Future Office Competition

Our proposal for The Network Office is a response to the increasing war for talent. It acknowledges that a growing proportion of people today look for three characteristics in their work:

Firstly, to be part of an open network that enables them to interact with the diversity that the city has to offer, a workplace that is connected to the knowledge and community around it and therefore supports people in building their own contact networks and exploring different businesses and patterns of work.

Secondly, to engage in co-working and knowledge share through flexible workspaces that provide choice and serendipitous interactions within and between companies. A more cross-organisational, 24-hour environment.

Thirdly, to incorporate health and wellbeing into their daily work life, considerate of the link between physical and mental health, work performance and happiness.

We believe that people will increasingly use more parts of the city in their daily and weekly routines, seeing it as a network of people, facilities and opportunities that contribute to success in their work. Our proposal is that inspiring and effective offices in 2021 and beyond will need to be restructured in three key ways to support this and therefore attract the best talent:

One: Divide floor space and each occupier lease into dedicated ‘front door’ areas (approx. 25%) and a contribution to shared co-work areas (approx. 75%), the former providing a brand-specific base for each company, the latter allowing staff to use a greater diversity of spaces and for businesses to easily grow, contract and collaborate without relocation.

Two: Utilise the ground floor as an extension of the street, creating a greater connection to the surrounding community, providing a flexible space for brands to interact with the public and each other and for the night-time economy to contribute to the culture of the place and the viability and affordability of shared space.

Three: Provide an infrastructure of facilities that enhance staff health and wellbeing, from cycle facilities, roof gardens, healthy eating and biophilic design that creates a stronger association with nature, to incorporating the places in-between buildings (WIFI-enabled cafes and parks) as part of the expanded office network.

A network of offices across the city that are structured in this way will provide companies and staff with the flexibility to work in multiple locations, engage with a greater variety of people and businesses, more easily adapt to changing market conditions and staff working patterns and enhance health and wellbeing.

The Network Office will attract talent by providing a workplace better integrated with the life of the city, a place of interaction, diversity and the flexibility to support today’s enterprising workforce.