At the start of 2020, we were looking at the gradual change to our working lives - from proposals of a four-day week at the last election to the recruitment expectations of Generation Z as some of them hit their mid-20s. Then, Covid 19 happened.
Businesses, of every size, shape and sector, have been looking hard at viability, overheads, workforce health and what rapid adaptations are needed in a crisis. Millions of square feet of shiny office and retail space have been left empty for months. Factories and theatres have been managed from people’s spare bedrooms. We’re easing back into a life less ordinary - but we can’t put all of this back in the box. Can we?
Some businesses think that digital decentralisation is the future. Others cannot wait to get the team back together, feeding off of the energy in a shared space. Some businesses have no choice.
In Brighton - the home working capital of the UK - good commercial space is an expensive premium; so perhaps we were just ahead of the curve. But in Brighton, Hove and surrounding towns, we’ve got some of the best co-working space in the world as well as major capital projects setting to revolutionise physical homes for innovation, creativity and growth. Can we have both?
At this next Big Debate, we’ll be exploring and discussing the future of the office in the city, and whether the last four months has made critical decisions easier or more difficult.
Richard Freeman, CEO always possible