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What is the future of work: WfH or WfO?

About this event

Working from home is not, of course, an option for everyone but, when the pandemic is over and Covid-19 becomes ‘just another virus’ for us to live with, will employers and employees want to revert to the previous ‘office’ model? For those who can, will ‘working from home’, or mostly doing so, become their preferred choice? What are the positive benefits and negative effects of more home working?

Of course, the concept of working from home (WfH) raises a number of questions such as: if regular access to an office building is not required, will people want to live in cities? What is the impact of large scale migration to smaller towns or rural communities? Is WfH more sustainable or is one cost (commuting, offices) transferred to another (home working space, additional home energy use)? What is the impact on real estate when or if office space is considered redundant? An organisation might save money by closing offices but is it more efficient or productive? What are the impacts on people’s mental health when working exclusively from home?

What does it mean in terms of home workspaces and home design? Will many existing office buildings become stranded assets? Will we demand that the buildings we occupy are healthier? What will be the re-use of vacant office space? Will we reject tall towers with dependence on confined spaces i.e. lifts, and mechanical air handling systems. Will we insist on nearby open spaces? Is it time for a rethink on the future of work?

How should ‘work’ respond to our 3 questions on i) what are we learning from our time of lockdown and beyond to change both as individuals and professionals? ii) What do we keep and what do we change in the industry? iii) If we embrace change, what is our vision for the future? If we don’t, what are the risks?

Hear the following talks from our speakers:

Chair: Jason Longhurst

  • Making work ‘work’ for people – home or office? – Ed Houghton
  • Planning the future of office space – impacts on property – Doug Jones
  • What does working from home mean for housing design? – Julia Park
  • Working from Office – implications for office design and use? – Nicola Gillen

This will be followed by a live Q&A session, where you can pose your questions to our experts.

In partnership with:

Webinar chair:

Jason Longhurst, Chairman and Chief Executive, UK Business Council for Sustainable Development (UKBCSD)

Hosted by

  • Guest speaker
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    Jason Longhurst Chairmain and Chief Executive @ UK Business Council for Sustainable Development (UKBCSD)

    Jason was formerly Director of Regeneration and Business, Central Bedfordshire Council, where he led the Regeneration and Business Directorate, developing an integrated approach to investment, development, regeneration, employment and skills, in close partnership with business and industry.

  • Guest speaker
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    Dorte Rich Joergensen Director @ Holistic Sustainability

    Dorte is Director of Holistic Sustainability Ltd, a sustainability consultancy in the built environment. She has extensive experience from working as a sustainability leader and influencer within world-class and global engineering design and consultancy businesses and is a member of the EDGE.

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    Ed Houghton Head of Research and Service Design @ DG Cities

    Ed is Head of Research & Service Design at DG Cities, an urban innovation company specialising in research & consultancy on the future of cities and the future of work. He is an environmental engineer and social scientist, interested in data, technology, sustainability and evidence-based practice.

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    Doug Jones Senior Director @ CBRE

    Doug has 20 years of experience advising corporate real estate occupiers. He is a leader of outsourced CRE contracts; heads multi-workstream strategic engagements; and is an advocate of utilising better ways of working to mitigate cost, enhance productivity, and create competitive advantage.

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    Julia Park Head of Housing Research @ Levitt Bernstein

    As an experienced architect and head of housing research at Levitt Bernstein, Julia combines many years of practical design work with a large body of research. She has written numerous design guides, reports and publications; including co-authoring the first HAPPI report in 2009.

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    Nicola Gillen Head of Total Workplace EMEA @ Cushman Wakefield

    Nicola leads Total Workplace for Cushman and Wakefield in EMEA. She specialises in the relationship between design, behaviour & the built environment. An architect and author, Nicola is widely recognised within the industry as a leading authority on workplace strategy, design and change management.