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'There needs to be a third space between home and office'

Latest in Creative Conversations series explores topic of workspace

"There needs to be a third space between home and the office where individuals can work productively and efficiently," Cass Dean Professor Steven Haberman told a panel of academics and business professionals last week.

He was speaking at the latest instalment of Creative Conversations, an event run regularly by Cass Executive Education and Spiritual Capital Foundation.

The discussion, chaired by Dr Naftali Brawer, CEO of the Spiritual Capital Foundation, explored the relationship between employees and their workspace.

Tim Oldman, creator of the Leesman index, observed that the definition of work has undergone a radical change.

"The term 'work' is like a cheap shopping bag, stuffed to breaking point with multiple meanings," he said. "It includes hundreds of activities and multidimensional functions, some that can easily happen outside of the corporate setting."

He added that working at home is not always ideal and has consequences for the environment.

"An employee working at home will need to use heating and lighting they otherwise wouldn't if they worked in their office. They end up consuming more energy. Instead of reducing their carbon footprints, companies are just displacing them."

"Also, as technology erodes the barrier between workspace and home life it becomes increasingly important to designate a separate space for work."

Guy Stallard, Head of Facilities at KPMG, said: "businesses need to seize the opportunity to bring the 'elsewhere' space back into the office.

"They can do this by making flexible space that can be changed in keeping with the culture of an organisation and by creating areas where employees can go to feel creative and productive."

The group explored other topics including the rise of flexible working trends such as hot desking.

They also considered how the workspace of an organisation can be used for marketing and recruitment, citing the Googleplex in California and Microsoft's Schiphol offices as examples.

Other participants included:

• Tim Allen, leader of workplace consulting at CBRE
• Kieran Duignan, a self-employed psychologist and ergonomist and
• Erroll, Erol Aziz Head of Space Management KPMG
• Yorai Linenburg, founding partner of UMT Consulting Group, Richard Plenty, Managing Director of This Is…
• Mike Hanson, Group Advisor to MACE and former Director General of HM Revenue and Customs
• Sharon Sagoo, Business Development Manager at Executive Education, Cass
• Alex Mills, Senior Project Manager at City University London

Cass Executive Education and Spiritual Capital Foundation are planning another series of events for the coming year. Those who would like to take part can express their interest by sending an email to Joanna Paktsun: joanna.paktsun@city.ac.uk.

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