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Town Hall #29 - The New Possible - AUS

Updated: May 20, 2022


Celso Borges - Head of Experience Design at Tigerspike

Hassan el Rayes - State Sales Manager at Schiavello Systems

Keeley Green - Director at Keeley Green Interior Design

Andrew Hoyne - Principal at HOYNE

Julie Ockerby - CEO, Creative Director and Principal at Meli Studio Australia

Betsy Sweat - Head of Asia Pacific, Restoration Hardware

Quick Commentary:


  • It's time to create alternative space to encourage people to return to the office

  • Change the mindset and experiences of the conventional office

  • Property leases are most pivotal reason for change of direction / lifestyle... the power dynamic has changed in that the Leasee will dictate terms

  • Co-working spaces are going to get their time in the sun

  • We are going back to the core of why a business functions and why they had meaning

  • No matter what age or socioeconomic status, people want to keep learning


  • We have realised that people can work from anywhere

  • We should think inclusive design


  • This time has given us an opportunity to review workspace

  • Better workplace & culture


  • Is hospitality moving into aged care?


  • The concept of office hotel – mini satellites around the suburbs

  • We will become more nomadic (no fixed address)


  • Aged care facilities should be more interactive with the community which in turn will improved the facilities

What has changed for changed for 2021:

BETSY: Having empathy for staff / understanding personal lives affect work motivation

JULIE: Bigger isn’t necessarily better

HASSAN: Taking leadership back to school to learn how to identify and treat staff who are not doing well

CELSCO: Experience is everything / need to focus more inward within the organisation

ANDY: Invest in staff – training and finding their potential / avoid traveling as much as we now know Zoom works / Use resources better

Time for innovation

KEELEY: Move back to the important things in life


Mark Bergin 00:02

Hello, everybody, welcome to Episode 29 of the Design Exec Club Town Halls. I'm always humbled with my fellow presenters that we've got here. Today, it's a focus in the Australian market, and we've got people from Queensland, from New South Wales and Victoria, which means that we've actually got three states that are and aren't letting people travel across borders. We're not going to talk about what isn't happening, as much as we're going to talk about the new possibilities. And in particular, because we've got so many experts who are in how 'place' works, we're going to be delving in and looking at how 'place' and how experiences work. And then I'm going to go across to Celso and we're going to be talking about well how can digital systems help the idea that we need to get reintroduced back into place, and we need to have some context there. First person I'm going to head off with is Andrew Hoyne or Andy Hoyne has a lot of people know him. Andy, you're an expert in the place visioning side. Place visioning used to be about property marketing, and it used to also be about often the externals, the environments that were around there, not so much the interiors. Now the challenge is how do you get people to want to go back into the offices? How do you get people to go back into the courts, those internal spaces? Give us some insight of what you're seeing? Is it doom and gloom? Or is there actually an amazing new possibility out there?

Andrew Hoyne 01:21

There's a lot of optimism in terms of opportunity. And I think that for all the negative experiences of the year, the really great thing that's come out of this is that organizations, developers and asset owners are looking at what they've got with a different set of eyes. And so, if you think about one of the categories, we've got, you know retail's been barely affected, commercial office has been smashed. If you go into a commercial office tower now, today, it's probably going to be empty. There will be no one on the ground floor. Most people will still be working from home, regardless of what city they're in. There are different percentages all around Australia, from 15% in Melbourne, to up to sort of 75% in Brisbane, and somewhere in the middle for Sydney. But the interesting thing is instead of getting fearful with regard to these organizations or wanting to sublease space, so there's now about 300,000 square meters of sublease space available that wasn't available a few months ago. Now that is an extraordinary volume. So how do you actually launch new buildings and new developments when you've got so much remainder space? Well, it's about reallocating space. So the way that, you know, asset owners need to think about or employers need to think about the space for their teams, is to create spaces they've never been able to afford to have - spaces for training, spaces with brainstorming. Now everyone could say, we already have these, we have them temporarily. We go and we have a room and we pin stuff up, and then two hours later, we pull it all down again, and off we go because someone else needs to use it. What if these spaces could exist for months on end? They can be almost a war room for a project. People could keep going there and keep ideating. And so I think that one of the things that organizations have more potential to do now than ever, is (a) engage people to want to come to the office for meaningful activity, not task oriented activity. To actually spend more time thinking about collaboration, and actually to use that time collaborating to also train. So whilst ideating adds value, for the junior people in teams, it also gives them an opportunity to actually collect wisdom, and actually engage and collaborate on a different level. So the more of that we can do, the more value we can actually add to all the companies that we're actually either in or working for. So I think there's going to be a change of mindset around the cultures that we create within buildings, and therefore what experiences and built form needs to evolve to accommodate that.

