12 Jan 2018

2018 preview: Expert forecasts including Richard Kauntze and Ken Shuttleworth in Property Week

Read the full 2018 preview: Expert forecasts including Richard Kauntze and Ken Shuttleworth in Property Week.

Richard Kauntze
Chief executive, British Council for O­ffices

"I hope to see the industry continuing to drive the debate around the positive role the workplace can play in the prosperity of UK business. In times of economic and political uncertainty, it’s more important than ever that we understand and demonstrate how the right workplace can add value to a business, rather than being viewed simply as a cost. An exemplary o­ffice can strengthen a ‑ firm’s brand and reputation, and help drive more e­fficient and productive working.

I expect to see the conversation around health and wellness in the workplace increase and become more sophisticated. The line between our work and personal lives has long been blurred, but there is now broader recognition that addressing this, and improving employee health and wellness, will be a key factor in helping to solve the UK’s productivity puzzle. Consequently, there will be a need to develop more effective ways of measuring employee health and wellness. This should allow us, as an industry, to become better equipped at designing healthy workplaces that encourage wellness and facilitate productive working.

Resolution - To focus on the issue of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. We want to play a greater role in this debate and, as such, have chosen the issue as the theme of our annual conference, which for 2018 will be in Berlin. We’ll be interrogating how o­ffice environments can help progress the diversity agendas of their occupants, and how we can ensure the workplaces we are creating embrace and engage all employees."

Ken Shuttleworth
Founder, Make Architects (and BCO President)

"I’ve been very inspired by some of the buildings delivered in London this year; my hope is that these don’t dry up as the country braces itself for Brexit. The temptation is to batten down the hatches, but, to my mind, it is now more important than ever to show the world we intend to stay a global hub for business and will continue to create market leading commercial stock to accommodate firms that want to be part of that.

I think we’ll see much more around the issues of wellness and their natural spin-offs into coworking and co-living as we look to create inspirational, comfortable and adaptable places in which to work and live. It is fascinating how technology is playing such a role in shaping our built environment, and collaboration to design buildings and spaces will become ever more important to facilitate this. I’m really looking forward to the BCO Berlin conference and its focus on diversity. Never more important than now.

Resolution - We’re strategising at Make for the next 12 to 18 months and it’s so interesting to see what different people view as being a real focus and passion for them. All different, all important, all showing where their talents and strengths lie. My resolution is to try and help facilitate this wherever possible and, for Make, to grow our international profile and portfolio."

As seen in Property Week.