Re-imagining the office

If you ever had to re-imagine the office post-Covid-19, how would you do it?

Personally, I think a very interesting opportunity lies in getting the answer right to the above question. And I am pretty sure, it won’t be easy.

Look at it this way;

Many companies have already stated that their going to offer work-from-home as an option going forward and as a result are letting go of office space. Some companies have even abandoned the office altogether.

At the other end of the spectrum, many people are reeling from being socially secluded and not being able to have in person interactions with colleagues and co-workers. While distance is great for some, closeness and togetherness is life’s salt for others.

Then add in the pre-pandemic office and it’s rather mundane interior design and commodity perks (fussball tables, Friday bar etc) seeming rather dated and boring by now and ready for the total revamp.

And then – and then – potentially add in some nifty new tech.

What you have is a super interesting cocktail of ingredients that could potentially make up a very interesting and tasty recipe for the Future of (On Premise) Work.

And my gut feeling is that the ones who get this right – probably from starting all over reimagining the experience, function and most important feeling of the future office – will have a golden opportunity.


The WFH degree

Today Danish applicants for higher education get a letter saying whether they got into the education and institution of their dreams. Or not.

I don’t envy them.

Back when I studied at the Danish School of Journalism it was good times. No need for a grade point average; a grueling Saturday test decided who got in, and who did not. On average 15 percent got the nod. The rest didn’t. Once in it was good fun and super interesting – and an enormous opportunity to meet and engage will all kinds of fellow students from all walks of life.

Today, what is there to look forward to?

Endless Zoom classes? Lack of a social life with fellow students? Inability to feel the environment and get the most out of the network, the other students and the opportunities that present themselves once you get engulfed by it?

It sucks, right?

And it sounds an awful lot like the ‘Working From Home’ (WHF) concept, doesn’t it?

It does.

And it is so ironic, it’s beyond words.

What the students are already complaining about now – having to be all remote, suspect quality of the classes being taught via video, a lack of the university experience and fellow students – are essentially the same things we’re so busy hyping as the next big thing about WFH.

Studying is work.

Work is also studying.

If we say that we understand and are sympathetic to the complaints of the students about the quality of the education they are about to embark on due to these new circumstances, we should also – as a MINIMUM – put serious question marks on the impacts on quality, innovation and such on a WFH future, before we just jump right in as headless chicken.

I have little doubt, we will fail to make that calculation. And that companies and the ability to innovate will suffer because of it.