VIDEO | How to optimise workspaces

The rise of flexible working has led to a re-evaluation of the purpose of the office – and how we approach the ‘perfect’ space.

A panel of industry leaders discussed what these changes look like in reality, and best practices for making the offices of today fit for purpose tomorrow, in this roundtable discussion held in association with TSK Group.


  • Chris Cheap, chief transformation officer at Avison Young
  • Rupert Dean, co-founder of X+why
  • John Hyde, real estate partner at TLT
  • Rachel Kerwin, director of property and projects at Eversheds Sutherland
  • Craig Murray, strategy and design director at TSK Group
  • Dan Pilling, workplace strategy director at TSK Group

Key points

The bad news: there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to the office, and the old ways of calculating how much space a company needs are no longer fit for purpose.

The good news: this is not something new. The office has been evolving for a while now, shifting towards a place for connection and culture rather than just the place where you work because your equipment is there.

The importance of the office in creating a company culture came up time and time again during the discussion. This results in wanting spaces that bring people together and provide amenities. Offices need to draw people in, whether that’s with free coffee or strong wifi on a balcony with a great view on a rare sunny day.

Around 63% of UK business leaders are looking to change their workspace, according to Gallaghers. This presents a period of opportunity, where you can really think about what an office should be. Our panellists discussed the best ways to engage with staff members and the importance in creating varied spaces – from small meeting rooms to ‘phone booths’ to more open desk areas.

Our panel also detailed the importance of interacting with landlords and shopping for the building that fits your needs. The office is like the home of your company, TLT’S John Hyde said. It needs to be a place where your business can grow.

In terms of quick fixes – it was agreed that getting the front lobby area right was key to setting a tone for an office, fast and reliable wifi was a must, and providing more flexible spaces that can be used for individual work or meetings was key.

You can hear highlights from the roundtable in the video at the top of this article, as well as on the Place North West YouTube channel.

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