January 18, 2021

Metropolis Think Tank Recap: Fueling Performance in All Types of Workplaces

Metropolis has posted a full recap of our November Think Tank discussion focused on how commercial workplace strategy now informs real estate decisions in academic and health setting related to the 30-40% of space they often have dedicated to work settings and environments.

We were fortunate to have Bill Cox, Assistant Director of Facilities and Dining in the Division of Finance and Operations from Texas A&M University, and Gaurav Khadse, Associate Vice President of Facilities Portfolio Management from University Texas Medical Branch, join our Director of Strategy and Change Consulting Swapna Sathyan and Metropolis Editor in Chief Avinash Rajagopal for the discussion.

The group focused on how workplace settings on health and academic campuses can benefit just as much from strategies to refine, reprogram, and optimize them for high performance and positive employee experience. The group also delved into how their real estate approaches have evolved since and during the pandemic.

Video of the full discussion is embedded on Metropolis’ recap. Key excerpts are below

Gaurav Khadse on the unique realities of the healthcare workforce
When we talk about health care and workplace, it’s not like an ordinary office. While employee safety is paramount, doctors, nurses, and researchers can’t work from home. The question is how do you we keep staff safe while caring for patients?

Bill Cox on how the importance of adaptable research
The adaptability of the built environment is key. Those designing new buildings should focus on extra capacity for vital systems such as ventilation that can help deal with unexpected changes. If you can put the infrastructure in now when you’re building new, that’s the time to do it. It becomes so much more expensive later on.

Swapna Sathyan on the future of hybrid workforces
The big question ahead is how do you design for a hybrid workforce? How do we design environments people want to come into… we talk about productivity in the COVID world and productivity in a virtual world. They’re two different things, because right now we can’t measure true productivity. We have parents who are sick, loved ones who are sick, childcare challenges, people losing their jobs…it’s not a true assessment of productivity with hybrid teams in the current moment.