BCO 2022 Awards: Why celebrating our offices now is more important than ever

Tony Hordon

The disruption to our economy in the past eighteen months, and indeed the very fabric of our daily lives, has never been so great in my lifetime. I am encouraged by how the nation has not only responded to this change, but also questioned what it is we’re all racing to get back to? For me, this is particularly true of the office sector, and at its heart the office: a space many of us took at face value pre-pandemic.

As initial questions of ‘will the office survive’ fell by the wayside, and attentions turned back to a return to the office. We have collectively begun to reassess what we want the office to be. I and the BCO feel that above all else the office needs to be a complementary partner to the home. It needs to be at the very least as good as, if not better, than what many of us became accustomed to from spring 2020 onwards.

To that end, and with the rise of hybrid working, the BCO is looking for the ‘best in class’ examples that can be a wonderful reminder of the quality, world class design and innovation that our industry stands for. The BCO Awards 2022 will do just that and serve as an inspiration for future innovation.

The office sector has often been the catalyst for change and last year represented perhaps one of the most important times for developers, occupiers and professionals involved in the delivery of office buildings.

Flexibility and the capacity to adapt to ever changing circumstances and conditions, as well as to the needs of the end user – from a financial, wellbeing, health, and environmental perspective – will be crucial.

Workers, returning to their offices, will play their part in leading the economic revival post pandemic. Our industry can be rightly proud of how it has responded to previous challenges, how it has embraced the climate agenda, focused on wellbeing, and placed people at the very heart of any workplace strategy.

We now have the opportunity to take the sector forward again and to set new responsive standards for a new generation of offices. The 2022 BCO Awards provides a wonderful stage for the entrants to demonstrate their approach and inspire others to follow their lead.

The unquestionable progress of our industry in ensuring ‘people’ are at the heart of the workplace is now to be complemented by ensuring that their health and wellbeing is paramount in dealing with current and future pandemics. This will be an important industry benchmark for the future. As there was no BCO Awards competition in 2021, the 2022 BCO Awards will include all projects completed between 1st January 2017 and 1st November 2021.

Entries for the awards close Friday 26th November – so start your planning today.

Tony Hordon is the Chairman of the BCO Awards 2022 and Managing Director at Parabola