One sixe fits one article by Karen Mosley HLM Architects for Women in Property

In a recent piece written for Women in Property, Managing Director, Karen Mosley wrote about how we have a golden opportunity as an industry to grasp this moment; to be more diverse, inclusive and, kind if we keep our flexible working mindset truly open.

At HLM, we’ve embraced the concept of agile working for many years. We’ve invested in technology, unleashed the emotional intelligence of our leaders, listened to the needs of our team, empowered and supported everyone to be at their best, wherever they might be located. We’ve acknowledged output rather than hours put in.

It’s hard to believe now, that at the beginning of January our 9-day fortnight and agile working approach was still receiving raised eyebrows. A closed mindset by many, concerned that the wheels of a project might fall off if their team were not visible in the workplace, or available full time.

Then boom, radical change to how we work happened overnight. But what now? Will we be elastic bands and snap back to old ways of working? I truly hope not. Everyone is unique; different circumstances, personalities, personal challenges, aspirations, changing lifestyles; and we must respect that individuality. One size does not fit all.

There are still leaders out there who can’t wait to get back to ‘normal’, because they’re blinded by ingrained assumptions; they’ve not grasped technology or too concerned staff aren’t productive because they can’t see them; or they long to be travelling for hours, because that makes them feel productive. This is no longer normal, it’s the past.

The studio environment still has a huge part to play; connecting us with our brand and our colleagues, a collaborative space, an innovative hub; but it should be one of many places to work, rather than the only one.

There are certainly challenges ahead, but we have a golden opportunity as an industry to grasp this moment; to be more diverse, inclusive and kind, if we keep our flexible working mindset truly open. And coupled with some thoughtful design around our future homes and workplaces; we can create spaces and places that will most certainly improve peoples’ lives.

Let’s not bounce back but bounce forward and take what we have learned over the last three months to make what we do even better for our people and our planet.

The studio environment still has a huge part to play; connecting us with our brand and our colleagues, a collaborative space, an innovative hub; but it should be one of many places to work, rather than the only one.