As the world continues to adjust all aspects of life due to Covid-19, design and industry thinkers seek answers from leading drivers of change. Andrew Cogan, Knoll Chairman and CEO, spoke with Tyler Brûlé, Monocle Editor-in-Chief, about the challenges that lie ahead, discussing the nature of the way we work as well as the importance of workplace culture, ergonomics and sustainability.
During Brûlé’s June 16 Monocle radio segment, The Big Interview, he and Cogan focused on the future of the workplace. “The first thing is, the workplace is not going away,” Cogan says, adding, “The reality is that the mixture of community, connectivity, creativity and culture you get in the workplace is simply irreplaceable. The social capital we’ve built over the years kind of dissipates the longer you’re remote.”
Backed by conversations with clients and architects, Cogan argues that companies will once again shift from the current norm of remote work back to the physical workspace. “The next phase is retrofitting the workspace...And then you’ll start to think about redesigning. How do you change the design of a facility to more permanently adjust to cleaner, safer, healthier work?,” states Cogan, highlighting a transition from enclosed rooms to open architectural environments that allow more air flow.
Finally, Cogan stresses that fully or partially remote organizations take on the responsibility to address gaps that arise in remote workstyles. “I think it [the right tools] sends a message about what kind of organization it is and how they care about their people,” says Cogan, adding that it is beneficial to all to, “provide furnishings that are well-made, environmentally responsible, beautiful and functional. The great thing we can do with Knoll and Fully is provide these ergonomic and height-adjustable products.”