Back to workplace - the wrap up

If you have been following the relentless stream of workplace surveys, polls, webinars and content on LinkedIn and other social news sources, then you will know that everyone has an opinion on what is next for the office. However, there is no one-size fits all answer, and some huge decisions are about to be made which will affect the entire workforce. So how will this affect workplace recruitment?



With HSBC shedding 40% of their corporate real estate it begs the question; what happens to the space? Offices have been changing and developing to accommodate employees needs for a long time, but when a global bank with almost 4000 offices gets rid of 1600, what could those spaces be used for next?

Economic downturns or recessions in the past have shown that there is always need for workplace talent. Whatever changes a company decides to make, there will always be a need to:

  • Dispose of corporate real estate - occupancy and space planning demand
  • Repurpose or refresh with new workplace designs
  • Transform existing space with workplace transformation expertise

After looking back on our historical workplace recruitment data for roles we have worked, it was clear that there has always been a demand for one of three core areas;


While all three areas intersect and play an important role, our client base look for primary skills in one area, and an appreciation for the other two roles.

It is unlikely to find someone with a range of design strategy, interiors, and space skills that is also qualified in workplace change, internal communications, and behavioral change. It’s like an electrician who boasts that they could also do the plumbing and decorating – you would be dubious of hiring them!

It is key to remember this when applying for new roles or positioning yourself in the market (which we touched on earlier in this series with how to upskill).



Recently we have seen a shift in clients requirements to a move back to RIBA stage 0 and the strategic definition of their workplace. They want to look at concept feasibility design rather than workplace strategy or interior design. It seems that many clients are reverting back to the very beginning of the workplace journey. This is when the focus shifts from assumptions of what a designer can do, to looking in depth at the Design Strategy or Design Psychology for a workplace.


Whilst workplace change will always be a valued skill, 2020 has taught us that the workplace HAS really changed (as we touched on in part 2).

This could be the end of that job title as it transitions to workplace experience - but only time will tell. Employees are savvy and 2020 taught us all resilience.

Three in demand areas moving forward could be as:

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We have placed many Organisational Psychology graduates in recent years, which now seems to be the grounding for the future workplace stars. Demanding a psychological and user centred approach will provide you with an effective design strategy to future proof (as much as you can!) your workplace.



Keep yourself ahead of the competition and upskill. Have a look at my previous blog to see which courses will give you the base grounding in workplace strategy. Keep an ear to the ground for how workplaces will continue to evolve!

Everything we are seeing from workplace recruitment is highlighting that workplaces are important, and I for one am very much looking forward to a busy 2021 and beyond!

Check out our live workplace roles here!