Location: the office or anywhere? Where will you be in 2021?

Options for work locations

By Kelly Drewery, Business Psychologist at Talent Glue and Katherine Wiid, Recruitment and Retention Coach at Recrion

What on earth happened to us in 2020 and where does it leave us now? 

Many polls report that people have discovered real merits of working from home.  The past year has seen an increase in digital nomads and working from home. Even before the pandemic, more people were seeking home-based roles for at least some of the week.

Where you work is more than just a location. When that location changes, it requires a cultural and behavioural shift that every person in your organisation will have a unique perspective on. 

So, what are workers and employers planning to do in 2021 and beyond? We co-hosted an “Air your Views” session with the Cambridge Network which was attended by 41 participants from a range of local employers and workers in Cambridge. Discussions were varied and fruitful and surfaced five current themes where there are differing perspectives on ‘what next’ between workers and employers:

worker and employer dilemmas










Here are our top tips on these dilemmas:

  1. Know what helps you to be your ‘best self.   And make time to help others.  How can you help other people bring their ‘best selves’ to their work? Have conversations with your colleagues and co-create your new social norms.  
  2. Optimise your physical space.  If you think of your physical location as a resource, what do you need from an office?   If you are working with others, how can you fairly manage the diversity of need?
  3. Find meaningful ways to be collaborative and make visible what might be hidden.  Open up conversations around what makes others thrive, feel stressed or overwhelmed; share the same for you. If you don’t have a culture of openness, you may want to propose the need for clear guidance for managers around emotionally intelligent remote management.  
  4. Re-contract with your colleagues.   Encourage everyone to be open about their circumstances and explore what this means about working together.  It may be that some roles, business processes or even service agreements need to change.  
  5. Define what you offer – your ‘proposition’.  What are the non-negotiables in your work? Likewise, for employers, know the employment deal you offer. Compare your ‘deal’ with competitors for your workers. 

For more detail on the discussions, you can find our full article here.


About the authors

Talent Glue: As a business psychologist, Kelly Drewery focuses on helping people and organisations be more effective. The 'glue' is about the stickiness between people and employers - the energy, performance and reputation that we have that attracts each other.


Recrion: Recrion's founder Katherine Wiid provides people managers with skills, self-awareness and a sounding board to become confident recruiters and motivators of teams. Katherine’s extensive recruitment and behavioural experience ensures that her clients are in sync with how people’s minds work. She describes herself as a catalyst to support both candidates and companies to find the best in each other so that both parties excel.



Cambridge Network is a membership organisation based in the vibrant high technology cluster of Cambridge, UK. We bring people together - from business and academia - to meet each other and share ideas, encouraging collaboration and partnership for shared success.

Cambridge Network Limited