The future of the workplace is yours to design

Courtesy of Eilidh Tucker

There could be no better setting for the launch of the 2022 BCO NextGen Ideas Competition than the HYLO, a self-proclaimed ‘basecamp for brilliance.’

The evening of Thursday 31st March saw members of the BCO NextGen Committee gather for a long-awaited in-person networking event in one of London’s most exciting new buildings. Kicking off proceedings was Multiplex’s Andy Campbell, chair of the London and South East NextGen committee, who provided an overview of the evening, and directed attention to our fundraiser for Ukraine. Our thoughts are with all those impacted by the ongoing devastation in Ukraine, and it felt pertinent to use our event to contribute positively in some way. Donations can still be made here.

Stephen Cherry, Managing Director at HCL Architects, Steve Riddell, Partner at CIT Group, and Michael Hynd, Associate Director AKTII, provided an in-depth run through of building spec and hosted a brief Q&A on the HYLO development. A guided tour of the building followed, with NextGen members split into groups and led through the development with a related party on hand to answer any queries. Experiencing this excellent example of a future-focused workspace served as an ideal forerunner to the main event — the launch of the Ideas Project.

The tour was rounded off by drinks and nibbles on the top floor, readying the next generation of talent to foster their best ideas over an evening of networking. Emily Pallot, Director at Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt, led a galvanising launch, pitching the central concept of the BCO Ideas Competition and calling on members to submit their entries for the future workspace. The 2022 competition looks for individual submissions, widening the gateposts and encouraging more creative freedom than ever before —

the onus is on you to decide what the future should look like.

The deadline for entry is Friday 20th May 2022, and all details are available here.

Anyone can enter, provided that you are a member of the BCO NextGen. Consider how you could shape the modern workplace for the better, by incorporating one of the four focus categories in your design:

• Addressing the Climate Emergency

• Integrating New Technologies

• Designing the Human Experience

• Creating Diversity and Inclusion /Social Impact

The HYLO proved to be a hotbed of inspiration. Sunlight streamed through floor-to-ceiling windows in the early evening, casting light on animated conversations. There was much discussion of ‘best ideas’ and their origins, some more offbeat than others, as we found…

Heba Tabidi:

Where do you come up with your best ideas? — “At a rave! It makes you disconnect in a way, but there’s also such a big part of your brain that is occupied by the music. I always feel inspired afterwards”

What do you do if you’re stuck for an idea? — “Yoga. Or on a bigger scale, travel by myself. Both stimulate me”

John Hunter:

Where do you come up with your best ideas? — “Before I go to sleep. There are no distractions, it’s just me and the ebb and flow of my thoughts. ”

What do you do if you’re stuck for an idea? — “When I’m stuck for ideas I reach out and speak to people, that never fails to inspire me. Through the BCO I have met people who encourage you to think bigger, but in a neutral environment. It’s not competitive, but it encourages you to better yourself. At BCO events you interact as people, not just as professionals.”

If being an instrumental factor in the future of workspace wasn’t enough incentive, the BCO is also offering six finalists “a world-class opportunity to learn to articulate, refine and amplify your ideas” through incredible Ted-talk style public speaking training with Ginger Leadership Communications. You will then have the opportunity to flex your newfound skills, pitching your ideas publicly at the final Ideas Project Event, attended by key leaders across the industry and fellow BCO members later this year. Sarah, head of Ginger Communications, and her team will lead you through a series of workshops that

will enable you to:

“take your seed of an idea and turn it into something transformational.”

Grab the chance to boost your profile in the industry and learn to sell yourself in a way that will stick.

We would like to extend our thanks to everyone who helped in bringing this event to life, with special thanks to HYLO for hosting us, and of course to our sponsor of the evening, LA Construction.

The limits are what you make them, so you can dream big. Take it from James Pellatt, Director of Workplace and Innovation at Great Portland Estates and one of our 2022 judges: “Very few people get creative ideas in an office,” so what is your solution?

The future of the workplace is yours to design. Enter now for your chance to be the change you want to see.