Another priority must be to enable the kind of social interaction that can help overcome feelings of isolation and loneliness, while also fostering collaboration and creativity.
According to Andrew Cooke of Bruntwood Works, the workplace will still have an important role to play in this area.
He told the panel how inspiring workplaces can be a catalyst for connection and collaboration in a way that videoconferencing can’t and that, in the future, a hybrid of home and office working will be the best way forward.
He said: “Collaboration can be done remotely, but we’re all social animals and platforms like Zoom can’t replicate the buzz that comes with face-to-face interaction.
“People want to be socially and culturally stimulated by spaces and the workplace is a very sharp tool for encouraging this.”
And workplaces can be optimised for the health and wellbeing of the people who work there in a way that most people can’t replicate at home.
Andrew said Bruntwood Works is exploring how technology can further enhance the office space – sensors to measure CO2 levels and enhance air quality in its offices, and circadian lighting that is proven to have a positive impact on health, wellbeing mood and productivity. The lighting helps to support a natural environment by regulating a 24-hour cycle of sleep, wake, hunger, alertness, hormone release in the same way real sunlight does.