After COVID-19, what does the workplace of the future look like?

Here, Alison White and Fintan Burke discuss post-COVID return to the workplace and what that future could look like

Remote working and furlough are the realities that dawned on the workplace after the pandemic lockdown came into effect. Yet, now, with the slow return of some workers to their offices and the economy open for business – what does this mean for the future of how we work?

“I think the notion of putting 7,000 people in a building may be a thing of the past,” says Jes Staley, Chief Executive of Barclays Bank. As things stand, even the idea of 7,000 people in one building feels like enough to cause a local lockdown.

There have been heated debates about the viability of full-time remote working minus the COVID-19 lockdown versus a full “return to normal”. LinkedIn has become an arena, in which gladiators with different ideologies do battle over the correct way to proceed. The question is mused over between friends, families, and colleagues. The sanctity and purpose of the workplace as a physical entity has been defined, re-defined and questioned again. With such a vast array of opinions, and organisations facing decisions that are unprecedented, what is the best solution?

What advice is out there for how to make this pandemic a meaningful launchpad for a better working culture?

It comes down to understanding the intrinsic nature of working and how people feel about their newfound structures. This is a question of human economy.

Whilst COVID-19 is new to us all, navigating what people want and need in the workplace is not new for PLACEmaking. They have been having these conversations for over a decade, and here compile their wisdom on how to approach this brave new world.

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