Review of WEBINAR: The Office is Dead - Long Live the Office with Bertie Van Wyk, Herman Miller

Monday 01 June 2020


Bertie Van Wyk of Herman Miller Herman Miller, is a critical thinking Workplace Specialist with a quick grasp of emerging trends and changing business processes. Through his understanding of humancentric design and workplace development, he can effectively equip organisations and individuals with the knowledge and skills to become more productive, healthy and connected in work.

Bertie’s Webinar Long Live the Office - the Office is Dead (which was held on the 1st June 2020) , discussed that at a time when there is an increased focus on the digital workplace, what role does the physical workplace play and are its days numbered? What are the pros and cons of virtual and physical working? Is coworking here to stay and will it impact the way corporations consume space?

More than ever the spotlight has been drawn to working from home v life in the office and we will all have our preference but it was very interesting to hear some of the statistics, research and reality around the choices of working from home and productivity!

Bertie discussed that research has revealed that age and generation has no direct connection to whether you prefer virtual or physical work because as humans we all have six fundamental needs.







Bertie then went on to discuss the pros and cons of Virtual working v Physical office

Both pros and cons are relatable, and ideally, we need to find the perfect balance of being at home and in the office. Whilst your colleagues may be excelling at remote working, you may feel distracted and unmotivated for the majority of the day - that is okay because as humans our needs will always be different regardless of where we are…

It is about choice and balance

It is about retraining

It is about trust

So looking at the future, there is no direct answer to whether the office will be redundant or whether its here for years to come. We as humans require a mixture of both physical and virtual settings to retain engagement, but what we take from this might encourage flexibility and our views on the workplace might change.

Will we ever return to full time in the office? Do we want to? Will it be a combination of home working, office working and co-working and is that the most productive combination?

Mairi Murray, Principal BREEAM Assessor, Baker Hicks & Central Scotland Branch Committee Member

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