Office trends went under the microscope at the first Shard Talks event, where four experts gave their views on key workplace issues in a debate hosted by New London Architecture Chairman Peter Murray.
Professor Myerson outlined his theory of the ‘Three Cs’ of office layout – different kinds of space that are essential for the workplaces: spaces for concentration, collaboration and contemplation.
He argued that British workplace had provided space for concentration, in 1960s cellular-style offices, and collaboration, with the current trend for open-plan layout, but that areas that lend themselves to contemplation had been neglected.
“We’ve never thought about contemplation,” Professor Myerson said. “Spaces where people can go to think, to plan, to clear their head and recuperate during the working day.”
Dr Glaser, a former neuroscientist, continued on the theme of contemplation, saying evidence showed that people are more effective at problem solving when they have had a chance to reflect.
He said: “Space where we can understand the problem that we need to solve, engage with it completely and then go and do something else, is the best environment for productivity.”
For Harri, office location was critical - News UK is leaving Wapping this summer for a new base at the News Building in London Bridge Quarter, a move he saw as critical to reshaping the organisation’s identity.
He said: “We are moving from Wapping, which is currently being demolished, into a tall building that is proudly on the skyline of London, that is transparent, that is world-class. And we are trying to tell the story of a company that intends to stick around, to find a future for journalism.”
Addressing the move towards more informal office design among her clients, Morey Smith said: “People want a non-corporate environment, they don’t want to be sitting in rows of desks with the same ceiling and lighting, they want more diverse spaces and more choices.”
The discussion, held in late June, was part of the first in the Shard Talks series of events, in which experts in their fields will tackle important occupier issues in front of audiences of key influencers on Level 22 of The Shard.
An audience of commercial real estate professionals at The Shard heard Professor Jeremy Myerson explain the need for a space for contemplation in the workplace, and architectural designer Linda Morey Smith give her views on how occupiers are moving away from traditional perceptions of the corporate environment.
Dr Daniel Glaser, the Director of the Science Gallery London, focused on the neuroscience behind the need for contemplation space, and Guto Harri, the News UK Communications Director, told how the move to London Bridge marked a cultural shift for his company.