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BCO Annual Conference, Dublin, Ireland - 2023

The role of office work and the purpose of the office have been transformed and are evolving. As a vital part of an ecosystem blending work, life, technology and data, offices can contribute to ensuring the social, economic and environmental sustainability of cities. It’s more important than ever to harness the new role of the office to support resilience and provide inspiring places for people and society to thrive.

As the office is no longer the only place that we go to work, defining the potential purpose of the office has never been greater. The role of the office is developing into something more meaningful and intentional; a place where connection, community, productive collaboration and learning is concentrated. As office work becomes more dispersed and hybrid working the norm, offices are becoming hubs focused on inspiration, creativity and innovation – all elements vital to our future prosperity.

With the role of the office increasingly focused on people, experience and social impact, the relationship between landlord and occupier has shifted significantly. Employers face competition for talent and the need to support the wellbeing of their employees, at the same time as social and governance (ESG) priorities are becoming increasingly key drivers on decisions affecting real estate investment.

At the same time, employers are grappling with shifting employee expectations and behaviour, suggesting office space will be used differently – as the BCO highlighted in the Office Densities report released in Autumn 2022. It is clear that as we rethink office space, with a focus on hospitality and human centric design, it must be accompanied by frictionless technology interfaces to help track use, carbon and employee experience.

Understanding is also growing of how offices can impact the socio-economic life of a city and intersect with the city’s essential systems, public transport, logistics, green spaces, energy and sustainability strategies. One of the BCO’s recent research reports, explored the key role offices can play in the circular economy, acknowledging that the built environment must actively push net-zero targets and social justice or risk redundancy. The office is therefore a vital element in the urban systems that support the success and even the survival of cities.

How to harness all this potential amid economic uncertainty, inflation and supply chain pressures affecting both occupiers and those that fund, design and build offices?

The 2023 conference in Dublin, will bring together a diverse range of BCO’s members and industry thought leaders to help shape what is to come in offices – informing occupiers, investors, developers, designers, constructors and suppliers on ways to create inspiring places that foster a healthy and sustainable work future, and an office sector that plays a vital role to support resilient and dynamic cities.

For more information: https://www.bco.org.uk/Conference