Do you miss the office? What do you miss about it? What don’t you miss? Pre-pandemic, the workplace was in evolution, but after the last year, its entire form and very function have to be rethought and brought into the future. In this new podcast from real estate investment firm Ivanhoé Cambridge, a global roster of experts—architects, CEOs, organizational behavioralists, data scientists and more—wrangle over the future of the workplace. What do we want from an office? Lead by workspace design expert Annie Bergeron, they'll talk about tech and productivity, collaboration and community, and why it's so important you feel good at work. This series is produced by Sid Lee.
The Users of Tomorrow
As companies plan for their big comeback, the future of the office is a much-needed discussion for companies and their employees, especially the next generation. In this final episode of our series, we turn to the leaders of tomorrow — young Gen Y professionals — and ask them what their ideal vision of a post-pandemic office is. Joining us to share their ideas are Felicia Empey, Head of Internal Communications at Robert Half, a Canadian recruitment agency; Gentry Bennett, Senior Internal Communications Specialist at Blue Shield of California; and Eelynn Chow, Investment and Asset Manager at Ivanhoe Cambridge in Hong Kong.
Collaboration and productivity
According to the research (and Zoom happy hours the world over) we’re putting in longer hours, attending more meetings but doing less good work during all that time at the kitchen table—“half-work,“ in the words of one of our guests. As we rethink the office, what role can it play in helping to restore balance? And what’s at stake if we don’t? In today’s episode, we’re joined by Cindy Fagen, Managing Director of enterprise software firm, SAP Labs Canada; Anne Helen Petersen, journalist and co-author of the forthcoming book Out of Office: The Big Problem and Bigger Promise of Working From Home; and Jonathan Pearce, Executive Vice President, Leasing and Development, Office and Industrial, North America, Ivanhoé Cambridge.
Everyone seems to agree—flexibility will be key to the future of work. But what about the future of workplaces? Office buildings, often tens of thousands of vertically stacked square feet, are made of concrete and steel and other inflexible materials. How can we reimagine these behemoths to accommodate a more flexible way of working? With us for this episode is Vered Gindi, owner of Gindi Studio Architects, whose team recently completed work on Microsoft’s brand new Tel Aviv campus; Arjun Kaicker, head of analytics and insights at Zaha Hadid Architects; and Stéphane Villemain, vice president of corporate social responsibility with Ivanhoé Cambridge.
Connection and Community
For over a year, our work communities have been without a physical home. The impact on company culture—and who we’re connecting with, and why—has been complex, to say the least. As we start to think about returning to the office, how can we reimagine the workplace as a more welcoming and inclusive community hub? Joining us for this episode is David Steinbach, global chief investment officer and co-head of investment management at real estate leader Hines; Dr. Pragya Agarwal, an award-winning behavioural scientist, data scientist, inclusivity and diversity consultant, journalist and speaker; and Sylvain Fortier, Ivanhoé Cambridge’s Chief Investment and Innovation Officer.
Technology and Innovation
More than ever, how we work will be driven by technology. So what can we expect in the years to come? We'll try to gain some insight by looking at what’s happening now in high-tech offices. With us to think it through: Jennifer Magnolfi Astill, architect and founder of Programmable Habitats; Ken Caplan, Global Co-head of Blackstone Real Estate; and Sylvain Fortier, Ivanhoé Cambridge’s Chief Investment and Innovation Officer.
Do You Miss the Office?
That’s the question host and workplace designer Annie Bergeron puts to guest Sylvain Fortier, Ivanhoé Cambridge’s Chief Investment and Innovation Officer, to kick off this new podcast series on the future of the office. For Sylvain, like for many of us, it’s the people and the chance encounters he misses most. So how can we reimagine post-Covid workplaces around humans and the way we interact, create and collaborate? And how do we do it safely?