A recap of week 2 of WD Flex: Back to the Office featuring Nick LiVigne, Mark Gilbreath, Andrea Pirrotti-Dranchak, and Linda Foggie.
WDM’s summer virtual event, WD FLEX: Back to the Office continues with our expert panel’s discussions on the changes in the offing as we re-group and re-evaluate what will inform our return to the workplace. These discussions explored several aspects of current state of affairs in workplace planning and design. Check out the video recording below as well as some key points from that conversation.
The panel was moderated by Nick LiVigne, Incendium Consulting and included Mark Gilbreath, LiquidSpace; Andrea Pirrotti-Dranchak, officeevolution; and Linda Foggie, Turner & Townsend. The premise for the discussion was to explore how the workplace ecosystem is expanding and blending with our homes and local neighborhoods. An emerging landscape of options for where employees may choose to work will present challenges for individuals and companies to navigate. What are the practical implications, opportunities, and risks. Their talk yielded some great ideas for continued conversations on this topic:
- Where work happens is changing. It is not just about locations in the CBD of big cities. As the pandemic and WFH allowed employees to relocate to smaller or rural locations, closer to family or less expensive places, how that work was supported triggered changes up and down the decision-making processes in companies.
- People’s relationship to work changed and major adjustments to collaboration and interaction were forced by the pandemic situation.
- Emerging from the pandemic, a wholesale re-evaluation of what work means is taking place.
- While the trend toward more flexible and agile work was happening, in many cases below the surface for many years, the sudden pivot to almost universal WFH has accelerated the thinking and adaptation of multiple platforms for work to take place in many different ways and places.
- Employees are having a greater voice and demanding more choice in deciding where, how and when to work and employers are listening and working toward solutions that best meet their company’s needs and ability to provide for those multiple (and perhaps more complex) requirements to support a distributed workforce.
- The key requirements for workspace going forward are health and safety, integrity of information security, designing a space for many that works for all.
- Companies will be re-evaluating how they procure and manage space and may have multiple locations in both “owned” and “managed” space, thus allowing for more options and flexibility for their employees.
- Technology solutions will be key in providing an equitable work environment for everyone, regardless of location.
- Space will need to be designed to give purpose to coming into the office and support company culture. Yet, company culture also needs to be considered and planned for over the entire spectrum of workplace – regardless of where people are physically located.
- While the challenges may seem daunting there are multiple resources and tools to help companies navigate through the decision-making process.