‘Workplaces Of The Future To Be Redefined Post Covid'

some interventions in the co-working environment such as health angle will be there so that you are not bringing in any unfortunate circumstances in terms of spread of viruses.


With the future of work constantly evolving, so are the future workplaces. Thanks to the Covid, enclosed and large office spaces are now making way for flexible, open, compact and airy workspaces to ensure proper hygiene and safety of the employees. This was something which was extensively deliberated upon during one of the panel discussions on ‘The Office Space of the future ‘at an e-summit themed ‘Flexi Spaces: Future of Workplaces Conclave’ organised by BW Businessworld. The session was moderated by Pankaj Renjhen, COO & Jt. MD, Anarock Retail.

Ar. Prem Nath, Principal Architect, Prem Nath & Associates, maintained, “Corona has given us a lot of shock and we have to live with that. Workplaces of the Future have to be healthy. An office of the future will be having adequate space for indulging in the nature instead of cramped spaces. It will be having a veranda, cut-out and people can move around and enjoy the sunshine. They can shelter beautifully well in the co-working environment. “He further added, “In our country many people thought of putting offices outside metro cities. Although the cost of the capital was less, they didn’t have adequate internet services there. But today we have 4G and 5G enabled internet connectivity. As a result, mode development will happen in smaller cities and towns.”

Dr. Binti Singh, Author, Speaker, Urban Sociologist shared, “I would like to borrow Michel Foucault’s idea of a heterotopia, which we can use in our paradigm to rethink our cities because of many things coming to the fore due to the new normal. If you move out of office and move into the city, what exactly are those spaces? What about coming together of human activities and all in urban spaces? We need to really rethink that. We need to build a robust infrastructure to help the digital world to stand strongly. I think tier 2 and 3 cities really have a chance to correct themselves by learning from the big mistakes of Bombay, Madras, Calcutta, Bangalore, etc. Also, how do we reconcile the paradox of urban public spaces maintaining social distancing because the existing paradigm do not really show us the way.

Ravi Deshpande, Founder & Chairman, Whyness Worldwide, stated, “There was some kind of writing on the wall and things had to change largely because of costs, travel time and work culture. Covid had changed it in a rapid manner. The next phase will be the hybrid model, where you partially work from office and partially from home. In the process, these young entrepreneurs running startups need small office spaces and learnings from this will be implemented in due course. Of course, some interventions in the co-working environment such as health angle will be there so that you are not bringing in any unfortunate circumstances in terms of spread of viruses. “

Pawan Swamy, Chairman & Jt. Managing Partner, Creberg, stated, “I think the office space market is already disrupted. The commercial real estate market is broken into a) Outsourcing/Backend, which accounts for 70% of the market. It used to be 80% and gone down to 70% of the operational office space in India. And then there is HQ/BKC/CP/City Centres where rents being extremely high. Today we are still smack in the middle of a virus and both end users/ investors are nervous about these office spaces are going to get absorbed. This is because higher rents, with lesser margins with lower inflows are an issue.” He went on to add,”We have reached a stage not only in India but globally, there will be ‘new economy companies’ and ‘old economy companies. Digitisation/data will become fairly critical and I think those are the guys who are going to pay your top dollar rents. So, you will see this happening not in the next 6-9 months but in the next 18-24 months. You can see this happening in global markets that newer guys are paying top dollar rents because of their ability to grow due to the global scenario playing out is different. A lot of that space get refitted. Having said that, City Centres will remain relevant albeit in a different format.”


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