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BBC article - Office sauna: Must-have or hot air?

Philip Ross CEO and Founder of UnGroup and Cordless Group contributed to a BBC article looking at how the modern office can attract people to commute and travel into the office.

In the article, Philip says that the modern office needs to be fluid. A small, start-up tech firm can quite easily make their office attractive to the young worker, but what about bigger, more traditional companies?

Many staff can carry the contents of their desk around with them, usually digitally on a laptop. Young tech-savvy staff, particularly, can work anywhere so why bother getting on a packed bus or sit in a traffic jam to get to a chicken-coop office?

"As a place for people, both employees and clients, it has to work hard to pull people in - there needs to be a compelling reason to come to work," UnWork says in a report about a recent project for a business in New York.

The office priorities for staff were "air quality, daylight, good acoustics, great coffee and food". The motivation for the business was a 30% cut in property costs per person, by using the space more efficiently.

Some of the vocabulary about modern offices - such as "app-centric workplace" and "collision coefficient" - may raise eyebrows among your average office worker.

Yet, the logic behind the lexicon is worth a closer look.

Mr Ross says that offices should allow people to move around and work with those engaged in the same "activities". The design of a building should encourage people to communicate in person, rather than by email or in formal meetings.

Meanwhile, an office app may suggest who in an organisation is free for lunch at the same time. Then, it will point out which of them are working on a similar project. Alternatively it may highlight that some have the same interests, such as running marathons, and match-make them for lunch.

Peak team?

However, Mr Ross argues that, among tech start-ups in particular, there has been a "rush to collaboration". The trend towards shared space means it can be difficult to find anywhere for staff to quietly get work done on their own.

In the end, he says, there needs to be areas of an office to fit different types of work.

To read the full article, go to the BBC website

Date: Thu, 18 May 2017 14:37:34 +0100 GMT

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