Wednesday 13 October 2021
Conference: A New World of Work
Hybrid / The Hallam Conference Centre, W1W 6JJ
9:30am – 5:30pm + Drinks Social
Conference: A New World of Work

#WPT21 #ThePurposeOfTheOffice #HybridWorking #TheWorkplaceZoo #DiversityandInclusion #Creativity #ProblemSolving #Ergonomics

After a long time away from physical events we’re delighted to have put together this real live conference in London, with the added option to join virtually.

The first of our speakers are listed below (click on the sessions below to view details) and early bird tickets are available now.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Maggie and the team at Workplace Trends

It’s been an unprecedented 18 months that have shaken our world and culture beyond expectations. Workplace professionals now have the biggest opportunity in history to correct some of the mistakes of the past and move forward positively to make workplaces, wherever they are, the best they possibly can be.

Join us in person in London at our spacious and airy venue, or online as a virtual delegate this October. Our delegates include a fantastic mix of practitioners in the workplace community – workplace consultants, occupiers, designers, architects, researchers and suppliers.

The Conference coincides with the publication of Nigel Oseland’s new book, Beyond the Workplace Zoo: Humanising the Office. In-person delegates at the conference may claim a complimentary copy of the publication by registering in advance.

Scroll down past our speaker headshots to see the details of all sessions. Click each line to expand and view more details on the speakers and their presentations.

Limited numbers of super early bird tickets are available now, with the option to register to attend in person or virtually.

Group bookings are also welcomed but please remember in person spaces will be limited.

To go to our booking site click here. 


The conference will be managed in line with the current guidance at the time from the UK Government, the Meetings Industry Association, and the Events Industry Forum.

The health and safety of our delegates, speakers, exhibitors and staff is our number one priority. To ensure the conference complies to COVID-19 secure standards, we are putting the following measures in place and revising them in the run up to the event:

Ensure personal safety

  • The conference will only run if allowed by UK Government and both Workplace Trends and our venue deem it safe to do so
  • A full risk assessment will be carried out prior to the event taking place
  • We are working closely with the venue to ensure a safe and controlled environment for our attendees
  • All delegates will be required complete a short health and safety questionnaire prior to attendance.

Enable physical distancing

  • Introduction of arrow directional signage where required
  • Larger registration and catering areas (where possible)
  • Increased registration time to reduce queues and crowding
  • Spaced seating available so delegates have room around them

Increase health and safety measures

  • Sanitising stations in multiple locations of the event with increased effort at high volume touchpoints
  • Increased frequency of waste disposal in all areas
  • Plated foods will be served rather than buffets.

Implement crowd control

  • Implement attendee flow management
  • Limit numbers to accommodate social distancing
  • Sufficiently long lunch and coffee breaks to avoid overcrowding.

Encourage and enforce measures

  • Attendees strongly encouraged to disinfect hands at the registration area before entering the event
  • Enable a no-contact policy (avoid shaking hands)
  • Public health messaging displayed at the event and shared beforehand to all attendees
  • Encourage exhibitors to send promotional materials electronically.

Sessions Include

  • Beyond The Workplace Zoo: Humanising the Office
    • Nigel Oseland, Workplace Unlimited

    Work and the workplace is continually evolving, but there are basic and innate human needs that must be met in order to ensure the wellbeing and performance of each worker. In the modern office, these basic human needs are often overlooked or even ignored in favour of a reduction in space and associated property cost savings, thus creating the ineffective and unpopular Workplace Zoo. This presentation, based on Nigel’s new book, due for publication in September 2021, is a timely reminder of how to create workplaces that enhance the wellbeing and performance of a variety of individuals. It builds on long-standing research and existing best practice design, that is often forgotten or simply ignored, reinterpreted with a contemporary twist.

    • Nigel Oseland
      Workplace Unlimited

      Nigel is an inquisitive environmental psychologist, avid behaviourist, statistics sleuth, agent of change, broadcaster and respected author. Nigel helps organisations and individuals improve their creativity, innovation, motivation, wellbeing and performance.

  • Creativity and Problem Solving in the Workplace
    • Kirk Vallis, Google

    The topic of creativity and problem solving skills has risen up the agenda given the need for more flexible thinking over the past 18 months, as well as what we use space for, as organisations start returning to office. In his role at Google, this is definitely a big priority for Kirk, and and he is also being asked to help other partner organisations in this area and challenge them on how they think about this right now. We’re delighted that Kirk has agreed to take time out of his busy schedule and address our Workplace Trends audience.

