist in the Workplace Strategy team.

Yet, respondents to the AT HOME survey overwhelmingly voted in favour of a more flexible-orientated future, as expectations for home working grew by 38% throughout the lockdown.

“Respondents to the AT HOME survey overwhelmingly voted in favour of a more flexibleorientated future.�

As Carlotta outlined, most said that they believed their task effectiveness had improved, particularly for individually focussed and digital communication tasks. And, on the whole, people reported a higher work-life balance and high levels of well-being.

Pre COVID-19

Some have struggled with working from home during the lockdown. Younger employees, in particular, complained of a lack of a suitable home workspace. At the same time, those in managerial levels have spent increasing amounts of their time on calls, which decreased their energy levels. Furthermore, without the physical separation from work and home that the office provides, many found it harder to switch off, with 78% working longer or adjusted hours, and 50% resporthing they missed the community and collaboration that a centralised workspace engenders.

Post COVID-19

Office Home Client site

Significant shift in future WFH expectations

Future Models for Working According to Principal and Design Director Linzi Cassels, what this may resolve into, post-pandemic, are three different models of working.

“A radical and exciting model for the future is the ‘hub and spoke’ idea” The first model will see business as usual for companies that need their employees in the office at all times. These companies will likely require more space, both to incorporate social distancing regulations but also to address employees’ changing wishes for more personal space after the working from home experiment. A second model will combine working from home with more flexible activity around a centralised office. Around 40-50% of staff will work from home and offices, will be used on a rotational basis for more collaborative needs, such as meetings, training, mentoring, creative brainstorming, and socialising.

The reimagined city - a major redistribution and decentralisation of office space Hub Major transit Network of small scale neighbourhood workspace

The Hub and spoke city

However, the more radical and exciting model that could become the future is the ‘hub and spoke’ idea. This model would see corporate headquarters significantly downsized, complemented by a spread of smaller suburban offices so that people can work a short distance from their homes.

“Hub and spoke models would see corporate HQs significantly downsized, complemented by a spread of smaller suburban offices” City offices will then be remodelled as central hubs fulfilling a range of uses, including collaborative offices, retail, purpose-built residential, hospitality, and public spaces.


Future Dialogues

Jungle Gym


Marketplace of creativity

Work and events node

Ideas lab

Citizen workshops

University of life

Communal Farm

The Neighbourhood - live and work locally

“Local neighbourhoods will enjoy the benefits of diverse, dispersed workforces� Meanwhile, local neighbourhoods will enjoy all the benefits of diverse, dispersed workspaces amongst a thriving residential area, replete with placemaking schemes that benefit the wider community. For some, the latter may be a too-radical idea that will take some getting used to. Nevertheless, the COVID-19 crisis has provided an opportunity to fully explore this option, alongside other

developments which are increasingly leading us towards more flexible office spaces and home working. With ideas around flexible working, issues of public health and well-being, and a rethinking of the high street being turbocharged by the pandemic, there is a revolution ahead in the way we work. This will enable us to create cities that truly benefit the individual and provide a more resilient city economy.

“There is a revolution ahead in the way we work. This will enable us to create cities that truly benefit the individual and provide a more resilient city.�

graduate Roof Garden city professional

new entrepreneur

local resident




Retail Events


Public Realm

The City - a new typology