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Our New Reality is not Virtual!


Workspace.  We often take it for granted, but we really shouldn’t.  As a management consultant, I have worked in many different buildings – from the alleged glamour of fancy glass offices (and hotel bedrooms) through to uninspiring municipal headquarters. Wherever I work, though, the one thing that always stands out is the way people make use of their environment.

Over recent years, there has been a shift in the way people work and the way companies provide space. As a senior executive, I have encouraged remote working and have overseen several downsizing projects. These have generally been to reduce the cost of property (for many organisations, their second biggest expense).

The ‘initiated’ would say that technology has changed the way people work. I think it actually changes the way people are able to work. From my perspective, the biggest thing technology has changed has been the way we interact with colleagues, and this has not always been for the better…

When we launched our consultancy, we were very open-minded as to where we would base our people – knowing that most of our delivery takes place on site with clients. We rented a range of small offices around the country as a pragmatic and low-cost solution. While costs were controlled, the productivity of our team (our biggest cost) was not getting higher.

Why was this? Well, we had regular internal calls (sales, projects etc.) and, from time to time, we would get together the old-fashioned way. When we did actually get together, we realised we were collaborating much more effectively than we ever could by phone, message or Skype. Old fashioned, perhaps, but there’s a reason why people get together.

So we have been honest with ourselves and we have made a change. We have opened a brand new office in the heart of the second city. We now have a hub where our team can collaborate effectively, find quiet areas when they need to think, and where clients and associates can meet us to talk through their challenges and opportunities. Yes, some of the team now have to travel farther, but it is definitely better for business, and train travel is surprisingly effective for writing and research.

We are most definitely open for business in Birmingham and we hope to see you soon.

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