    • Kirk Vallis

      Kirk helps leaders, teams and organisations use creativity to solve problems. At Google, he does this in two ways - by partnering on projects where the team recognises they need to disrupt their thinking to develop new options, and also by training Googlers on the techniques and approaches that help us be even more creative on demand, when it's needed most. Kirk Built Google’s Magic Academy, a revered program to help make creativity as valued a part of Googlers’ toolkit as knowledge and technical based skills. Where time permits, Kirk acts as an advisor, mentor and public speaker. He partners with organisations non-conflicting to Google, to help them develop creative capability at all levels in their organisations. This currently includes adidas, Intuit and EY. He also leads a module on creative problem solving for both the English Football Association UEFA Pro coaching licence and their Technical Director program. He is also an ambassador for Moving Ahead, a social enterprise focussed on helping drive greater diversity in business all over the world. Kirk has been a mentor to The Hope Fund for Cancer Research, helping some of the world’s most respected biologists, geneticists and Nobel prize winners, to disrupt traditional thinking. He has also led workshops at Wharton business school and Stanford, to help senior executives unlock even more creativity in themselves and their teams.

  • From Workplace to Networkplace
    • Key Portilla Kawamura, Studio Banana

    We consider the next evolution of the workplace to become a networkplace, an ecosystem of different places that people work from including not just home and office, but all third places in between. This networkplace needs to be designed consciously, taking into account the human experience, workflows and as well as the business model. Hybrid working generates new challenges and in this thought provoking talk by Key Kawamura, co-founder and partner at Studio Banana, he raises the relevant questions about the business case behind the networkplace. How does this ecosystem of places pay for itself? And how can the existing office area be used in a meaningful and impactful way within this ecosystem, so that it stays a valuable asset and does not become a liability?

    • Key Portilla Kawamura
      Studio Banana

      Key Portilla Kawamura is co-founder of Studio Banana. He's an architect by education and creative entrepreneur by miseducation. Together with his partners Ali, Alex and Pablo, and the rest of the Studio Banana team in Switzerland, UK and Spain, he loves exploring the power of design as a tool for transformation. Key is the partner in charge of the Workhabitat competence centre within Studio Banana, who is responsible for projects like the HQ of NTT Switzerland, the multimedia reception experience at Olympic House, the McCann Group HQ in Madrid, the Losinger Marazzi regional agency in Lausanne or the EY Innovation Centre in London. One of Studio Banana's most celebrated creations is the Ostrich Pillow. Key has been a speaker at Stanford University, Harvard University, Creative Mornings Zürich, Skolkovo School of Management Moscow, Tokyo Designers Week, Guggenheim Bilbao and multiple conferences on the subject of contemporary work environments.

  • Reimagining the Workplace for Future Employee Needs
    • Paul-Jervis Heath, Modern Human

    The global coronavirus pandemic provides a once in a generation opportunity to radically reimagine how we work. We have a unique chance to shift our organisations towards a future in which productivity and wellbeing are mutually reinforcing. We have an opportunity to create a future in which the culture and practices, the systems and tools and the physical workplace itself are perfectly aligned to the mission of our organisations and perfectly designed for our colleagues.

    In this session, Founding Partner and Chief Creative Officer of Modern Human, Paul-Jervis Heath, will talk about the changes in employee expectations, behaviour, needs, values and motivations as a result of the pandemic. He will share insights that demonstrate a hybrid model combining in-person and remote working is not a silver bullet but is in fact an insufficient Frankenstein of old and new.

    He will share the results of Modern Human’s experiments, prototypes and pilots in hybrid and blended working which include designing workplace environments and offices for banks, building societies, technology companies and universities. We will explore exactly how we make the post-COVID workspace work; from onboarding to career development; sharing how a new employee understands and absorbs company culture from a makeshift desk in their bedroom to how you prevent working from home making some employees less ‘visible’ and therefore putting them at a disadvantage with regards to their career progression.

    • Paul-Jervis Heath
      Modern Human

      Paul-Jervis Heath is the Chief Creative Officer and a Founding Partner of Modern Human, an award-winning, multidisciplinary design studio and innovation consultancy. Their workplace practice works with clients to imagine their perfect colleague experience. From culture, practices and rituals that empower colleagues to do their very best work; to physical environments that inspire colleagues to greater insights and bigger ideas; to systems and tools that enable colleagues to work more efficiently. These are the workplaces that Modern Human creates. Every study Modern Human has made of working practices, has consistently identified three key elements of an organisation's operating model that significantly contribute to an organisation's purpose and their target customer experience. These are: the organisation’s culture and practices; the systems and tools that colleagues are given and the physical environment they inhabit. The purpose of the organisation should drive the intentional design of all of these factors. Now is the perfect time to reassess these factors in light of the return to the office.

