Post Covid 19 – What’s the Purpose of the Office?
In Spring 2020 the world as we know it was altered in a way never seen before. It is estimated that 4.5 billion people went into lock down affecting everything about the way we live. The forced isolation has given many of us the opportunity to think deeply about what is important in our lives and to adopt new behaviours to cope with the crisis.
Over the past 10 weeks, The MCM Skunkworks programme has been surveying opinion from our colleagues, clients, friends and families to try and get a broad picture of how we are all adjusting to the situation, and to learn about the hopes, fears and aspirations surrounding a post Covid future. In addition, we have observed the reactions and views of industry leaders, analysed data and have formulated our own ideas about what the future holds. Our aim here is to outline the common themes and relate them to the context of work and specifically the office, to answer the question:
Post Covid 19 – What’s the purpose of the office?
The challenge was to consider the implications of this extreme global social experiment that we have all been living. The word ‘purpose’ was the key. This was not just a discussion about the design of the future office, but its purpose.
Our findings and predictions to follow have turned out to be much wider than just purpose of the office, but three predictions on the radical changes we will see in organisational structures, values, purpose, behaviours, and locations.
These seven themes have been prevalent in our findings and considerations for the future.
Culture, Development, Trust, Community, Innovation, Balance, The Planet.
Based on research, data and our own ideas related to these themes, we are predicting three changes to the world of work:
A Return to Human
In the new world of work, organisational culture and caring will evolve to be primary focuses for successful businesses. To unlock the many benefits that a new office concept has to offer we anticipate that this will be a culture which returns to the fundamentals of what it is to be a caring human.
The Radial Office
The Radial Office is about giving choice and balance to people and improving their daily experience by using the opportunity presented by remote working to reimagine existing city centre office space. It is also about businesses being able to build a more flexible office portfolio – with a higher performing and perhaps a smaller city centre hub but an increased regional presence using home or local third spaces, or shared workspace. This is an opportunity to also invigorate communities.
The Gig Company
A Gig Company puts trust in people first. It is a business built on the premise that its workforce does not have to be recruited and employed because they are within commuting distance to the office. Once you take away commuting and promote remote working, the workforce catchment becomes global and when you embrace trust, your people will excel, wherever they are.