2022 BCO Manchester Conference | Spotlight on Sarah Syson, the NextGen winner for the North of England and North Wales region

With the upcoming 2022 BCO Annual Conference being hosted in Manchester, we sat down with Sarah Syson, the NextGen winner for the North of England and North Wales region, and spoke about all things offices, nurturing young talent and sector innovation.
Sarah is a Warrington-based Associate Design Director at Claremont and was awarded the Rising Star accolade at the Annual BCO NextGen Awards last November, which recognises under 35’s for their achievements within the office sector.

Thanks for taking the time to speak with us Sarah, so to start: what is the greatest piece of advice you would offer to NextGen candidates in the coming years?

I would tell them, ‘Don’t forget the simple things!’ We tend to work under tight deadlines and dealing with the pressure can be difficult. When you find yourself struggling in these moments, take a deep breath and make a list of priorities that you can discuss with your colleagues. And remember, there’s no such thing as a silly question, so get involved, stay curious, and keep learning!

What is your favourite office development in the North of England?

It’s very hard for me to pinpoint a favourite, with so many outstanding commercial office developments in the region, but if I had to, I would pick the Royal Liver Building in Liverpool. People have a tendency to focus upon newer buildings, but it’s so important not to forget the many iconic buildings that exist in the North! They have personality, charm and character, meaning that we can create memorable spaces for clients. For that reason, the Royal Liver Building, with its fantastic history and amazing views is my favourite.

As a NextGen Rising Star, what is the greatest area of innovation that you foresee affecting the office sector in the coming years?

If I had to guess, I would predict that technologies related to mixed presence digital collaboration will become an even more vital tool for maintaining team connection and fostering innovation. As hybrid working establishes itself as the norm, the desire for immersive environments will only increase. As a designer who puts people at the heart of any scheme, I think it’s so important to focus upon creating inclusive environments. That way, the office can remain a fantastic place for socialising and informal knowledge sharing.

When it comes to sustainability, what solutions would you like to see implemented more in the future?

As we collectively seek to reduce our carbon footprint, it would be great to see solutions implemented that reduce waste, and efforts at re-using and recycling commercial furniture in innovative and unexpected ways.

We look forward to welcoming you to the conference in June 2022. Look out for bookings opening in January.

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