The future office: space-as-a-service
Redesigning Work | #78
Earlier this month, I worked at a conference – a two-day, hybrid event in London and Livestream, with 400+ attendees from the global gift card/payments industry.
Great content and a super atmosphere. There is something magical about getting people together in a shared space - especially after two years of online events. "Everyone looks really relaxed and happy." Hallway huddles, people working on laptops at standing desks. Eating, drinking, laughing, partying… the devil's in the detail: Croque monsieurs! 🥐
Not so easy getting bums on seats for all the panels, but you don’t have to with hybrid events. Someone said it felt more important to network and they’d catch up on the content later.
We hired hotel space for three days and split it into zones – the main stage for talks and panels, meeting space, networking area, product & innovation hall, wellness sanctuary, coffee lounge - my ideal working day and the evolution of the office into something more experiential. Fun, buzzy, inspiring, a new environment.
Space-as-a-service. If the office felt more like this, you’d have no trouble getting me there…
The joy of hybrid: you can build anticipation with online networking pre-event and beam people in via Zoom during talks to make it feel like a real experience - physical meets digital. Post-event, keep it alive and top of mind with social media snippets, content, video highlights and catch-up tickets.
What could have improved it? Moving around more - energy levels dip after lunch. Circular seating so you’re not staring at the back of someone’s head. Speed networking - get to the point, no time for small talk. Maybe even some sprints – hackathon-style for problem-solving in teams. Rituals and rest – I needed fresh air and a walk around the block. Not easy to do with a packed programme. A restroom revival kit to calm nerves before a presentation…
See #GCVAConf22 on LinkedIn – some nuggets from Mark Essex, Director of Skills, KPMG, on Which Way's Up? You in 2032 – how we'll live/work/play. And a fantastic speech from Marion King on Payments Transformation: Embracing the Digital Age. “The first human right is the right to transact."
How the Payments industry is centre-stage of the Russia-Ukraine war with Swift banning Russia, and practical, actionable ideas to work on together as an industry. Given that more bank branches are shutting shop, why not join forces with mobile phone outlets to create 'digital innovation hubs'? It’s one way to make the high street feel more experiential.
'Collaboration' and 'storytelling' – two words that kept coming up… a call for more case studies in business.
Enrich data and storytelling, and the c-suite won't shy away from it. It can help them make quicker decisions and give them more confidence.
Well done to the (all-remote) GCVA – a small team doing mighty things. They put their hearts into this flagship event, and it gets better every year 👏
5 Things 🖐
Under Fire: Journalists and Ukraine – a memorial service at St Bride's Church, Fleet Street to remember those killed or injured and support and give thanks to all covering the Ukraine conflict. A reminder to value and uphold the freedom of the press. Listen online. That solo cello melts my heart 🙏 Great to hear the church does contactless for donations!
The Metaverse at Work. I spoke to Courier magazine about the role of the metaverse in workplaces – we're starting to explore how it could help teams collaborate in new digital environments. How do we ensure it's an effective tool rather than an obligation? Things to consider like diversity & inclusion. An interesting test case in DAWN, an avatar robot café in Tokyo... the April/May issue is out now.
Learning how to learn – one skill we don't spend enough time honing. How can you learn fast, better, and grow as a maker and leader? Start with understanding how your brain works. VARK is a framework used to figure out your learning style - you can take the test for free. We all need to upskill, and I wish companies would invest more in this.
Introduction to NFTs and the Metaverse – an online 6-week course starting in April. Taught by leading NFT creators and collectors and Web 3.0 entrepreneurs and investors. Lots of exciting research into open metaverse systems and support for small businesses looking to capitalise on NFTs. Looking forward to it 🤗
Language Matters: what learners need to know about Ukrainian – a brief overview of Ukrainian and Russian, what people speak in Ukraine and why, and the linguistic complexities behind the videos and signs you've seen. How language is being used in the Russian-Ukrainian war today – and the politics of language. Great piece by Duolingo.
His [Zelensky's] speechwriters have found their stride. They come from the entertainment business, but even writing a Netflix show is different from writing presidential speeches - Yaryna Klyuchkovsky, comms consultant [BBC].
Smart move to call his political party 'the Servant of the People party'. Language matters 😁
A toast to mothers everywhere… enjoy the spring sunshine!