The Pilot Office: MCM’s Road to a Purposeful Workspace

By Zefa Mongan

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On the 1st of September, MCM embarked on a new journey as a business with a plan to see, measure and explore.

Written By Zefa Mongan, Associate Director

The Journey so Far

When it comes to the world of work, the coronavirus pandemic has certainly emphasised the importance of resilience. Resilience as an organisation and resilience in the physical workplace.

Our team at MCM have adapted rapidly to hybrid working over the last 10 months, with some feeling empowered by the balance and flexibility that comes with working from home. In the same breath, our own staff feedback surveys thus far have found there is still an ongoing appreciation (at various levels) for the office environment. Collaboration. Culture. Training and Development. Some of the key characteristics they are just not best achieved remotely.

MCM’s journey forward is to identify the positive work patterns and behaviours that our employees have formed over the last 10 months. We will then test, trial, and use these to define the future of the MCM Central Hub, and the future of work for many of our clients. Introducing the Pilot Office Project…

The Pilot Office Project

MCM were given a fortunate position to capitalise on a lease event in September 2020, allowing our team to embark on a series of pilot schemes to test the viability of emerging workplace concepts. The purpose of the pilot space, located at 180 Borough High Street is twofold:

Firstly, it is to ensure that when MCM do move again to a permanent home, we have a clear blueprint of what that space should be. We have all learnt that the physical office offers elements that virtual work will never fully replicate, and it is important to us to leverage these to their maximum for the benefit of our team.

Secondly and equally importantly, it is to ensure we are offering the best possible advice to our clients. As an organisation we adopted a fully agile model more than five years ago and this process gave us all a valuable insight and empathy for what our clients would experience when undertaking a similar organisational change. We have the opportunity now to trial and test new ways of working so we again can talk with authentic experience when advising our clients of how to rebuild the world of work for them. The landscape is ever evolving with each organisation experiencing their own personal set of challenges (as a collective, and as individuals).

We are using this space to test ways of working that will deliver autonomy and flexibility while encouraging and enhancing collaboration, innovation, learning and development for our people. We are also interested in building on our understanding of how organisational brand and culture are built and maintained emerging working environments.

Moving forward, our research to date indicated that 99% of organisations are indeed planning significant changes as a result of Covid-19. So far, we are seeing a common theme in adopting a hybrid form of work with a balance of remote and present work styles that offset the benefits of working in an office with working at home or a third space.

The Future of Work

This is an unpredictable and challenging time to be in business. On the other hand, as the economic fallout eventually plays out (and hopefully subsides) we do believe that there are very exciting times ahead for workplace design. MCM see offices being and even more valuable part of our lives albeit in an altered form.  Although the pandemic has ignited a working from home revolution, is not the time to turn our back on office space. Instead, it’s time to think about its purpose as we ‘dare to imagine’ a better future for the world of work.

MCM look forward to sharing further thinking that is shaped by our experiences of trialing new concepts of work in our pilot space. It is our mission to answer questions, solve problems and ultimately define a Central Hub space that works best for our team. In doing so, we will also be able to continue to assist clients in occupying space in a way that works for their own business model – showing them ways of working they may have never considered.

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