Rethinking the office

“The retail sector figured out a long time ago you need to provide a positive experience for people”

What can we learn about what is going to happen next with work by chatting to the leaders of the sector that supplies our workplaces? You might think very little. There’s certainly no shortage of people in the commercial property sector who have been intent on suggesting that we need to go back to the rat race of all office/all the time.

But in that space there are some visionaries who are helping us seeing what is staring us in the face. Last year we’ve spoken to Antony Slumbers, on the newsletter I’ve shared links to the Work Bold podcast by Caleb Parker.

Today I add Richard Pickering to that list. I was delighted to hear Richard, someone whose writing I’ve been following for a couple of years, speak at an event I was presenting at.

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We had such a stimulating discussion on the sidelines that I was desperate to persuade Richard to come on here to talk. Richard is the Chief Strategy Officer at Cushman & Wakefield, one of the largest commercial real estate services companies in the world. His job is to make sense of the changes happening in the demand for property and to advise clients where we’re going.

‘I’ve heard a lot of people in the last year saying I’ve found working from home more convenient. I’ve heard no one saying I’ve found working from home more fun’.

He’s straight talking – both about what the office needs to adapt and how this is going to have ripple effects for companies and cities.

We talk about: 

  • How we’ve only just started understanding different modalities of work
  • How firms might start including commuting time in the working day
  • How cities might start offering public transport for free
  • How cities will become younger