Modus turns 29!


Baking-in working from home – perhaps on a rota basis – is beguiling: it can reduce costs and is popular with staff. But it’s hard to manage, risks damaging culture, stifling innovation, and undermining staff development. And is it really thought-through or just a reaction to what has happened? How do you decide who should come in and on which day? Do you downsize, chuck out your desks and put in collaboration booths? Do you dispense with the office completely?

Our stance is that the role of real estate in a business’s strategic mix is personal to each company and there are no rules. It’s all about management and starts with a root-and-branch review of how physical space supports business strategy. We should celebrate the fact that it is now possible to do so much remotely, and that should
be woven into the fabric of how the company operates. In its turn, the office must work hard to prove its worth as the home and beating heart of the business; this is redolent with possibility because we’ve largely been freed from our desks.

Our job at Modus becomes even more critical now that the primary driver is no longer density of desks; we are working with a key component of our clients’ business plans to create spaces that support their sales activities and their people’s collaboration, innovation, engagement, health and community. We’re imagining magnetic offices where employees want to go because they achieve more when they are there. Spaces that drive sales and client engagement through technology and beautiful design. Where the magic happens. The projects shown in this, our 29th book, were originated in a world before Covid. However, because we’ve been advocating activity-based design for many years, all the featured spaces work just as well post-pandemic; these clients are not seeking to change anything. This is a real testament to the clarity of thinking and quality of design that Modus is known for.

We’re now in our thirtieth year and looking at a future that is full of possibility and promise. Modus continues to be the company where the industry’s talent wants to be
and we’re confident that there will always be demand for great places to work. So, as the world starts to recover, we’re very confident of a bright future. I want to finish by saying how proud I am of everyone who works with me for the way they dealt with life during the pandemic. Without missing a beat, the company moved online and continued to deliver for our clients. I am blessed by being surrounded by extraordinary people.

Toby Benzecry, Founder & CEO

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2020 was our twenty-ninth year and without a doubt has been the strangest we’ve encountered. Like every business in the UK we have faced a host of new challenges and latterly been embroiled in the same debate – what is the role of our physical office space in the future? The demand from staff for flexibility of work location is undeniable, but we also believe strongly that a key component of our success is the magic that happens when we’re in the same space.

Fortunately, we have spent the last thirty years helping other businesses think about the importance of their office space and the competitive advantage that can be obtained from it. The same thought processes can be applied to a post-pandemic world since what we’re really seeing is the acceleration of a trend towards location flexibility rather than a fundamental change in the nature of work. In fact, pre-pandemic, many businesses had operated “working from elsewhere” policies – in a sense this is nothing new.