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Workplace Trends Conference: The Office as Desired Destination

The Workplace Trends autumn conference in October 2023 takes as its theme “The Office as a Desired Destination”. 

What is the role of the office in the future of work? As organisations grapple with extensive changes in employees’ locational preferences and demands to return to the office from some high-profile employers, offices find themselves challenged to provide better work experiences to “earn the commute”.

Presentations from experienced practitioners and authors will explore how to entice people back to the office, designing for neurodiversity, sustainable workplaces, managing change, developing community, space planning, the circular economy for workspace, and how the office sector needs to work differently, plus two case studies and a “post-lunch hackathon”.

And there’s a 20% discount on ticket prices for members of the
Smart Work Network – see below

The conference is on:

18 October 2023

at the 

Cavendish Conference Centre
Central London

10.00 – 16.30 (BST)

Hybrid conference – attend in person or online

There’s a packed agenda and the line-up looks fascinating for everyone implementing new ways of working and new workplace design:

Welcome and Introduction – Meirion Anderson, Aberley

The Appealing Office
– Nigel Oseland, Workplace Unlimited and author of Beyond the Workplace Zoo

Dr Nigel Oseland and fellow psychologist Prof. Gary Raw have been conducting research in partnership with MillerKnoll to understand the appeal and relative attractiveness of working in the office and working from home. Their prsentauion explores people’s views on the advantages and disadvantages of working in these spaces and will inform the workplace industry on how to improve working environments

What should the office sector do to adjust their offer? (10.30am)
– Chris Kane, Author, Advisor, Non Executive Director, Co-Founder Everythingomni

The 2nd edition of Chris Kane’s book Where is My Office? argues for a fundamental rethink of offices so that they are funded, designed, built and operated in a smarter more sustainable manner, and havea wider purpose in the community beyond the building.

Adopting Foresight into People Centric Change (11am)
– Jennifer Bryan, ABChange

Jennifer Bryan argues that change projects and programmes are often conceived using hindsight and then flounder as they are thrown into a changing world. She will present findings frmo a 12-month action research project to integrate foresight techniques and tools and people-centric approaches into change programmes.

Designing for Neurodiversity (11.55am)
– Josh Artus, Centric Lab

Josh Artus will be talking about Centric Lab’s recent work for the British Council for Offices titled ‘Designing for Neurodiversity’, covering Centric Lab’s work into the links between place and health through a neurobiological lens; (re)defining neurodiversity from a justice and equity based lens; and how to use the playbook as a means to develop company-wide guidelines for future projects

What It’s Really Like To Be a Neurodivergent CEO (12.20pm)
– Tree Hall, Charity IT Leaders

Tree Hall was diagnosed as autistic at the age of 47. In this very personal presentation she will share her story, exploring what autism means to her, and how it has shaped the way and places she can best work. She is on a mission to make the workplace more inclusive and supportive of neurodiverse individual

Post Lunch Hackathon Energiser (13.45pm)
– Everyone! with Perry Timms, PTHR

Interactive small group discussions on burning workplace issues suggested by delegates.

Circular Economy Thinking For The Workplace (14.45pm)
– Ann Beavis, Crown Workspace

Ann will introduce Business in the Community’s Circular Economy Roadmap and  highlight the pracxtical stepss that organsiations can take to drive sustainable/circular change in the workplace and how to overcome the barriers.

Workplace Communities and Networks: Why they matter and why you should be doing more (15.40pm)
– Sara Edwards and Leah Jones, Government Property Agency

This session will explore how the GPA are putting communities at the heart of great places to work, with pre and post occupancy evaluation that gathersg detail on how goverbment workplaces and customer experience strategy is directly impacting on the people who work there.

“Our new offices are wonderful, but we don’t have enough desks!” (16.05)
– Diego Henriques, Anglo American De Beers, and Jamesina Sainsbury, MCM

A tale of how operating with old behaviours in a new environment soon renders the environment not fit-for-purpose. Did Anglo American waste their money on an expensive real-estate project that didn’t provide enough space? This is the story of the project, its ambitions, the successes, and the things they would do differently today.

Followed by Moderator’s Wrap-Up and Drinks Social.

Further details of the agenda are on the Workplace Trends website.

20% discount for Smart Work Network members

If you’re a member of the Smart Work Network (UK or European), you’re eligible for a 20% discount on the price at the time of booking.

Just contact Andy Lake – – for the promo code and  how to use it. 

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