Taming hybrid: Melbourne conference set to probe at human scale

In addressing some of the knottiest problems of the new workplace, speakers at this year’s WORKTECH Melbourne event will showcase ideas for a compassionate, resilient and fun workplace

The experience-led workplace and people-centric spaces are on the agenda for WORKTECH Melbourne, which takes place on 28 March at the Accenture building in Melbourne. This conference will address many of the thorny issues with creating the post-pandemic workplace.

Here is a selection of some of the speakers set to take the stage:

A high-rise for humanity

Fred Holt, a partner at architecture firm 3XN, is set to discuss Quay Quarter Tower, the building named World Building of the Year 2022 by the World Architecture Festival. This building took its sustainability commitments seriously by choosing not to demolish an existing skyscraper standing on the site, instead utilising around 60 per cent of the existing building in the new design and thereby saving around 12,000 tonnes of carbon. The designers also took their commitment to modern working seriously, consciously creating a ‘vertical village’ which prioritises wellbeing and knowledge sharing amongst its occupants who can mingle, have meetings and work together seamlessly in the space or on the wide-open terraces that span the building.

Workplace as home

As creative director of Spaces Of, Aaron Taylor-Harvey understands the role of design in creating workplaces that uplift their inhabitants.

Speaking about what draws people back to the office, he said that “We need to earn the right to ask people to come back to the office by making a space that they want to come back to…Fundamentally everyone knows that they can do their individual work better somewhere else, that’s the baseline realisation that this work from home revolution created from the pandemic”.

Having led the in-house architecture team for AirBnB, Taylor-Harvey will take the Melbourne audience through the design process for the AirBnB office, discussing how workplaces have adapted to hybrid working and how to inject some fun into the office.

Time for reflection

Dr Agustin Chevez discusses his new book The Pilgrim’s Guide to the Workplace and the experience that inspired it – a 42 day long walk from Melbourne to Sydney. In all the time he had walking and reflecting, Chevez wanted to achieve one thing: a better understanding around how we have great ideas and how we reflect upon the world of work. And he achieved this, emerging from his pilgrimage brimming with ideas around how we can measure and re-design the office in order to achieve more for employees and employers alike.

Hybrid work bias

Not everyone needs the same environment at work and not everyone faces the same obstacles in their life. Enforcing a return to the office ignores the diversity of experience within a workforce and therefore runs the risk of putting people in an adverse position. Ross Gangemi, Managing Director and Digital Workplace Lead ANZ at Accenture, confronts this fact head-on in his presentation, laying down the reality for workplace leaders.

Talking about the state of hybrid working, he commented that “The divide between our user experience at home and in our corporate offices has never been more apparent. To provide a seamless experience organisations need to firstly invest in their workplaces, this involves designing spaces for today’s worker, the post pandemic worker.”

His intention is to encourage flexibility, meet the preferences and needs of all employees, and ensure that everyone’s workplace experience is equal in the new world of work.

Find out more about WORTECH Melbourne and get your tickets here.

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