WRK / LDN: Shaping London’s future workplaces

Insight Study - October 2016

©Grant Smith

RCA Battersea © Haworth Tompkins and Philip Vile

Dalston Cola © Grant Smith

Alphabeta © Studio RHE and Hufton+Crow

Though the impact of the EU referendum vote is as yet uncertain, it is clear that London will have to work harder than ever to compete on a global level to attract and retain the best talent.

Throughout 2016, NLA has investigated the changing nature of work in the capital and sought to discover how its working spaces can be aided and improved. Informed by roundtables and interviews with over 70 representatives from businesses and the built environment, as well as policy and literature review, the WRK / LDN Insight Study examines the current issues and makes recommendations for how London can ensure its future resilience through its provision of space and land for business.
 
Availability, affordability and quality of working spaces are critical to London’s continuing success, however commercial and industrial spaces are under threat as the demand for housing pushes up land prices, and planning policies favour conversion of offices to residential use. The need to accommodate more uses in less space, providing buildings and spaces that are adaptable to the changing demands of contemporary business, affords us the opportunity to present innovative ways of thinking about how and where we work, and the places that we need for it.
 
WRK / LDN: Shaping London’s future workplaces is accompanied by a publication, an exhibition and showcase of over 150 current London workplace projects and initiatives, as well a three-month programme of events, including debates, talks and visits, to discuss and deliberate what London needs in this time of flux. 

KEY LINES OF ENQUIRY Toggle

WORK IN LONDON
What is ‘work’ and what is shaping how we work today?
What is the broad shape of London’s economy and business activity?
Where do we work in London and how is this changing?
What are the challenges and opportunities for workspace in the capital?
 
THE CORPORATE ECONOMY
How important is location and amenity for business?
How is the serviced office sector evolving?
How is workplace design and management adapting to changing requirements?
What is the role of retrofit and refurbishment?
How is the importance of health and wellbeing influencing the design and management of offices?
How is the relationship between owner, occupier and employee changing?
 
THE ENTERPRISE ECONOMY
How are major co-working space providers disrupting the office market?
What is the role of independent co-working spaces?
How are local authorities and BIDs providing shared workspace?
What is the role of the education sector in space for new enterprise?
How are new flexible environments beyond the office space emerging?
 
THE MANUFACTURING ECONOMY
What are London’s historical patterns of industry?
What are the challenges for London’s industrial lands and spaces?
How are light-industrial spaces evolving?
What are the requirements for makers, makerspaces and artists’ studios?
How can we protect spaces for making, manufacturing and industry?
 
LONDON’S WORKING DISTRICTS
Which factors are shaping our working districts? 
How are traditional commercial districts changing? 
Where and how are new commercial districts emerging?
What are the new districts for innovation and knowledge?
 
HOW DO WE MAKE LONDON RESILIENT FOR THE FUTURE OF WORK?
Make London a more flexible, open city
Better integrate workspace with London’s transport infrastructure
Protect commercial and industrial land and uses
Provide more affordable and ‘move-on’ space for new and expanding businesses
Support new building types that integrate workspace with other uses
Encourage design-led industrial development
Promote the wellbeing agenda through planning
Plan for the multi-generational workplace

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Delivering affordable workspace within areas of regeneration

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How can London deliver more jobs and affordable workspace within its many areas of regeneration to ensure more balanced communities? A Think Tank organised by NLA as part of its Insight study looking into work in the capital sought to find out.

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