The way we work has changed dramatically. Offices have become increasingly empty, more employees are working from home, and collaboration processes have shifted. This growing acceptance of hybrid working has impacted all aspects of the workplace, but none more so than facility management.
The following is an excerpt from an interview with Antony Slumbers, co-founder at Real Innovation Academy. He has 20+ years of experience in the commercial office and property management sectors, and is a frequent contributor to global conversations regarding hybrid work.
Predictions for the office
Chaos. The descriptive word when we all are back is chaos. It’s very easy if everyone is in the office and it’s actually very easy if everyone is out of the office. But if we try to mix these formats without rethinking how we work, then we’re going to have chaos. There’s going to be a big divide between companies that have really thought about what they want to do and what hybrid means, what it doesn’t mean, and if it’s a good thing. And, how they need to adapt the way they work.
Successful hybrid approaches
A lot of companies are thinking about this as an opportunity to rethink how they work, why they work, what they do, where they do it, who they do it with, what talent they need and taking the opportunity of distributed work. They’re not going to get rid of their offices, but they’re going to use their offices with different purposes. Dropbox is a good example of this. They’ve specifically thought about what their people need to be as productive as possible and what they were missing when they were completely remote. They’ve even renamed their offices to studios, which are like event spaces. There are no traditional desks and lots of meeting rooms. The idea is you’ll do your best work wherever you want to do it.
The companies that are looking at what has happened as the catalyst for major change in how they think, work, and their real estate requirements, are going to become dramatically more productive than those that iterate a little bit. If they see being an office-centric company as an important part of their identity, they’re not going to make big changes. The companies that prepare as if there’s a new pandemic tomorrow and operate so people have access to everything all of the time, they will be super competitive.
Antony will be delivering a presentation at the 2nd annual REwork Summit in Sydney 7-8 September. If you’re interested in hearing from 70 global workplace leaders and joining 200+ attendees from real estate, facilities, HR, technology and executive management, then click here for more details.