From the City of London to Canary Wharf, the economy and geography of workplaces have dramatically changed over the last 15 years. London became a global financial centre and continued to embrace technological and social revolutions, from the boom of open plan offices in tall buildings to the rise of co-working spaces with a focus on wellbeing and the green agenda.
Structural shifts in working patterns and disruptive technologies have already meant that more innovative mixed-use building typologies that combine adequate space for working and living are overdue. We are now in the biggest working from home experiment in history, with radical changes needed to workspace design, maintenance and management regimes needed if people are to return to the office.
This webinar takes look at the evolution of key business districts across the capital. What lessons can we learn from the last 15 years that will prepare us for the future transformation of workspaces across London?
00:00 Welcome from Chair
Pat introduces the session and reminisces about how workplaces used to be, and how much they have changed over time, she says 'most evolution has happened in the last 20 years'.
04:27 East London global business district: Canary Wharf
Howard begins by discussing the development of Canary Wharf and how it is adapting to change. He says that the workplace 'was fundamentally changing anyway, as technology has changed' but recognises that this has been accelerated by the pandemic. Over the last 15 years, Howard has learned two key lessons, they are: that you have to adapt and change, and you have to be flexible and anticipate change.
14:25 Western hub: from Chiswick Park to White City
David Reay, Development Director, Stanhope
David highlights the way the office has developed over time as technology developed to allow for greater flexibility, however, he also acknowledges the impact of cultural changes and the shift in generations' values. He continues to discuss the need for places to allow for collaboration, innovation, creativity and the attraction and recruitment of talent.
33:04 Designing workspaces
Yasmin Al-Ani Spence, Director, WilkinsonEyre
Yasmin shares her personal experience, describing how she used to be 'tied to the office' but as technology has changed she can now work where ever. She points to the potential use of 'third places' but asks if big offices really need more spaces to work in.
Offices need to work harder to provide the feeling of comfort and healthiness.
47:23 Panel discussion