Ivanhoé Cambridge’s ‘Do You Miss the Office‪?‬’ Podcast Back With Sixth Episode

Throughout the last year and a half of global turmoil brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, most people who commuted to offices previously have since been working remotely as a means to limit the spread of the virus. As a result, most offices are currently staffed by small crews, while businesses face continued overhead costs for the currently under-utilized space. While working environments that fostered a spirit of collaboration and community now feel like a distant memory, many people are seeing the silver lining of remote working, free of their daily commutes while being able to spend more time with loved ones. 

With all the changes to our work environments since early 2020, real estate investment titan Ivanhoé Cambridge is asking the question “Do you miss the office?” in a new podcast series that launched this spring.

* * *

As the pandemic has shown us, while we may want everything ‘back to normal’, we are driven by the ever-emerging science, as it should be. The variants are now the biggest variables in the face of the anticipated return to work; big companies with big money are still at the mercy of the microbes, and the health and safety of employees remain the foremost concern.

Ivanhoé Cambridge, Do You Miss the Office‪?‬, podcastCIBC SQUARE, image courtesy of Ivanhoé Cambridge/Hines

While profits are no match for a pandemic, employers are examining the new future reality, with developer Ivanhoé Cambridge now concluding its six-part podcast ‘Do You Miss The Office?’ with the final instalment ‘The Users of Tomorrow”,’ speaking to young Gen Y professionals about what they want and expect in the return to work, and the results are clear: employers need to think of the end-users first.

This seismic change means the younger generation will drive the future of the workplace environment. Remote working has clearly proven one thing: it does NOT negatively impact productivity, and people are rather comfortable with the set-up. A recent Harvard Business School survey showed 81 percent prefer not to return to work full-time or want some sort of hybrid solution.

Participants in this final instalment included Felicia Empey, Head of Internal Communications at Robert Half, a Canadian recruitment agency; Gentry Bennett, Senior Internal Communications Specialist at Blue Shield of California; and Evelyn Chow, Investment and Asset Manager at Ivanhoé Cambridge in Hong Kong.

The sentiment of this young group of rising professionals was perhaps best summarized by Empey when she speaks about something which is beyond the employer’s control when it comes to the work environment—the daily investment in time in just getting to that environment. Empey asks “I like going into the office, but… being in the office and being in a cubicle, I often think do I really need to be here? Or could I be doing this at home? If there isn’t intention as to why I had to be in the office, why did I take a train, and then a subway or a car, just to sit alone in my cubicle when I could be doing this at home.”

While the future is unknown, as evidenced by this smartly produced Ivanhoé Cambridge podcast, if employers wish to attract and retain the next generations of employees, fresh-thinking and flexibility will be key.

The computer and internet were gradual shifts in how we worked, the pandemic has been a dramatic change in where we work, now the biggest challenge for employers is accepting the realization the power dynamic has also changed, and the workforce will be in charge of the future workplace.

The series can be found on Apple Podcasts.

* * *

UrbanToronto has a new way you can track projects through the planning process on a daily basis. Sign up for a free trial of our New Development Insider here.