One of the most profound and possibly long-lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is the change in the way people work – especially those who were working in open-plan offices. “WFH” has become a familiar acronym as people discover all the joys and the challenges of distributed, solo working from home.
As we consider coming together in shared spaces again, the big question is – does the traditional office have a future? And if so, what is it?
Professor Jeremy Myerson holds the Helen Hamlyn Chair of Design at the Royal College of Art in London. He’s a writer, a researcher, a speaker, and an expert who focuses on design, especially in the workplace. He’s written more than a dozen books about various aspects of design and the office, including New Demographics New Workspace: Office Design for the Changing Workforce. Jeremy is the Director of WORKTECH Academy, the world’s leading online knowledge platform and member network exploring the future of work and the workplace and sits on the international advisory boards of design institutes in South Korea, Switzerland, and Hong Kong. He has also been recognized as one of Britain’s 100 Most Influential People in Digital Technology by Wired Magazine.
Jeremy joins me today to explore what the future may hold for the office workplace. We discuss how office efficiency has evolved since the early 20th century and why efficiency optimization is still a driving principle for many workplace environments. We discuss how the office environment evolved from focusing on efficiency to working as a community and how this evolution aided in current workplace trends like activity-based working and working from home. We discuss the benefits and disadvantages of working in a traditional office environment and working from home and how the COVID crisis has redefined our definition of what an office location is for. Jeremy also shares what he believes the ‘Office of the Future’ will look like in the post-COVID world.
“We’ve got to keep a sense of proportion about the future of the workplace. It’s not going to disappear – but it is going to change.”Jeremy Myerson
This week on the Sound Business Podcast:
- The history of the office workplace and how workplaces have transitioned over the years
- How office efficiency and efficiency theory have evolved since the dawn of the 20th century
- Why efficiency management and efficiency optimization is still a driving principle in today’s workplace environment
- The birth of the modern office
- How the COVID pandemic has impacted the current workplace trends
- Comparing the different types of office spaces in the social democratic phase and the network office phase of the workplace
- The benefits of working in a traditional office space
- The benefits and drawbacks of remote working
- Why it’s crucial to set realistic boundaries while working from home
- What Jeremy believes the post-COVID office will look like
- The Curse of Open Plan – BBC Documentary
Connect with Jeremy Myerson:
- WORKTECH Academy
- WORKTECH Academy on LinkedIn
- WORKTECH Academy on Facebook
- WORKTECH Academy on Twitter
- Jeremy Myerson on LinkedIn