What was The Buzz in September?

Our monthly roundup of real estate industry news.

It’s been a busy month of events, you’ll have seen our posts on GCUC and FlexWorld in London, as well as London Design Festival. GWA FlexForward was also held in the US and the BCO Presidents lunch took place at the Guildhall in London.

Our client LiquidSpace, and their partners OfficeRnD, announced the launch of Hybrid Anywhere, the first and only hybrid workplace solution that brings together a global marketplace of on-demand co-working spaces, with a company’s office portfolio, on one simple platform. Employees can now seamlessly plan their work, coordinate with colleagues, and reserve the best workspace for them. https://liquidspace.com/hybrid-anywhere

Amazon has embraced remote and hybrid work with no plans to force workers to return to the office. Amazon CEO Andy Jassy, said: “We don’t have a plan to require people to come back. We’re going to proceed adaptively as we learn.” https://www.cnbc.com/2022/09/07/andy-jassy-says-he-wont-force-amazon-workers-to-return-to-the-office.html

Yvon Chouinard forfeited ownership of his company Patagonia, valued at $3 billion, to a specially designed trust and a non-profit organisation. All profits now will be used to combat climate change and protect undeveloped land around the globe. “Hopefully this will influence a new form of capitalism that doesn’t end up with a few rich people and a bunch of poor people” said Mr. Chouinard. https://www-nytimes-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/www.nytimes.com/2022/09/14/climate/patagonia-climate-philanthropy-chouinard.amp.html

Flexible working is now the new normal, at least in London. In a government survey of nearly 2,000 firms 32.2% said their workers were in the office one or two days a week, while a further 25.3% per cent were in three to four days a week. Gavin Brown, director of UK firm Speak With Impact, and former shadow finance secretary, said the new numbers showed habits which developed as a result of the pandemic “were here to stay.” He also added that there were opportunities for London businesses who embraced the hybrid world to broaden their horizons, as well as for individual employees who excelled in a hybrid environment. https://www.cityam.com/flexible-the-new-normal-as-half-of-all-londoners-now-hybrid-workers-with-pandemic-routine-here-to-stay/

Nine in ten firms on the four-day working week trial have given it the thumbs-up. “The positive feedback is incredibly encouraging,” said Autonomy’s Kyle Lewis. “(It could) support other organisations and sectors considering switching to a four-day week in the future.” https://www.timeout.com/uk/news/nine-in-ten-firms-on-the-four-day-working-week-trial-have-given-it-the-thumbs-up-092022

TOG and Fora have created a flexible workspace group in the UK and other European cities, having now completed their merger to become The Office Group. The Office Group now comprises of 72 locations totalling 3.1 million sq ft across London, Cambridge, Oxford, Reading, Bristol, Leeds, Berlin, Frankfurt, and Hamburg. https://workplaceinsight.net/tog-and-fora-complete-merger-to-create-new-flexible-workspace-giant/

And finally, a major new survey from Microsoft shows that bosses and workers fundamentally disagree about productivity when working from home. 87% of workers felt they worked as, if not more, efficiently from home, 80% of managers disagreed. Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella told the BBC, tension needed to be resolved as workplaces were unlikely to ever return to pre-pandemic work habits. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-62980639

Share this post