What Future the Office?

Canva - Green Grass and Tree during Sunrise.jpg

Article first published online May 2020

 

We are now settling into the routine of home working, and for city office workers the hour-long commute to work through heavy traffic is tricky as we navigate our way from the bedroom through the kitchen to the office in the spare room! I now have 2 more hours a day of personal time no travel costs and I am reducing pollution.

Will this have an impact on our use of office space? Broadband connections are close if not at their limits and service providers for video conferencing are being overwhelmed to cope with this temporary change in working patterns. The infrastructure in these areas will need to increase. However, when it works well it does fundamentally change the way we think. Now we can flex our working hours around our personal effective working times. For instance, if you are early bird, we can start when the sun rises and have 8 hours of work completed by 2.00pm.

The implication of course for business is that it will begin to think is the large office space in the City Centre location needed or do I need a smaller facility with more meeting rooms and a bigger server rooms for all my office staff now connecting remotely and only weekly coming to the office for meetings. This reduces operating costs, including business rates and increases profitability whilst preserving cash.

Could more office space become living accommodation? Will our city centres have more green space? 

Clearly it is not that straight forward, but with the high street changing could office accommodation be next? It makes you think.