What will happen to flagship offices now that people have discovered home working?

Agencies and tech companies spend a lot of money on glorious flagship offices, a place to impress clients and entice staff to work as many hours in the day as possible. But people have discovered during the pandemic that they are happy to miss out on the big desks, the free breakfasts and the ping pong tables.

A Publicis Groupe survey found that 89% of people want to work from home more often, with more than half citing the daily commute as the reason. In this week’s video, CEO Arthur Sadoun promises the troops that he’s working to disrupt the status quo.

He also acknowledges the challenges, particularly when only one in four of Publicis staff has a dedicated workspace at home, and 53% are finding it harder to switch off outside of business hours. Despite this, they’d still rather not traipse into the office unless they have to.

Martin Sorrell told CNBC much the same thing, and confirmed that S4 Capital is already dropping leases in London and New York because his people prefer to work from home.

Business travel is also likely to take a permanent hit. Sorrell revealed that he would travel less and attend fewer conferences, which will be a single-handed blow to the airline and hotel industries. WPP CEO Mark Read also said that he’s realised he can effectively address a whole country in one go, without leaving his home office, and that he would travel less in future.

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About Emma Hall

Emma Hall
Emma Hall is the former London Editor of Ad Age, where she covered European marketing advertising, digital and media stories. She has written for newspapers including the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times and the Telegraph, and was previously a section editor at Campaign. Emma started her career in New York as a researcher for a biography of Keith Richards.

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    Sorrell is going to attend fewer conferences. He’ll keep it under five a week.

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