Center Stage Podcast

Google and WeWork are building workplaces of the future

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As the workforce evolves from working a traditional 9-to-5 schedule to getting the job done whenever and wherever, businesses are reimaging the offices and other locations in which that work gets done. The ever-expanding definition of "workplace" invites solutions such as services that optimize the work environment in transit, implementing virtual reality or augmented reality technology to boost efficiency, and dematerializing office configurations. 

Google’s director of global workforce programs, Michiel Bakker, and WeWork’s head of sustainability and well-being, Lindsay Baker, sat down at VERGE 18 in Oakland, California, to discuss their companies’ blueprints for agile, flexible workspaces that everyone can enjoy. "If you can create the physical infrastructure in which people can adapt their work configuration based on their needs or just based on their work style, then I think you really have a winner," Bakker said.

A third of the U.S population might need to find new jobs by 2050 due to the increasing trend of automation, Baker noted, and WeWork is always responding to these changes. "We think a lot about the impending and ever-increasing need for people to find new career paths, and how do you facilitate that, how do you get people the education they need, how do you get the space right…[we need] all these things to make that work," she said.  

Although work is no longer confined within office walls, these two architects of workplace experience both highlighted their companies’ efforts to turn the office into a social hub where workers can find meaningful, sustainable human connections.

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Technical direction for GreenBiz Center Stage by Isaac Silk.