The physical and virtual are often thought of being in binary opposition, but we need to think of smarter uses of tools such as VR or AR to create ‘truly integrated, inclusive workspaces’, she added.
Puja Jain of TFL said the pandemic period had led to a ‘behavioural change’ including the way we travel, that will remain, but which brings both health benefits and also sustainable benefits for the environment. ‘So, what I see is this trend of walking and cycling to grow and continue. We definitely need to make our cities and streets safer, greener, and we need to avoid and we should avoid a car-based recovery as well, because that's not, that's not the solution’.
Jeremy Myerson of WORKTECH Academy said the report’s key findings mirrored what is also happening in New York and Tokyo. ‘The hybrid world has arrived’, he said, and it’s going to be enabled by technology’. The last year has not just accelerated trends, he said, but has figured as ‘an incredible turnaround’, with 84% of people going to work in an office every day before COVID dropping to just 9% in the future. ‘That’s an incredible switch and what we’re entering is a new world of work anywhere. It’s a new model’. Myerson calls this new workforce ‘choice champions’, with the processes and technology of work being ‘divorced’ from the building, in a world of ‘work anywhere’ and an ‘omni-channel’ way of working possible, mirroring what has happened in retail. ‘I believe is going to happen is that, in order to attract people who have a choice whether they go to the office or not, offices are going to have to up their game’. Buildings will not be full of people sat at desks sending emails, he added, but the office will be based on face-to-face activity – ‘It will be a place for purpose, a place to build culture, create networks, generate social capital’. ‘We're going to move away from amenity as a kind of corporate gym to amenity being valued based around things like flexibility and privacy’.
The London Network © Stride Treglown