This is one of my forward-looking posts where I report on a possible future trend. I will admit that most of these type posts don’t just suddenly spring to mind; most actually happen because of something I read about the subject. This is one of those.
We will end up learning many new things from the year+ long pandemic. Some will teach us lessons and strategies to change going forward. Some will teach us just how ignorant many of us are, some dangerously so. 😣 This post is about the former, not the latter.
If you want to see the pre-pandemic 21st century business community just look at the tech giants. Apple just finished a circular headquarters that cost $5 billion and accommodates 12,500 employees. Google’s cost about $3 billion and houses about the same number of employees. In the post-pandemic business environment it that $8 billion pretty much looks like wasted money.
One thing we have learned from this version of pandemic is that we all don’t have to work together in the same building at the same time all the time. All it takes is a multi-cloud, multi-platform environment and maybe a few days a week of face-to-face collaboration. Even Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple admits:
He doesn’t believe Apple will “return to the way we were because we’ve found that there are some things that actually work really well virtually.”
He went on to say that working in office space sparks creativity so some non-virtual together time is needed.
Too bad he didn’t come to this realization before the new headquarters was built. 🥴 He could have saved a few billion with a smaller place. Anyway, getting to the main point of this post, it looks like many large businesses will two-day “at the office” policy. That is they will go to the workplace two days a week for collaboration and brainstorming type creativity and do the rest of the workweek virtually.
I don’t think private business will copy the public sector in leaving building space vacant for almost half the year as our public schools presently are. Instead, they will work on the idea of “shared office space”. Instead of owning their own massive complexes for full-time occupancy they will either open their buildings up to other corporations. Or maybe they will just be part of a shared building leased from someone else.
I know there are some serious logistics involved in this type of environment but nothing that a good algorithm can’t solve. Corporate Headquarters will then down scale in size and probably up in elegance.
Something to think about…