A huge thank you to all of our listeners today - we had a great discussion and I'm grateful to Anna Scally, Philip Ross and Emma Richardson for joining me.
We will be following up with replies to some of the questions raised during the session, but in the meantime, here are our top tips to takeaway:
- Review your current lease and ask your lawyer to give you a quick call to discuss your options – know where you stand legally so you can take stock. It’s also worth getting copies of the buildings insurance policy to see if there’s business interruption cover. Contact Lewis Silkin if you need any further help or guidance with this.
- Negotiate as much flexibility into your lease as possible. This could include: shorter terms with options to renew; rolling break rights; fewer restrictions on assignment; more freedom around alterations; or parent company or bank guarantees rather than a rent deposit to free up cash.
- Plan ahead – the pandemic has taught businesses that major problems can happen. Will the space you are taking be fit for purpose in 5 / 10 years’ time – there are things you can do now to help future proof from a legal perspective. We briefly discussed the composite deals with flex operators that have mutual expansion and contraction rights. Do you need this much square footage, or will it be surplus? You should factor in growth and more working from home, so capacity for a 5 day office-working week for all employees may no longer be necessary, but balance that against social distancing.
- Gather your data – what do your employees want in terms of working patterns, what does your leadership want, can you meet client expectations?
- Review your flexible working, handbook and other policies – are they future proof?
- Culture – think about how the last 12 months has impacted on the culture of the agency, are you OK with where you are and what you might need to do to re-balance going forward?
- Use the time now to explore - what do you do? What do the various Business Units / Teams do and how do they work?
- Not everything needs to change at once - experiment to see what works and what doesn't… and be prepared to listen, learn and adapt.
- New facilities need new ways of thinking about how the space is managed.
- Data should drive decisions - people should be enabled to have a great day at work through a workplace App. UnWork can help analyse workplace data and suggest the best workplace Apps…
- Embrace diversity and inclusion - we have a unique opportunity to embrace diversity and inclusion by re-imagining the workplace to provide choice and variety of experience and not one-size-fits-all – creative space needs to be based on ABC: activity-based-clusters.
- Wellbeing will be high on the agenda - re-balancing workspace with fewer desks and more amenity will re-align purpose. Enabling a ‘smart workspace’ can provide the measurement, data and insights needed for this.
If you have further questions for any of our panellists, please don't hesitate to get in touch with me: firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll be happy to pass on your message.
Join us as we discuss the three pillars of People, Place and Technology, as we look into the future of work and how we expect creative agencies will design and operate work spaces in the years ahead, as well as looking at recent examples, some to inspire and others to take as a cautionary tale.