You don’t need us to tell you that every commercial workspace owner is now rightfully fearful that the coronavirus and its effects will cost them business, probably over the long term.

Yet, as the reputational and commercial gains for those able to address this challenge convincingly will be substantial, I want to illustrate in what follows how we can work with you to create and meet the demand for a superior workplace that is as COVID-safe as it can be in the minds of those who will work in it.

The demand is unprecedented because all employers stand to win if they can offer this reassurance and minimise the virus’s impact by attracting and being able to bring to the office and to get the best use from the minds of the most attractive employees.

Above all, the question all workplace providers must seek to answer is, what do such spaces look like if they are to be considered safe in the minds of those who work in them?

In short, we can help you benefit by working with us to stimulate the demand for working environments that have the unique proposition of being perceived as COVID-safe in the minds of their users, because these are workspaces designed explicitly to meet those occupants’ concerns.

The raw fuel to deliver this is a little-acknowledged, internet-driven human ability, described beneath, that is now common to every individual working in every organisation.

And through this, we can create a force to bring about the design of a physical workplace that is safer, better-fitting and better performing in every dimension that counts to those who will pay for and work in it.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if our services can be of assistance, and in anticipation, we look forward to the prospect of such a conversation.


Against COVID, we will apply a new and pervasive human capability to deliver the safer, better-performing workplace

It is true that in any earlier time, it would have been impossible to reach into the shared consciousness of those across any organisation to synchronise its attention and collective thinking.

Yet, the relentless advance and uses of social media now effectively remove this previous barrier.

Although it is still a force unrecognised and unorganised in most businesses, we’ve now arrived at “peak social internet literacy.”

This new capacity’s practical applications are easily demonstrated, as this is a point at which every employee in every business knows how to use social media to write online, upload and share material and to make comments about those items uploaded by others.

It offers a pathway along which to guide the underused, unspoken intelligence of every workplace individual to build more effective, focused and creative, shared team understanding, new reasoning and quicker learning from each other. Through this, it offers to assist in the design of more deliberately intelligent organisations.

Therefore, by coupling this most powerful intellectual resource with the use of the mirroring, private, Facebook-like technologies now available within every business, we now have a new way of listening to and digging in detail to understand the concerns and interests of those who will occupy a place of work.

By applying this mechanism as architects, we can derive a higher level of qualitative space briefing and feedback. And we can test extensively both before and during the design of a workplace, to minimise both investment risk and cost.


The workplace is now an active, strategic, knowledge-generating asset

At the same time as becoming more attractive and more productive as knowledge factories, however, the role of such working facilities is no longer passive, but deeply strategic, as this new, internet-driven capability has significant implications for organising any business’s knowledge across its workplace. 

It therefore also has material applications in the design and accommodation of organisations to optimise the deliberate flow, direction and growth of that innate wealth-creating intelligence.

Against this, possible considerations of location aside, because, as an enabler, it can provide feedback, the workplace is, now, like all others in a connected, networked world, becoming a responsive, information and knowledge-driven, knowledge-generating product.

As an active system, it can record place, time, sequence and context. And through the reports we can generate from its data, we can build a far superior understanding through which to manage, explore and experiment with the relationships of those who work in them to the spaces they occupy.

This means the design and performance of the physical workplace can now constantly evolve in step with human needs and behaviours to make the tenant organisation faster learning and more reliably safer, smarter and more prosperous as a place to work.

And through this, we can learn how to produce consistently better-fitting, better-performing workplace results that can be applied to guide new learning from across an entire property portfolio.

The knowledge this instils can then drive the creation of a host of new property and agency services dedicated to the delivery of the future’s more efficient and sophisticated buildings and users.

And when the workplace’s configuration itself becomes an active, qualitative data-generating entity, we can capture user information that every property owner and tenant is going to want because it gives them a new form of commercial advantage, whatever their interest. And against this, it will be the cancer of ignorance that disables others.

As a former Australian Financial Review group business journalist with first-hand, and possibly unique, experience of using these workplace social technologies in Australia’s largest bank, I, Graham Lauren, present a method you can use dependably to manage this process to deliver the needed result.

And, oddly enough, although I couldn’t possibly claim to have invented or created it – but also not having yet read anyone else commenting on either its presence or power anywhere else – I believe pervasive “social internet literacy” is of my own unique realisation/articulation.

I believe it also has plausibility, as having some time back published The Evolution of Workplace Strategy into a Discipline of FM for FM (Facility Management) magazine, I was more recently commissioned to write Social Media for Managing Property Customers (not my choice of headline), on the application of this capability to building specification and design, also in FM.

And then, at the beginning of 2020, I had A Matter of Intelligence (again, not my headline), specifically focusing on that literacy’s application to the future shape of a smarter workplace published in Indesign magazine.

So, as a co-owner and director of Shiro Architects, let us find a way before others to understand together how to use this most powerful and naturally occurring force in a service that delivers advantage and new customers to both of our businesses.