The global pandemic changed everything in 2020. Now it is going to change everything forever. In the “The Future of” series, BNN Bloomberg looks at what is next for our transformed economy and daily lives. For their examination of The Future of Cities they spoke with people like Richard Florida, and CSI CEO Tonya Surman. Here is an excerpt:
Tonya Surman, CEO of the Centre for Social Innovation, says she thinks the office of the future will resemble the co-working model her organization first brought to Canada 15 years ago, which companies like WeWork have since taken mainstream.
“Community is going to become even more important,” she says. Smaller employers, in particular, will downsize but maintain enough space so staff can come in a few times a week, hold meetings, train staff and reconnect.
“The whole idea of separating work from home, the way we did in the industrial revolution, and enduring long commutes is starting to finally at long last decline.”
Florida agrees office designs will have more of a focus on common spaces and collaboration. “The office as workspace — where you have a desk or a cubicle — will give way to the office as meeting space or interaction space,” he says, adding that there will be spaces for people to work out, do yoga or meditate, and more outdoor spaces for people to congregate.
And for those whose employer decides to go completely virtual or move to the suburbs to avoid the high cost of downtown commercial real estate, niche third-party co-working spaces such as CSI will fill the void, says Surman. Where CSI provides networking and business development opportunities for individuals who want to make the world better, other co-working spaces will become networking hubs for communities with other personal or professional interests, she says.
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