The Future of Workplace Design Now

With uncertainty around returning to the workplace, CBRE invited Conrad Gargett to embark on a thought leadership exercise to understand the impacts of COVID-19 on the workplace as we knew it.


The team worked together to understand what the workplace means to people, uncover what has been impacted by COVID-19, and explore aspects of the workplace that will remain unaffected.


To understand how the office experience might change, we explored the current state of the workplace and what it stands for. For many people, the office is engrained in their own sense of personal identity formed by an almost heirloom idealism passed on from generation to generation. It teaches expectations, defines the transition from childhood to adulthood; and with its prevalence being echoed in pop culture, there really is no escaping the workplace as a reality of life.



The workplace has evolved from a partitioned, cubicle, regimented scene to a ‘place’ that has the ability to reinforce aspirations of identity and lifestyle. With such vast advancements in work-life integration in response to generational change, it is intrinsic that this evolution continues to persist. The impact of COVID-19 will see the acceleration of change for many organisations who may otherwise have laid dormant, yearning for yesteryear.



Now more than ever before, the success of the future workplace is driven by research, rigorous interrogation and a genuine emphasis on understanding client needs.

Brooke Watts, Associate, Interior Design



Innovation and its process of ‘think, make, break, repeat’ is living in its heyday and is the wake-up call the briefing process needed to engage
more deeply with the business and user needs. After an extensive workshopping process the team concluded that COVID-19 has pushed the human factor of workplaces to the forefront. People are a significant portion of business and the safety, productivity, wellness, attraction, and retention of all people will be the priority when designing spaces.

With our renewed focus on humanising the workplace and a flurry of design responses we realised a new type of space that facilitates productivity, collaboration and flexibility.

We look forward to working with clients to integrate workplace wellness across all aspects of the design and delivery process.