We recently concluded the second session in the Re-Imagine Workspace series of webinar. The webinar which was launched on the 24th of July has till now engaged over 600 architects and interior design professionals. The second and the most recent session held on the 7th of August saw over 200 design professionals hearing leading names from the industry. Participants witnessed the best of the experts from across the world explore the challenges and the plausible solutions to re-imagine workspaces in the post-COVID-19 world.
The webinar began with a keynote address by Shravan Bendapudi, Senior Associate, Studio Director and Lead Strategist – Gensler. In his keynote address, he highlighted global and India specific trends on how work from home is changing the dynamics and definition of future workspaces. Summarising his session, Shravan Bendapudi, Studio Director at Gensler said, "While it is clear that the pandemic hasn't made the workplace obsolete, there is a lot of introspection going on about the core purpose of the workplace. While most agree that the space needs to be focused on collaboration, community building and brand immersion, how much change from the current paradigm that will entail is still unclear and will unfold over the next couple of years."
Following the keynote, an engaging panel discussion encompassing industry-leading experts such as; Sameer Joshi, Head of Marketing (B2B) & Workspace Research, Godrej Interio, Shravan Bendapudi, Studio Director at Gensler; Amit Gupta, Founder & Editor-in-Chief, STIRworld; and Anubhav Gupta, Business Head – Vikhroli and Founder of GPL Design Studio, Godrej Properties. The session was moderated by Tanya Khanna, Founder and Director of Epistle Communications.
Commenting on the session, Sameer Joshi, Head – Associate Vice President, Marketing (B2B), Godrej Interio, said, “Today’s offices are designed to bring people closer, foster collaboration, teamwork and increase speed of response. They are not designed to separate people and thereby prevent the spread of the disease. Godrej Interio therefore strongly believes that existing offices need a rethink. Therefore, we are offering retrofit solutions for existing offices and are recommending flexible design solutions for new offices. The new offices need to keep in mind that the pandemic will be around for 18-24 months while offices have to last much longer than that. So when they are built, the design should be flexible enough so that the office can be reconfigured in post pandemic period. Also, although the lockdown has been relaxed, work from home has become a new normal. For many people who have mostly worked in offices, converting the comfort-focused homes into efficient professional workspace isn’t always easy. There needs to be absolute right home office set up to increase productivity. This webinar series is a step to provide multiple perspectives from leading experts which would serve as a guide when designing workspaces in the future.”
Commenting on the webinar series, Sujit Patil, VP & Head of Corporate Brand & Communications, Godrej Group said, “Godrej Group has always been at the vanguard of creating platforms that foster engagement and collaboration. Design Dekko is a community for professionals from architecture, interior design and allied sectors to showcase their work, ideate with their colleagues and collaborate with their peers. The Re-Imagine Workspace webinar series is one such step towards leading conversation as a thought-leader. The webinar series will explore challenges, and reach a consensus on plausible solutions to re-imagine workspaces in the post-COVID-19 world.”
During the session, Anubhav Gupta, Business Head – Vikhroli and Founder of GPL Design Studio said “Technology has enabled work to become ubiquitous to a large extent, but space is important. The reimagined workspace will be purpose-designed for the individual and the collective with an emphasis on experience that flexibly leverages the physical and the virtual environment to foster well-being, learning, innovation, productivity and growth, whether working from work, home or elsewhere.”
Adding his perspective, Amit Gupta, Founder & Editor-in-Chief, STIRworld said “The need of an hour today is to look into re-imagining work environment instead re-imagining workplace. Mental stability of team members is far more of a priority today given the social and environmental construct.”