FOREWORD TO THESECOND EDITION Much of this publication was written before the Covid-19 outbreak, which raises the obvious question of whether it is still relevant. After all, we have just been through the biggest working-from-home experiment ever. Arent we witnessing the beginning of end of the office, with everybody working from home happily ever after?It is too early to know, but that is the impression you get when reading the recent barrage of social media posts on this topic, typically headed by dramatic titles such as The world of work has changed for ever or This is the end of the office as we know it or even The Office is Dead. There is some truth in these titles in the sense that the Covid-19 crisis has demonstrated that organizations do not necessarily need offices. Managers have discovered that remote working is not as scary as they thought, and that staff productivity is more likely to go up than down. Employees, for their part, seem fairly happy as well. Working from home comes with downsidesdistractions from kids or spouses, a risk of overworking, social isolationbut the overall experience appears to be positive.Even so, I think that it is too early to write off the office as a relic of the past. Fundamentally people are social beings who seek out the company of others. Office buildings remain excellent places for this. Being in the same buildings facilitates both planned and unplanned meetings, enabling people to build social networks, collaborate, learn, build trust, exchange ideas and shape a common cultureall essential ingredients for organizational success. Without doubt, some organizations will opt for a fully virtual way of working (a digital-first approach in management-speak), but I expect that most will adopt a midway solution (a hybrid or blended or mixed-presence approach), in which employees are allowed to split their time between different locations: home for solo-work, the office for collaboration. Depending on the type of work, cafes, hotels, libraries and co-workspaces might also be part of the mix. Obviously, this is not a new idea. In his 1997 classic The New Office, architect Frank Duffy predicted that the office would become a node in a wider network of workplaces, writing: No longer is it necessary for an individual to occupy a particular place from nine to five, five days a week . Most people will learn how to work from a variety of places. Now that Duffys ideas seem finally to have become reality, I expect that activity-based working (ABW) will become still more popular. Even before the pandemic, traditional desks were heavily underutilized, with occupancy levels of no more than 40 to 50% on average. If people are going to be working from home more often, these figures will drop further, making the logic for sharing workspaces at the office even more obvious. It is important to stress, however, that ABW should not be viewed solely through the lens of efficiency. To be successful, the ABW concept should also be about creating a better, more attractive work environment. Less space but better space, so to speak. Better space means providing staff with a larger diversity of spaces to choose from: not just open-plan workstations, but also focus rooms, phone booths, break areas and informal collaboration areas. Better space also means more attention to design, using casual elements such as sofas, rugs and plants to create spaces where people actually enjoy spending time.7