In the almost 10 years since we launched with The Fifth Estate we’ve learnt three important things about offices, the topic we covered at our event in Brisbane on 27 March 2018 – Bring Your Office to Life.

One is that they are capable of huge sustainability gains; they can achieve massive cuts in energy and greenhouse gas emissions.

Second, their design can influence, even shape, the productivity of our economy. Think how high-tech and creative people want stimulating, quirky offices.

And third is that, since we spend most of our waking hours in our offices, how they look and feel will be something we take back to our private lives. If the boss can make our office beautiful, sustainable and happy, then why can’t the rest of the places we live and play in go the same way?

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It doesn’t have to be about expensive “stuff”. It can be as simple as a better layout or some hardy indoor plants – but the more biophilia the better! And we’re learning that a happy office is hugely connected to better attitudes and social relations with the people around us. Are we working as a team with a common goal? Are we happy to be inclusive and diverse? How powerful would a bigger generosity of spirit be if we brought those lessons home to the other places we go in our private time?

The thing about high-end office design and management is that they attract the best minds in the world because they’re dedicated to maximising the most valuable and expensive investment by the biggest corproates – their staff.

They’ve taken a few wrong turns in history – and no one should forget Taylorism now that data sensors and data mining is at hand – but overall the trajectory is to greater humanity and sustainability, which creates the best results.

As we heard from our amazing panellists the best and brightest corporates realise that sustainability and biophilia is good for us and generates better productivity. We learnt that food is the “glue” to team work, that engagement of staff when you are about to massively disrupt their style of working is a big help, and that we have some strong herd instincts and like to work in known clusters of maybe up to 30 people that we can connect with and get to know.

A massive thanks to our impressive panellists who all put in big efforts to bring out their best possible work and insights, to our fabulous sponsors who we rely on to make these events happen, to the audience who filled our space to capacity and to our collaborating partners CitySmart for introducing us to Brisbane for the first time. We’ll be back!

Tina Perinotto,
Managing editor and publisher,
The Fifth Estate

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