23 September 2020

The Future of Work: Is the city dying?

Last week, an article in the Financial Times titled Bosses predict permanent shift in working and an evolution for cities explored the future of work in cities and whether COVID-19 and the mass adoption of home-working has destroyed city working for good.

With contributions from prominent city-dwelling bosses - such as Sir Win Bischoff, former Chairman of Lloyds, Jean Pierre Mustier, Chief Executive of UniCredit, Anne Richards, Chief Executive of Fidelity International, Sir Douglas Flint, Chairman of Standard Life Aberdeen and Paul Manduca, Chair of Prudential, and more - Thomas set out to answer the three urgent questions on employers’ lips...

Is home-working here to stay? How will the office change and will we need so many? And are big cities in danger?

“Bosses in the City of London predict there will be a fundamental shift in how their companies will use offices in the future, with greater flexibility set to stay after the pandemic ends,” wrote Daniel Thomas in the article.

“As white collar staff slowly trickle back to their workplaces, members of the FT’s City Network, a forum of more than 50 senior executives, argue that Covid-19 will have a long-term impact on office life — but believe that city centres will adapt and thrive to the new ways of working.”

Khalid Aziz, Marketing Director at BizSpace, responded to the Financial Times: “As your piece rightly points out, the shift to remote working in lockdown has shown businesses that a more flexible and footloose approach can work just as well, if not better, than city centre HQs (‘Bosses predict permanent shift in working and an evolution for cities’,”

“Although, for some, the shift to remote working has been positive, it has also been shrouded in sacrifices for others, from increasing distractions and blurred work-life boundaries to a lack of interaction and strained communication.”

“Most workers still want office space, they just want it closer to home and with greater flexibility.”

“So, it will not be the death knell for the office, as some argue, but COVID-19 will be the catalyst for major decentralisation of office space. As people adjust to working in more agile ways, a hub and spoke model is the obvious next step: smaller central HQs and a network of regional flexible workspaces.”

“Your article questions whether we can keep people motivated and energised working from home in the long term. The simple truth is that, without more flexible and easily accessible regional workspaces, we can’t.”

Are you looking to escape the city and source a flexible regional workspace? Take a look at our centres nationwide and speak to one of our centre managers.


Jen Latimer