Since the pandemic, however, a lot of big organisations have been reconsidering the size of their office footprint over their workplace strategy. Goldstone challenges this kind of short term thinking. He believes companies first need to rethink the role of their office and the potential for how it can be used. “If you need more collaboration space,” he says, “you’re actually going to need the same footprint, but thought differently.” Although, he adds “space, alone, does not equip people for change.”
Emerging trends in office design include the introduction of Zoom rooms, collaboration spaces, and Grandstand or Town Hall areas that allow companies to bring their entire organisation together safely. But even with newly designed workspaces, the idea of everyone returning to the office five days a week is an old one. But it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
Hybrid working, which is a combination of working some days in the office and some days remotely, is the new way forward. It allows employees the flexibility to work in and outside of the physical office, as well as in and outside of standard office hours. And while flexibility is not new, it hasn’t always been so well accommodated. “Things have definitely shifted to be all about the employee,” says Goldstone. “And I love that.”