Podcast: the weak arguments in favour of offices and the problem with the future of work

future of work and real estateMark Eltringham the publisher of Workplace Insight and IN Magazine recently joined Caleb Parker, the founder of Bold, on his Work Bold podcast for an unscripted chat on: the future of work and how it may shape the future of commercial real estate; the reasons why anybody might ever want to go back to an office to work; the problem with weak arguments both for and against offices; and the importance of culture and flexibility rather than fixed times and places of work in determining people’s day to day experiences of work. The prompt for this conversation was the occasional discussion on social media over the past couple of years and a recent article exploring the value of weak ties

All episodes of the excellent Work Bold podcasts across a range of platforms can be found here. Or you can listen to the episode online here:



Caleb has identified a number of ‘value bombs’ from the episode:

  • Businesses need to provide a culture that allows all of the different flexible working models to apply to different people, based on things like personality, age, job function, and so on. – Mark
  • “Now everybody’s been exposed to that [flexible] way of working, not just for a couple of weeks, but for a long period of time….and there’s a lot of conveniences out of it for many people and there’s a lot of friction for others.” – Caleb
  • Firms need to work out what people want and allow themselves flexibility and agility to deliver that for them. – Mark
  • Shouldn’t commercial real estate be supporting companies to be more cognizant that everyone’s different, and try to support all of the use cases? – Caleb
  • Office design was always overplayed as a solution to cultural problems. – Mark
  • Things are very, very complicated and there is a possibility that if you do go fully remote, that certain parts of the business might go missing. – Mark

Main image: Evolution Design’s project for Sberbank Moscow, featured in issue 3 of IN Magazine