Predictions are many and varied but broadly fall in to two views; we will need less space as more people work remotely and we will need the same (potentially more) space as we operate in a less agile way to account for the cultural/social changes primarily around social distancing/physical interaction.
It’s likely that these transitional arrangements will need to operate for the remainder of the year, if not longer and this generates two critical questions;
- How do I prepare my business to operate during this interim period?
- What will the solution be longer term?
Faithful+Gould has an established Workspace team who provide solutions for all working environments and over a series of articles we will cover all the key points which will need to be considered to allow you to address these questions.
As a solutions provider we believe in keeping solutions simple and we have built an assessment and delivery model based around People, Property and Technology with the key elements highlighted in the attached document and covered in further detail in the subsequent articles.
Whether you are an SME in your own premises or a multi-national organisation in a managed office/estate, everyone working in an office environment will have to adapt. Whilst the long-term solution may include relocation or the introduction of intuitive IT solutions these will involve both planning and investment. In the short term we will all return to the same office, occupying the same space, with the same workforce and we need to adapt this space in a practical, cost effective way whilst addressing the human needs.
From a practical perspective we need to plan for what is likely to be a phased return to the workplace over a prolonged period, beginning with key workers and then business critical workers. Organisations that plan effectively for this initial phase will create environments where people feel safe and valued whilst providing a compliant and fit-for-purpose office which is also easily adaptable to any future requirements. In what is undoubtedly going to be difficult periods for lots of organisations doing this in a cost effective manner will be key allowing businesses to concentrate on their core activity rather than office/estate management issues.
The benefits derived from the currently enforced lockdown and the new ways of working and interacting with both clients and staff should also captured as this will ultimately inform the long term strategy adopted, including defining the operating model; identifying actual floor space required; establishing mix between desk and collaborative space; developing the functional design of these areas; identifying most appropriate IT systems to use; infrastructure required and most importantly what your clients and staff want.
Medium/long term options will be driven by the outputs from the actions taken short term and ultimately client requirements but these need to be proactively considered and where appropriate addressed during the transitional phase as lease options allow decisions to be made on rightsizing options, operating models, renegotiation of leases, disposal and/or acquisitions.
Amid the speculation, and the difficulties in planning for the long term, Faithful+Gould is supporting organisations with the challenges that are most pressing right now. We’re helping our clients consider the key factors around People, Property and Technology and ultimately ensure that they create an environment which allows people to excel in a safe and compliant building optimising the use of technology and systems.
For further information please contact our Workspace team listed below.