Workplace professionals have a ‘special opportunity’ to reshape the future workplace, according to presenter, writer and comedian Timandra Harkness.
Harkness, who is a regular reporter on BBC Radio 4’s Human Zoo, told online attendees of the IWFM conference last week that the opportunity is there for people ‘whose job it is to design and make workplace experiences happen’.
She said: “My prediction is that this great appetite for working from home will start to wane when the novelty wears off.
“There’s a danger that instead of working from home, you live at work and work never really stops.”
Harkness urged firms to continue investing in solutions which facilitate workplace interactions, instead of concluding that it just uses up ‘extra expenses and space’.
“While the rest of us are oblivious, [workplace professionals] think about what makes people want to go to a shared workspace - things like spontaneous interactions around the coffee machine.”
Harkness compared the traditional office to CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Switzerland, which despite the highly technical nature of its work, is just as equally influenced by social interactions.
“Hundreds of scientists and engineers, who will be really excited to come and work [at CERN] on these projects - the whole thing is centred on the cafeteria and on the coffee machines,” said Harkness.
“The most important thing that happens there is that the people meet and they meet in unplanned ways.”
The IWFM conference content is available to view on demand throughout the remainder of 2020. For full programme details, click here.