What does the future of the office look like in a post-COVID world?
Nathan Doughty, Asite CEO, was a contributor on a thought-provoking roundtable discussion hosted by our partners, Raconteur Media, on the 8 June 2021. The discussion explored the ‘future office’, delving into our changing workforce and how business performance is linked to the integration and operability of their systems.
The moderator for the event was Duncan Jeffries, with guest speakers as follows:
Nathan Doughty - Asite CEO
Nicola Millard - BT Principal innovation partner
Steve McGregor - DMA Group, Group MD
Paul Pavia - MEPC Head of Development
Tomas Jurdak - Middlecap Head of Real Estate
The pandemic has had a radical impact on the role and importance of the connected business, with vast amounts of workers beginning to operate remotely. As businesses begin to look to the future of a post-pandemic world, processes will once again change and it is important to assess the way in which the built environment may impact this.
The roundtable addressed the connectivity requirements of the post-pandemic office, exploring what technologies will be key to evolving commercial space for business connectivity in the long term. Nathan answered a variety of questions around this area, providing insight from his experiences with Asite:
How has Asite reimagined the office in light of the pandemic?
'For us, a big factor in recruitment historically was how far away someone was from London. But we’ve realised that, when everyone works at home or they need to come in only once or twice a week, it doesn’t matter where they are'.
Can sensors and other technologies help to ensure that the future office is more sustainable?
Nathan discussed how the construction industry can ensure that future office developments meet the needs of both asset owners and users, as well as the possibility of digital twins leading to the development of self-maintaining buildings.
Speaking on this point, Nathan said:
'It is important to track what products you put into a building in the first place – something might work fine today, but not necessarily 10 years from now. One of the biggest issues we have in the built environment is that you do something, you move on and nothing is recorded. Building information modelling and digital twinning, which enable digital records to be associated with corresponding physical items, can help to solve that.'
What other trends and technologies might shape the office over the next decade?
Nathan highlights the importance of utilizing data throughout whatever practices and technologies you plan to implement in your business, maintaining a golden thread of information throughout.
'When you talk about sensors and real-time linking between a three-dimensional model and a physical asset, the important thing here is data. So there needs to be a golden thread of information running right from the design and construction of a building through to delivery and operations.'
As of the 21st of June, the Connected Business report, which was produced by Raconteur in association with The Times, is available to read and includes an in-depth write-up of the roundtable.
To read the rest of the report - click here.