Not all these activities are requirements all day, every day, for the individuals to whom these activities apply, nor is the office as we used to know it the only place where many of these needs can be addressed.
A whole ecosystem will continue to evolve using third places such as public spaces, co-working spaces and other places of hospitality, without making long-term commitments for access, capacity and control.
These third spaces, in conjunction with home working, will increasingly serve as alternatives to fixed enterprise space and contribute towards the reduction of the permanent footprint of the organisation. They will also enrich the diversity of choices open to employees as potential working locations. The fact that these choices increasingly start appearing at, or closer to, home reinforces the potential for a very different carbon-footprint profile associated with ‘how we go to work’.
Recent experience with a number of large organisations sets a strong expectation that Corporate real estate footprints will reduce in size, and that additional layers of deep thought, ingenuity and out-of-the-box thinking, will be devoted to minimising the boat anchor-like qualities of our inflexible office portfolios. This highlights the possibility for a meaningful reduction in the carbon footprint.
With individuals travelling less to work, a decrease in the carbon footprint of getting to work also becomes logistically possible.