People - Real estate - IT

People - Real estate - IT

Aberley reflections : Will the office ever be used on a Friday again?

Tuesday 31 March, 2020

We have been taking a look back through our extensive utilisation study database as part of a client question about working from home (and with over 14M points of data there’s a lot to go through). We all realise that working from home has largely centred around the ‘fall off Friday’ pattern over the last few years.

As part of our current projects, clients have been discussing with us whether we design a workspace - and associated ratios - around that current pattern (so plan for Monday-Thursday utilisation), or to have a broader organisational discussion on whether working from home should be (pretty much) on a Friday or more spread through the week? Simply put, is it fine as custom and practice or should there be a strategic business decision on home working?

Now you probably realise that these discussions were taking place a few weeks ago.

Or, to put it another way, only a few weeks ago. The landscape has shifted somewhat in that time.

However, the question is even more important as we think about the workplace and what sort of custom and practice we are going to return to. Do we pick up where we left off? Or will our collective expectations have changed so much that the idea of the Friday WFH no longer applies? Will Thursday be the new Friday?

Or will Saturday be the new Monday? OK, that sounds strange for a European model….but does even the idea of a ‘working week’ start to fracture a little more as we might have realised that when we had the ability to choose (and really choose) how and when we wanted to work, that the concept of even Monday-Friday started to look a little…..historical?

There will be a lot of discussion about working patterns, utilisation, commuting, travel and subsequent technology and real estate requirements as part of the efficiency and economic conversation moving forward for sure and in conjunction with workplace and employee experience, sense of community, purpose and belonging and the environmental and sustainability impacts it is a very wide-ranging debate indeed.

We look forward to it.  

The office has left the building.  

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