Royal Albert Dock business district’s chairman aiming to transform office working
- Credit: GG Archard
With the coronavirus pandemic potentially altering the nature of office working for good, Newham’s upcoming business district is exploring ways to meet the changing demand.
Phase one of ABP’s Royal Albert Dock site was completed last year, but just months after the first companies moved into the £1.7billion development, there are plans to adapt the facilities in the wake of Covid-19.
The chairman and president of ABP, Xu Weiping, said: “We have been studying and trying to figure out how we can elevate what we have in phase one in order to better adapt to the need for a different type of office space, a different way of working after the coronavirus crisis.
“ABP wants to create an environment where workers’ efficiency can be enhanced and where they will enjoy working.
“Our aim is to offer a solution of office space where it is safe and has lot of supporting services, complemented by an online platform so workers can get everything they need without having to travel a great distance.”
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The plans involve creating 2,000 Cubes - individual spaces for employees to work - as well as an online service known as A-Hub.
Each Cube will measure 3m sq by 3m sq, and feature a sliding glass door, a window with blinds and air conditioning.
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They will also be soundproofed to allow for private conversations or playing ambient music, and feature a mini-fridge, microwave, small sink and day bed in addition to a desk and chair.
Mr Xu said: “They will occupy the space on each floor of the buildings in the new development and are being created in response to the anticipated demand for a new personalised office environment appealing to those who have seen the benefits of working from home but need to be within an office community for business networking and to access meeting rooms and other facilities.”
He added that the company aimed to have a show floor ready by September.
The A-Hub is being developed as an online service featuring six connected online portals for those that use the cubes, providing access to networking events and courses as well as discounts.
Phase two of the development is set to include more offices, flats and a membership club.
The whole scheme is intended to be completed no later than 2032.