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Reimagining the office and how we work

The world is currently experiencing unprecedented changes and challenges, with working from home highlighting opportunities, limitations, and possible implications for the future. In tandem, this shift has generated a societal shift in values, while offering more clarity on the benefits—and indeed the necessity—of physical, communal spaces that bring people together to live, work and play.

As restrictions begin to lift, and life begins transitioning back into the physical workplace, we can re-envision our offices to reflect these societal shifts and the evolving convergence of life into less siloed spaces. This requires both a pragmatic and personal approach, while also ensuring safety, optimising wellness, and promoting sustainability.

Sheppard Robson and ID:SR are passionate about understanding this transition, with the below research, guidelines, case-studies and commentary highlighting how we envision designing the workplaces of the future.

It’s so tempting to make bold claims about revolutions in the office, but I think we are more likely to see accelerated evolution of the themes we were seeing in the workplace before the pandemic – flexibility and a choice of how and where to work.

Helen Berresford RIBA

Partner, Head of ID:SR

The office will continue to be a vital part of our lives. In an interview with Dezeen's Tom Ravenscroft, Helen Berresford, Partner and Head of ID:SR, discusses how the coronavirus pandemic will not kill the office, but instead we will still see some striking changes when we return to work.

The office will continue to be a vital part of our lives. In an interview with Dezeen's Tom Ravenscroft, Helen Berresford, Partner and Head of ID:SR, discusses how the coronavirus pandemic will not kill the office, but instead we will still see some striking changes when we return to work.

"We are experiencing significant changes in many aspects of city life, not least our office culture and how, when and where we work" writes Helen Berresford for Property Week.

"We are experiencing significant changes in many aspects of city life, not least our office culture and how, when and where we work" writes Helen Berresford for Property Week.

"As built-environment professionals, we should be championing the value of the office to our daily lives. We have spent our careers observing how offices can be effective and, if done correctly, create value by harnessing the power of good design," Helen Berresford writes for Property Week.

"As built-environment professionals, we should be championing the value of the office to our daily lives. We have spent our careers observing how offices can be effective and, if done correctly, create value by harnessing the power of good design," Helen Berresford writes for Property Week.

Helen Berresford, Partner and Head of ID:SR, writes for Property Week about how the prolonged period of working from home (WFH) induced by COVID-19 may affect the future of workplace design.

Helen Berresford, Partner and Head of ID:SR, writes for Property Week about how the prolonged period of working from home (WFH) induced by COVID-19 may affect the future of workplace design.

Alan Bainbridge, Director of Workplace and Corporate Real Estate at the BBC, writes for Property Week about working with ID:SR to reoccupy the BBC's offices, building on the idea of creating legible, intuitive internal masterplans within buildings to minimise the risks that Covid-19 presents. "In my time at the BBC, I have led many highly complex change programmes. Our reoccupation strategy during the Covid-19 pandemic has brought a unique set of challenges and high-pressure timeframes."

Alan Bainbridge, Director of Workplace and Corporate Real Estate at the BBC, writes for Property Week about working with ID:SR to reoccupy the BBC's offices, building on the idea of creating legible, intuitive internal masterplans within buildings to minimise the risks that Covid-19 presents. "In my time at the BBC, I have led many highly complex change programmes. Our reoccupation strategy during the Covid-19 pandemic has brought a unique set of challenges and high-pressure timeframes."

Helen Berresford speaks to David Taylor of the New London Quarterly on what office reoccupation may look like, commenting "there has to be more flexibility of occupancy to make the most of that central organisation and to get more people into the central office."

Helen Berresford speaks to David Taylor of the New London Quarterly on what office reoccupation may look like, commenting "there has to be more flexibility of occupancy to make the most of that central organisation and to get more people into the central office."

SR reflects on… How will prolonged WFH impact office design? Will working from home become more popular thus fundamentally change the way we use offices? Will people appreciate the office as a social hub more—if so, how will spaces adapt to cater for this? Or perhaps you think that nothing will really change in the long-term? Here we share a few of our thoughts.