The workplace: new questions, new ideas.

Saul Tyler, Partner at Hoare Lea

Saul Tyler, Partner, Head of Workplace

People-centred solutions, fit for the future.

As part of the British Council for Offices’ (BCO) Technical Affairs Committee, I’ve contributed my insight to a series of briefing notes that provide a post-Covid-19 look at the property industry.

The Technical Affairs Committee (TAC) is the voice for the BCO on technical aspects of the built environment, As a committee we explore how best to address the technical challenges facing the workplace sector, and are responsible for the organisation’s globally recognised best practice guides on office specification and fit-out.

The latest briefing note looked at a number of key questions arising out of the past 12+ months:

  • What is the reimagined office of the future?
  • What have we discovered?
  • Where do we start?
  • How will we attract workers back to the office?
  • What does an intelligent building look like?
  • What does this mean for the design of the workplace?
We are now entering a race for quality, amenity and choice – to attract and entice workers back and to retain top talent.

The overarching messages we wanted to communicate to the sector were:

  • Flexible and hybrid working is here to stay.
  • Providing safe, secure and technology-rich environments for businesses and employees to perform and excel will define best practice.
  • Lessons from lockdown will rapidly accelerate the adoption of technology.
  • The need to respond to the closer integration of office and remote working will stimulate a range of responses, including high-attraction, amenity-rich headquarter offices, satellite hub locations to provide easy access, and networks of connected workplaces.
  • Our offices and cities will adapt, evolve, survive and thrive.

Responsive design.

The workplace and how we feel about the office have been more widely discussed over the past year than ever before. We’re seeing a global acceleration towards greater flexibility, and embracing technology to support work to be carried out in the best environment for the task. A blended mix of settings within the office and away from the office will form the new hybrid workplace.

Considering the workplace as an environment that supports the business activities that are required by the individuals working within it, rather than assuming most roles are desk-bound, provides freedom to reimagine the office.