By James Ainsworth.
I need not repeat the story of 2020; we have all lived our own version of the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges have been unique to us all by virtue of our circumstances; however we were all unified by the Government’s stay-at-home orders, and may continue to be for some time yet as we flit in and out of local and national lockdowns. With the roll-out of the vaccines well underway and thanks to the herculean effort by the network of NHS and volunteers, there is at least light at the end of the tunnel.
The space as a service concept has been embraced by the disrupters such as WeWork, TOG and Spaces, with experience and service at the heart of what they do, particularly by creating a sense of community. While their delivery model doesn’t suit everybody and I do not believe that they are the death knell of traditional leasing that was once anticipated, we do have to take learnings from their customer experience model. This is the major attraction to their space and something that service providers and occupiers alike must look to embrace in order to provide the environment and services required to provide an innovative and vibrant workplace through the 2020s. Some great work is being done, as highlighted by the case studies within the 2017 paper Office Service Standards and Customer Experience also commissioned by the BCO Occupier Group, and there are undoubtedly further examples of the continued evolution of CX within the industry.
Post-Covid, experience will be key, and a picture of excellence in any office or workplace setting will very much focus on innovation in both hard and soft services that create an experience to return for. This is not the death of the office, it is the re-birth.
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