Mark Bergin 03:55

So I think you're right on the money there that it's about that reimagining. But then it's also about how fast you can react to it. Betsy, I'm going to go across to you because, although you're coming in from Hong Kong today, with your role for Restoration Hardware for Asia Pacific, Australia is one of your key markets in there. And, you know, I know you shared with us that your retail or direct to consumer business at Restoration Hardware, I think you said 450% it's up. So that to me is like the resort at home. People also then needing to go get the resort into the office, because it sounds like Andy is trying to go make spaces, or he's talking about spaces which are meant to be more engaging. So we're probably not going out as much as we're trying to work out and how to get people in. How's Restoration Hardware changed that? Because, you would have had, you know, lots of, okay, we've got big contracts, big projects that are coming up, long lead times, these offices need immediate response.

Celso Borges 04:52

Mark you're right, I think what we're seeing is that people are looking differently at their distribution between their business side and their personal side. So what RH is seeing is on the personal side, less travel, you know, more time with the family looking at that second and third home, looking at their primary space that makes them feel safe at home, makes them feel really happy to be in that space that they're in. But very similar to what I'm hearing, people are ready to go back to the offices, but they want to go back differently. I think we're terribly Zoom fatigued at this point. Although, we will be very thoughtful in how we will travel, in how we will go to offices, that face to face can't be beat. And people are craving that camaraderie within their own staff. And then also that feeling that you get, you're energized when you're sitting in front of a client. So what we're seeing at RH in the development of new office spaces is, as we're hearing, there are war rooms talking about what is the new age look like? What is this next five to 10 years look like for people where, when you walk into the office space, you're feeling as though this is the place that I want to be even if it's only three days a week.

Mark Bergin 06:15

And so Hassan, I want to go across to you, because you know how you see those war games where they've got all of the soldiers running across the field going off to a new battle, it feels to me like that Schiavello in the last few months have gone from sending all of your fit-out teams into an office building, into distributed into 1,000 homes rather than actually 1,000 desks in an office. Does that mean you're now finished getting the OH&S right in people's homes, but those teams are now flooding back into the offices to go and make a space that people want to come to? Or is that what's the next phase for you?

Hassan el Rayes 06:53

It's a combination of both. Actually, it's a combination of getting people fitted out in their offices at home so they're effective, and it actually depends on several circumstances. It's not age restricted actually, it actually comes down to three factors, personality, circumstance and your own personal ideology. In the sense, that a lot of young people are saying, actually I'm uncomfortable at home because I'm sharing with four other people and I can't keep telling them to keep quiet, I need the space. While other people are also saying I'm fixated or my ideology is that I work in the office and I leisure at home, so it's almost a personal thing, so there's no hard and fast rule. And coming back to the idea of what is the premise of an office - is it a place where you do task work, or is it somewhere you go to absorb corporate culture and make it attractive for people to come through? And we have to start creating the office to become a sports bar. Some of you want to go to watch a game as opposed to you can watch it at home. But you want to go to a sports bar and be part of the crowd and absorb the culture. And that's what it's going to become in the future. So we take on that. And that's a wellness hub as well. And from a wellness hub point of view, that's something we've found difficult for management to take on. A lot of people have, corporations have noticed that although they have a wellness program, it's the old guard who are rigid in their way of thinking, are able to give people wellness when they are well. When they're unwell, we are very ill-equipped on how we service those people. And that's what's coming out in this point in time. People are saying, I love coming to the office or I love staying at home, they're great, they're easy, you can deal with those people. It's the ones that aren't coping that management and the corporations, all of us, are having difficulty to deal with. What is the solution for them?

Mark Bergin 09:00

And escalation, identification and escalation is a really important thing to deal with. And if we do that late, then actually, particularly around mental health then the circumstance rapidly goes downhill. Celso, I know that with your team that you've had, you know, the Tigerspike team, where you had multiple offices, you've talked previously in the Town Halls how you now actually work better as a distributed and integrated team. Are you then coming back to the offices now? You know, Melbourne office would be reopening up hopefully next week, that we get permission that we're able to go do that. Or is it that you're still going to keep working in this satellite sense, and you're yet to go and imagine what that attractor is that Andy was talking about?

