Workplace 3.0

The pandemic has hit the reset button on the workplace. Businesses have a once-in-a-century opportunity to transform working lives

happy staff working in cafe

Expectations around work and the workplace have fundamentally changed. A year of home-working has proved that it’s possible to work remotely, but is that what people really want? In a somewhat damning indictment of our current workplaces,

87%workers* believe their workplace needs to substantially change after Covid.

*of respondents in our survey of 1,000 office workers

Tomorrow’s workplace must be reimagined to attract people back. It needs to be a destination – a collaborative and social hub inspired by the hospitality world but with space for quiet work. A place that people feel supported however and wherever they choose to work. Visually-attractive and with the latest smart technology, it must reflect organisations’ environmental and social beliefs and their culture while focusing on the wellbeing of occupants. It must be a place that people want to come to or feel they’re missing out. This is what we call Workplace 3.0.

Workplace 3.0 is the ultimate enabler of productivity, a recruitment and retention tool and the key for post-Covid organisational success.

Office social hub with happy employees


The great home-working experiment is over. Choice is the new workplace currency.

Nobody wants to be tied to a desk or their kitchen table from 9-5. People want to be able to choose where and when they work to perform at their best.

The majority of people want a mixture of office and home-working – typically coming into the workplace two to three days a week, according to our research. But choice also extends into where they work once they’re in the office.

Office chairs

The best workplaces provide a variety of work settings to enable people to work where they feel most productive. From quiet zones for concentrated work to collaboration spaces such as formal meeting rooms and flex collaboration space, to desking, storage space and refreshment areas, how the office is laid out is key to people’s performance. Read more about how forward-thinking organisations are using settings including anchor points, outdoor areas and even empty space to transform their post-pandemic workplaces.

Many businesses are looking for more flexibility in their property portfolio too. According to PwC’s Occupier Survey of 258 of the UK largest companies there is likely to be a sizeable fall in occupied office space as major UK employers plan to reduce their office portfolio by up to nine million square feet as they reimagine their post-pandemic portfolio. Whether it’s complementing their city centre offices with regional hubs, using co-working spaces or using managed service spaces for projects, there is an increasing choice of fit-out and workplace options for organisations from the traditional CAT A and Cat B to Cat A+ to tenant-ready plug n play. But what do these terms mean and what are the options? Find out more in our practical guide.

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Covid has integrated our work and home lives. Now we need more balance.

Walking in nature
Employees enjoying work life balance

Workplace 3.0 needs to be a balanced environment which supports people in all aspects of their lives. Organisations which fail to adapt and create that right balance will struggle as their people vote with their feet.

A balanced workplace will support people to lead lives where all aspects of their existence – work, family, friends, hobbies and personal values – feel supported and co-exist. The pandemic has highlighted the negative impacts of an unbalanced workplace – enforced working from home has been difficult for many people resulting in poor mental health, a lack of connection with colleagues, difficulty in collaborating, trouble focusing on concentrated tasks and a range of other stresses.

There needs to be a balance between home and office working so people can benefit and appreciate both environments. But the gains made during Covid of allowing people to see more of their family and friends should not be discarded. A balanced workplace will allow people to bring all aspects of themselves to work. Providing the opportunity for people to work in regional offices rather than commuting in to city-centre locations offers the buzz of an office but with a reduced commute.

The balanced workplace approach supports people of all types and backgrounds including different generations, introverts and extroverts, people at different stages of their career and those with differing caring responsibilities. It helps the new graduate who might be keen to learn by working alongside more experienced people and develop a social network in a new town, as much as it helps the new parent who wants to be able to share the nursery drop-off with their partner so they can see more of their child while also developing their career. Find out how to bring more balance into your working environments.



Most people don’t go to the office to do focused work, they come to collaborate and socialise.

Social contact and the chance to collaborate with colleagues are the top things office workers have missed most from the workplace during Covid according to our research. Workplace 3.0 needs to be a collaborative hub which brings people together and rebuilds lost social capital.

Office workers collaborating with colleagues

Over the past year as most people have worked largely from home, organisational culture – sometimes built up over decades – has been significantly diluted. Without the opportunity to see one another face-to-face, to have ongoing shared experiences in a workplace environment, many employees have started to feel disengaged from their employer. They may have forgotten what makes their organisation unique and why they chose to work for them in the first place.

People missed the social contact of the office

Our research conducted at different points in the pandemic all had one thing in common – people missed the social contact of the office and the ease at which they could collaborate informally with colleagues. Online meetings are just not the same. People enjoy being together – chatting while they work, picking other’s brains in an informal way, the chance to bump into people unexpectedly, the feeling of the ‘energy’ of the team dynamic, and that sense of being part of a greater whole.

