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FEATURE


THE HUB AND SPOKE MODEL


The office is not dead, it is just decentralising, suggests Emma Long, Managing Director of the North at BizSpace, as she talks us through the post-pandemic future for corporate workspaces.


The Coronavirus pandemic has forced a sea change in everyday working norms. Conferences have been replaced by conference calls, team meetings are now Microsoft Teams meetings and chats across the office have been replaced by threads on Slack. Many have posited whether the British workforce’s ability to adapt to these remote working patterns, in many cases very successfully, has heralded the end of the office. This could not be further from the truth.


There can be no doubt that the way we work in the wake of the pandemic will fundamentally change, but the office is not dead, it is just decentralising. Office closures have prompted businesses to work in more footloose and agile ways.


As corporates look to cater to the 61% of desk-based workers wanting to work from home more following the pandemic, a host of new safety requirements and the financial pressures of COVID-19, there will be a shift away from the traditional city-centre HQs towards a hub and spoke office footprint.


42 | TOMORROW’S FM


A new era in working While some businesses and workers have adapted well to lockdown working, others have felt the impact of worker isolation and disrupted communications on productivity and team wellbeing. In fact, 38% of workers report that lockdown has negatively impacted their wellbeing, while the British Council for Offices has seen a significant spike in musculoskeletal complaints. A further 42% of workers have reported an increase in distractions at home, while productivity across the UK economy fell by over 21% in Q2 this year – undoing all productivity growth since 1997.


Ultimately, it seems that universal remote working is not a sustainable option for businesses or people. So, it should come as no surprise that research from Cushman & Wakefield estimates that demand for office space in Europe could return to robust pre-pandemic levels over the next two years. However, it is dense urban areas, a


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