Life after lockdown – working practices and brand narratives
Across my professional and personal network I would say we’ve all pretty quickly reached the collective opinion that working practices have now irreversibly changed, but I’m keen to understand more if this is just my social bubble.
I’m surrounded by professional people, mostly city centre office based, educated to a similar standard / level and work for the most part in very similar ways, so it stands to reason that as a herd we have all reached the same conclusion. But not everyone is like me, or my network and the issues facing the UK commercial society spread a lot further than my close connections, so what about everyone else.
Sure I’ll be interested to see how a post lockdown world effects working practices, with a wider commercial acceptance of work from home for example we may see a reduction in office floor space requirements, after all why build break out and varied working spaces when in this post Covid world people can freely, without the questions or judgement that may have come before, choose to be at home if they don’t want or need ‘their’ desk.
But fixed desk, not activity based, office working is for the majority of people the norm and that norm exists for practical not flamboyant reasons, so will that really change so much if their roles remain the same? This is an unknown to me, it’s not my world and not my way of working but I’m interested to see how it plays out.
Another consideration and something more closely linked to my professional practice is brand and brand perception. We’ve already seen companies close spaces that actually do conform to Government social distancing regulation so as not to be “seen to” expose employees to risk. They don’t want to open their brand or company up to any form of criticism, warranted or not they can’t risk the potential negative press.
This keen eye on a companies brand narrative in our click bait headline media world will undoubtably continue, after all does your company want this headline “XXXX have reopened offices in the UK, is it too soon, are they risking their staffs health? Click to find out”
Ultimately we will all find out as we go, I think brand spaces be it commercial, retail or leisure will survive, adapt or get re-imagined and with that in mind and some positive focus I for one am excited to see how it all turns out.
Written by Lee Isherwood, Creative Director at Tile Creative, a design studio specialising in space and place branding and marketing. Working with developers, commercial property agencies and architects on projects spanning building identities, placemaking, wayfinding and websites.