Organisations need to focus on rebuilding their cultures and use the workplace as a focus point for bringing people together. And it’s not always about focusing on the obvious areas like collaboration spaces. Our research demonstrates that corridors and staircases – spaces which many organisations pay little attention to, rank highly as areas which help to create and communicate a strong workplace culture. These empty spaces are where many serendipitous conversations take place, where people meet colleagues they might not usually work with, or junior team members have the chance to chat to more senior leaders. These water cooler moments are an essential part of creating an organisation’s culture. How else can organisations use their workplace to boost their culture? Find out more in our short guide.



It’s taken a pandemic to elevate mental health to the top of the corporate agenda. Businesses must now focus on wellbeing.

Natural light for wellbeing in office
Busy office kitchen
Biophilia in office design
Employees in meeting room

Enhanced health and wellness facilities and a focus on wellbeing is office workers’ number one requirement from their post-Covid workplace.

90% The amount of time we spend inside

So it’s little surprise that our health and wellbeing is impacted by the environments in which we live and work. The idea that how a building is designed, constructed and managed impacts on its occupants’ health is not new. What is less appreciated is that a healthy building – one where health, wellness and human experience is integrated into its design and management – can actually improve people’s sense of wellbeing, productivity, engagement and reduce absenteeism. It can also promote confidence in people returning to the office after a long period working at home.

As we spend more than a third of our waking hours at work, office buildings can make people – and therefore the wider organisation itself – healthier. But organisations need to take an holistic approach, integrating people’s physical and mental health requirements through looking at everything from natural light, air quality and noise and temperature levels to encouraging movement and providing the right ergonomic furniture. Explore how you can create a healthier working environment for your employees with our top tips.

While caring for employee wellbeing is the right thing to do, there are also clear business benefits. What’s good for your people is also good for your bottom line.


Smart technology

Today’s office workers are being let down by the technology in their workplaces.

Over a fifth of office workers we quizzed felt that the state of the technology in their office was either mediocre or poor, often failed and was out of date with today’s needs while 41% reported it was average and only just about helped them to get the job done. Businesses need to do better.

Old style telephone

What do workers think of the state of tech in their office?

Poor or average

1 in 5 workers


41% of workers

Over a fifth of office workers we quizzed felt that the state of the technology in their office was either mediocre or poor, often failed and was out of date with today’s needs while 41% reported it was average and only just about helped them to get the job done. Businesses need to do better.

Old fashioned telephone

The role of technology in our working lives rocketed during the pandemic as people used a wide variety of tools to continue to collaborate with colleagues and complete day-to-day tasks as they worked from home. Poor home WiFi was one of the biggest gripes for many with good IT infrastructure coming in fourth in a list of the things that people missed most about the office.

And yet people’s experiences of workplace technology is underwhelming. Advanced workplace technology should be an integral part of a Workplace 3.0 building. It should deliver a seamless, touch-free experience both in the office and enable easy working from home. From entry to exit, a variety of solutions are available to help guide employees and visitors through a building safely and quickly, creating a frictionless and personalised journey through the office that can be shaped around each individual’s unique needs and preferences.

How can integrated workplace technology help your people to work more productively and keep them safe?

Office phone


UK businesses have the opportunity to take a lead on climate change. The workplace is the place to start.

Sustainability in modern london buildings

40% of the UK carbon comes from buildings. But there is no route to net zero without significant changes to our built environment.

Modern London skyline

But with80% of the 2050 building stock already existing, businesses need to upgreen their current workplaces.

It’s not just the planet which benefits from making buildings more sustainable. Good environmental, social and corporate governance (known as ESG) is important to people who work in businesses. In a survey of 1,000 office workers, 62% said it was important that their employer had a demonstrated commitment to being more sustainable. Just 10% said it wasn’t important. As businesses recover from the pandemic, and the war for talent becomes fiercer, ESG metrics and reporting is clearly a business imperative.

It makes good business sense too. More investors are now applying ESG criteria as part of their evaluation process to avoid companies which may pose a greater financial risk due to their poor ESG practices.

The good news is that most businesses are taking this seriously. According to the 24th Annual CEO Survey from PWC, 60 percent of UK business leaders are planning to up their long-term investment in ESG and sustainability initiatives. How they do this is important. Our research shows that office workers are cynical about seeing certificates of environmental achievements and green policies on display. They want to see real, tangible efforts to be more sustainable.

Discover how you can use your workplace to help you reach your net zero goal. Link to ESG white paper.

Want to know more about how to create your Workplace 3.0? Speak to us today.