People no longer just go to work to work following the pandemic.
That’s the view of Will Lewis, director of OBI Property, at BusinessCloud’s latest business breakfast ‘Why employers have to raise the bar in the modern workforce’.
The event was held at in conjunction with pro-manchester and was hosted at the offices of law firm Trowers & Hamlins.
Will Lewis has helped secure some of the biggest occupiers to Manchester and said Covid-19 had ripped up the rule book.
“Previously the office was somewhere for people to turn up and undertake their job,” he said. “Covid has turned it on its head.
“Many businesses have changed the function of the office to use it as a place for cultural, social and for collaboration.
“Where people undertake their work could be anywhere. People like to bag the option of working where they want.
‘People do want flexibility. In reality people still go into the office every day but they still like that flexibility for those days when they want to work from home. Each business is very different.
“In terms of the future of the workplace it’s almost too early to tell. Those people who have gone very early may have made a mistake.
“Certain occupiers have downsized quite aggressively when this (Covid) was in its infancy. Will it revert to type? Probably not but certain sectors are embracing the office more than others.
“How do you mentor, educate and train young talent if you’re not sat next to them?”
Wayne Bennett, director of Fairmont Recruitment, told the audience that companies and applicants had to think carefully about recruitment.
“Whether you’re an employee or an employer you have to know what you want before you start the journey,” he said. “Have an idea of where you would like to go.
“The pandemic has forced people to evaluate their work life balance and how work fits in rather than the other way round. That’s what has changed. I think it will balance out.”
George Tilbury, commercial manager, ADT Workplace, helped advise Autocab on their recent move to Circle Square.
“The office is about getting people together and bringing people together,” he said.
“You’re still going to have to provide the basics of the office. The key word is agility.
“We need to try and bring to the table our expertise and show occupiers what we can do and what others are doing.
“We need to ask them ‘what do your staff want and why? What do you need to get your staff back in the office?”
The other speakers were Lucy Sunner, head of culture at Autocab; Ian Makin, co-founder and head of secure software at Naimuril; and Laura Herbert, head of people at Apadmi.
The event was hosted by BusinessCloud’s executive editor Chris Maguire.