Adapting offices webinar

Returning to the office - what do we know and what do we need to know?

We are delighted to welcome you to our panel made up of industry experts, including Angela Barnicle from Leeds City Council, Dr Matthew Davis from Leeds University Business School, Ruth Hynes from Atkins among others who will be announced in the lead up to the event.

Watch the recording of this event here.

The panel will share their views on how organisations are preparing for an increased return to offices and what challenges and opportunities this presents. The panel will reflect on what the big unknowns are for the future of the office, shifts to hybrid and new ways of working. They will also discuss solutions to key issues facing businesses bringing staff back to the office. Best practice tips from both industry experience and academic research will be shared.

You are invited to join us for an exciting panel discussion and following this an open Q&A about the practicalities of returning to the office.

Our Webinar Panel

Angela Barnicle, Chief Officer - Asset Management & Regeneration, Leeds City Council

Angela has a passion for cities, economic development and with it delivering transformational change and inclusive growth. Having worked extensively across the UK advising on large scale city development and transport schemes, organisational design and place positioning, Angela now leads the Asset Management and Regeneration Service for Leeds City Council. Here Angela focuses on realising the development opportunities and optimum real estate solutions to support the growth of the City.

Dr Matthew Davis, Associate Professor, Leeds University Business School, and Principle Investigator on Adapting Offices Project

Dr Matthew Davis, an Associate Professor at Leeds University Business School, is a leading academic researching how employees interact with their work environment. He has worked on a range of applied research projects with corporate partners including Rolls-Royce, Marks and Spencer, Next, Atkins, Arup and British Gas. Matthew is currently leading a ESRC funded multi-disciplinary project examining office adaptations in response to COVID-19 and how office design and ways of working (e.g., hybrid) impact employee social networks, workflow and performance.

Ruth Hynes, Senior Design Researcher - Atkins

Ruth Hynes is a Senior Design Researcher with a background in architecture and extensive experience working with clients to better understand and advise on how the built environment and workplaces in particular can be designed to support occupant wellbeing and performance. Ruth works with clients and design teams to apply design research approaches and digital tools to support the design of workplaces and offices across a range of sectors including commercial workplace, higher education high-value manufacturing, and energy sectors. Ruth is a qualified WELL Accredited Professional and leads the development and delivery of Atkins Human-Centred Design digital engagement tool which brings data driven insights into the analysis of key activities and processes, building occupant workstyles, and wellbeing in buildings.

Daniel Jones, Operations Director - Story Contracting

Dan is a chartered civil engineer and Operations Director at Story Contracting Limited working in the railway industry. Story is a growing business with new offices opening across the UK. Dan believes that creating the best office environments, combined with agile working policies, will be critical to attract and retain talent post-covid restrictions.  

Webinar Schedule 

  • Introduction – Dr Emma Gritt, Leeds University Business School
  • Overview: Summary of current business and academic findings, plans for return, employee sentiment and workplace adaptation examples – Dr Matthew Davis, Leeds University Business School
  • First round panel discussion: What approaches have been taken for returning to the office? What are the emerging challenges?
  • Panellist presentation: Angela Barnicle, Chief Officer - Asset Management & Regeneration, Leeds City Council
  • Panellist presentation: Ruth Hynes, Senior Design Researcher - Atkins
  • Panellist presentation: Daniel Jones, Operations Director - Story Contracting
  • Facilitated panel discussion
  • Open Q&A

This event is supported by UKRI / ERSC Funding.