  • Is the Future of Work Hybrid or Overhyped?
    • James Lawrence, Gensler
    • Mirna Gelleni, Vodafone Group Services
    • Sudhir Saseedharan, Tetra Pak

    As we tentatively emerge from the world’s largest workplace change management experiment, what are we expecting from our workplaces now? No one can predict with certainty how our offices and workplaces will change, with the exception that we ‘know’ work will never be the same again… or will it?

    For many the future is hybrid, representing the best of both worlds – finally balancing work and life.  Providing employees, the flexibility and autonomy of working from home with access to the support and community of the physical office on demand.  The hybrid employer may look to reap the benefits of a more remote workforce by combating the war on talent with access to a more regional (or even global) talent pool, aligned with the potential cost saving of a smaller office.  Others believe that the enduring value of the workplace with a co-located workforce will ultimately win out and that the hybrid future is overhyped.

    Join us and a panel of workplace experience and real estate experts as they journey into a hybrid workplace future, to debate the question: Is the future of work hybrid or overhyped?

    • James Lawrence

      As Senior Associate in Gensler's Europe consulting team James thrives off helping clients translate their business ambitions to the built environment. With over 10 years of interior; product design and consulting experience James is uniquely positioned to create design concepts and strategies from the inception of a project that deliver high-quality results. Among his current areas of research is the development of the empathetic workplace – spaces where staff feel supported and comfortable, effective and productive, enabling them to work stress free to be as productive as possible. Whether James is designing a piece of furniture or a new workplace, he believes that the success of a project lies in the careful attention to the smallest element and observations, creating innovative design solutions for the workplace and beyond.

    • Mirna Gelleni
      Vodafone Group Services

      Mirna is a Workplace Strategist & Senior Capital Projects Manager at Vodafone Group Services. She has over 20 years of well-rounded experience in workplace strategy consulting across Europe, and specialises in space optimisation strategy, consolidation in real estate projects and new ways of working concepts. For Vodafone and other blue-chip companies, she has a proven track-record and passion for implementing strategic workplace development and policy to balance savings with effective working environment. Mirna is focused on innovation with purpose, that truly understands and matches the business need to add real and lasting value to the user experience.

    • Sudhir Saseedharan
      Tetra Pak

      Sudhir is Director of Workplace Experience & Future Working at Tetra Pak. He treads the path that intersects various aspects of Culture, Space, User Experience, Policies, Digital tools, Services, Wellbeing etc, that encapsulates the work life of an employee. With a human focussed mindset, he is constantly trying to push the boundaries to create meaningful and impactful experiences. Before being on the management team of facilities at Tetra Pak, Sudhir was the Global Design Lead for Workplace Experiences at the LEGO Group responsible for how all LEGO offices function, feel and is experienced globally. Curiosity, collaboration, learning and empathy are some of the tools he uses in this professional and personal life. Sudhir lives in London, loves dogs, dances Cuban salsa and always on the lookout for things/people/places/moments which tickles his mind and brings a sparkle to his eye.

  • Let’s Talk About Working From Home
    • Lillian Antonio, The Modern Ergonomist
    • Mark Catchlove, Herman Miller Insight Group

    Mark Catchlove interviews Lillian Antonio, a leading ergonomist who has over 20 years’ experience  working with leading organisations across the world.

    Together they will explore the challenges and opportunities of people working from home, whether by choice or imposition.

    They will discuss the physical and social implications as well as looking at  areas of responsibility and accountability.

    • Lillian Antonio
      The Modern Ergonomist

      Lillian is an ergonomics consultant, a Fitwel ambassador, a WELL Movement concept advisor and member of the CIEHF. Ergonomics is all about people and it’s application helps to improve wellbeing at work, whether that’s in the office, at home or on the road. Working with clients across the world delivering expert ergonomics consultancy to all types of organisations delivering a range of workplace ergonomics training sessions and seminars, ensuring people can work comfortably in different work settings to sedentary behaviour and mobile technology. It’s an exciting time for the workplace and how it will evolve as organisations adapt their working model which includes ergonomics and wellbeing. Employees need to be equipped with the right tools in order to apply them to different workspaces.

