The definition of a conducive workplace is subjective, but what we can all agree on is that following recent events, flexibility is at the top of everyone’s mind when choosing a workplace.
Speaking to Alice Fung — co-founder of Architecture 00, and Mayor’s Design Advocate for the office of the Mayor of London — we will take a deeper look into flexible workspaces in the high-street, how they came to be, and how things are currently looking.
Get to know Alice Fung
Fung is the co-founder of an architecture practice called Architecture 00, based in London. In addition to this, she also known for working on community spaces called Impact Hubs. Recently Fung is known for her work on a pamphlet produced by Architecture 00, called Flexible Spaces on our High-Street.
What is the High-Street?
While Fung was working with the GLA in her role on the Workspace Advisory Group for the Mayor of London, their whole agenda was centred around how they could take advantage of both the pandemic and pre-pandemic shifts in the local High-Street to ensure more collective action for workspaces.
Currently on the High-street
Increasing the number of empty units on High-Streets was already on the cards for the Workspace Advisory Group, and it so happened that the pandemic accelerated this agenda.
The team had already set the ball in motion even before the pandemic hit in an effort to determine each high-street’s individual needs. It isn’t that every High-Street only needs a community centre or a bike repair shop. It is different in each location depending on the design of local restaurants and businesses, and what the identity of that location is, Fung explains.
Available opportunity for High-street in regard to the 15-minute concept
Although nobody has a crystal ball, Fung is convinced that the opportunity is massive and that currently everyone is trying to figure out what the lasting impact of the pandemic will be.
In addition to that, people have had a chance to experience what life could be like if they didn’t have to travel around 45 minutes trying to get to the office or to fetch their children from school.
Fung predicts an increase in the need for hybrid working. People have experienced it and truly understand the benefits of it all. The prospect of being able to work more locally, whether at home or in your local High-Street, presents people with more choice and it will be difficult to get them to walk away and forget that it exists.