    • Mark Catchlove
      Herman Miller Insight Group

      Mark leads Herman Millers Insight Group which is responsible for sharing the latest thinking in workplace design and related issues. He has been at Herman Miller for over 20 years and over that time has become a respected contributor to the workplace community.

  • DE&I in the Workplace
    • Chely Wright, Unispace

    “It’s the year 2021, and yet the global workplace still struggles with a lack of diversity, and bias – unconscious or otherwise. We’re dedicated to putting in the work and leading our industry with action. Addressing DE&I in the workplace is a moral and business imperative”. (Steve Quick, Unispace CEO).

    The world has changed. We must meet the moment and make our organisations more diverse, equitable and inclusive place for people, for clients and for the communities in which we operate.  Diverse teams are created through intentional, inclusive environments where all employees have equal opportunities during their lifecycle – from hiring to training, compensation, managing, promoting and beyond.

    • Chely Wright

      Chely Wright is the Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer at Unispace. She leads the global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) programme, helping the company identify and utilise minority-owned businesses across supply chain.

  • Intergenerational Change in the Workplace
    • Dhanishtha Patel, CBRE

    For the first time in history, there are 5 generations represented in the workplace. This presentation will focus on understanding the multi-generational workforce and how the new generation, Gen Z, will be changing and shaping the future of work. Through evidence-based research we will explore the importance of diversity and the lens of intersectionality. We will also explore questions such as, is technology that important to Gen Z? And what can we do as workplace experts to acquire the best talent and retain them?

    • Dhanishtha Patel

      Dhanishtha Patel is currently embedded within Novartis as the Workplace Programme Manager, in which she integrates the Workplace service lines, manages the integrated technology platform SuperByte and supports finances. She is a Psychologist and researcher, who specialises in generational change, diversity and intersectionality. Dhanishtha prides herself on being a cross-cultural kid and believes that the world is a small place in which we have to do better to be better. She ties in her background and expertise to understand and develop the workplace of the future.

  • Shifting the Purpose and Experience of the Workplace Environment: Community, hospitality and storytelling
    • Michael Fern, Edge

    If the workplace is no longer the only place where work ‘gets done’, what can the office offer? There must be positive pull – otherwise it becomes defunct.

    We are seeing landlords now talking about tenants as customers and using measures such as the Net Promoter Score to evaluate and plan for workplace environments. We’re getting to a new way of evaluating space, looking outside the sector and doing pre-work that is about understanding the community, the audience.

    Michael will talk about the importance of starting with the end user experience. Physical space is for creating a brand centre of excellence – a place where people can absorb the company culture and behaviour. Thinking from leisure and hospitality are invaluable now in planning workplace design. Michael will talk about how important front of house service, experience and facilitation are to create a space that provides the social glue, which absorbs the values of the brand and which fulfils the need to be in a particular location.

    • Michael Fern

      Michael is a forward-thinking design strategist with a real love of, and empathy with, his subject. He can inject stimulating ideas, innovation and creative direction at every critical project stage and his skills inspire both clients and colleagues and help progress complex projects simply and smoothly. Michael is an all-rounder, working closely with his fellow directors in the leadership of multi-disciplinary teams on every scale of project across all sectors. A great listener and communicator, Michael is passionate about finding the best creative and business solution for every project he directs. His wide frame of cultural and design references ensures that he brings sharp and informed solutions to bear on client projects.

  • Our Moderator for the Day
    • Sam Sahni, Unispace
    • Sam Sahni

      Sam is a global leader in Enterprise Strategy and Corporate Real Estate. He is an experienced C-Suite advisor in the realm of Workplace Consultancy, Portfolio Strategy and Change Management. He’s a dynamic leader and thinker with the ability to build businesses, develop bespoke solutions and take accountability for complex projects. Sam lives in London however works across the globe. As a strategic futures and foresights expert, Sam has also authored a number of organisational white papers and presented at industry conferences as a keynote speaker. During the last 5 years, Sam has been highly vocal on the concept of ‘Destination Workplaces’ i.e. delivering environments where people love being in, not have to be in. Since the global pandemic, Sam and his team have been leading the industry in helping several organisations globally to deliver the ‘Propeller framework’ which takes the concept of Destination Workplaces to the next level. With several hundred end-to-end workplace projects under his belt, Sam’s knowledge comes from exposure to a variety of sectors including Finance, FMCG, Technology, Real Estate and Engineering.

With thanks to our sponsors