Celso Borges 09:48

Yeah, I think it's incredible that there's already so much synergy even within this group, and, you know, with what many are doing to try and make it possible for people to come back and work in an office environment. I think we're going to have a little bit of both in fact. I think there's going to be something new that we're going to be imagining. I don't think it's a rehashing of an old. You know, we always had comments of 'Oh, we've got such a great work from home policy'. I think now we're going to have a great work from anywhere policy, I think is the way for us to start thinking about it. The Melbourne office at the moment, there really isn't one. You know, we're not planning on renewing our lease right now. Because what we haven't quite hit the mark on yet is identifying the role of the office. And Hass and Andy, you guys were talking about reappropriating and understanding the purpose of an office. We are looking at that right now, because we're looking at what are the needs of the team right now. And that's changed. And I think this time that we've gone through, what it has allowed, or what it has brought to mind for us is that change is now acceptable, change is on the cards. And it's something we need to embrace. And so we're starting to, again, look inwards. We spent a lot of time, you know, focusing on the teams, making sure that we were set up, functionally. Focusing a lot of attention to make sure that we were able to deliver our services to our customers and to maintain that relationship. But I feel like now that, you know, there's newfound freedoms, specifically now in Melbourne, and we're celebrating that and yeah, that's very positive. It does bring us to start thinking about, okay, what environment are we going to be creating for our teams. And it's allowed us to start thinking about, you know, who we are from a mindset all the way down to the tactical, from the business all the way down to teams and individuals and focus on how we work, how we work together, and the impact that we have through our work. So, unpacking a presentation style is so different now than when it was before. The way that we prepare materials is so different now. The way that we engage and create meaningful personal connections is so different now. So what is the office look like? For me, it's more about collaboration, collaboration in everything that we do. Before it was almost like okay, we are going to collaborate now. There was a moment where we decided to collaborate. Where I think now it's just like, collaboration is just when you enter the office, you're entering a collaboration space. That's what you're there for, you're there to be a part of something bigger, you're there to contribute and collectively generate this meaning. And I feel like that will help with that sense of connectedness, that sense of community, even with these teams. And I feel like that's what we're heading towards. And for me, that's exciting because I embrace change. I don't like staying on something for too long. And I think that the teams, and in fact our work, will be positively reflecting this.

Mark Bergin 12:41

In Town Hall #27, we were in the US market focusing on that. We had Brian Collins, who was talking about the Collins Studio was coming up for re-lease in Manhattan. And he said what do I do? And Brian spoke about it several months before, he's like, what do I do? And what's happened is that they've found that a bunch of their team lived in a certain part of Brooklyn, they're hipsters, you know, they all lived in the same area. And so that they've actually set up a satellite studio with a library with them all there. And what he's seen is that they've actually gone to this distributed office, because they've got offices on the east coast and west coast, a bit like you were describing there Celso. Do we need a central business district hub the way we did, or is this reimagining what that place, the visioning that Andy was talking about, that that's actually, maybe it's somewhere else with a different purpose? And that's how you start that new chapter. Or if you're people like Frog who were talking in the same Episode. They've said we've got an eight year lease, we're now having to reimagine what do we go do in this building in Dumbo, because we don't have that transactional change opportunity that you've got? And I think a lot of that's going to actually be, you know, are we at the beginning or the end of the lease? So Keeley, I want to get across to you because you've got the beginning of a lease and the beginning of a new studio in Newstead in Brisbane. And I'm really interested to hear when you began to think about the idea of the studio, had your plans changed because of COVID and the type of experiences that you've been having? Or did it pretty much stay the same?

Keeley Green 14:26

It's, you know, I have the two businesses. And I think COVID, I was so crazy busy when COVID hit and it gave me the opportunity, I guess, to just slow down and have a good think about how I wanted things to look. So I think it was, you know, like I said previously, I made changes to one of the international businesses and I've decided to open this studio. I do think, you know, as creatives, you know, it's nice to have a space where you can collaborate, where you can touch and feel and meet. And so, you know, I have this, it's not a large space, it's a smaller space. It's intentionally designed, I guess. And it's within the design community as well, which I like. So, I think still getting, you know, the creative vibes sort of flowing, I suppose, we've been able to meet.

Mark Bergin 15:28

And to help, because we have pre conversation as we always do with this, and Kelly was referring to her two businesses. So you've got, you've got your interior design studio, but there's also the wallpaper, wall coverings business that you've got.

Keeley Green 15:44

Right, so the interior design studio, that was a soft opening at the end of 2018. Because I was honestly more focused on this other, it's Ailando Design by Amanda Ferragamo. And it's boutique high end, wallpapers and fabrics based in the UK. We're represented in the UK, Europe and the US. And you can imagine that was it's a three year old business. And a product business takes an awful lot of energy. And, you know, there's a lot of traveling etc in that, and of course COVID hits, and traveling was no longer possible, you know, it's grounded. And it gave us time to think about how we wanted this business to look. How are we going to do this going forward? Because I think traveling is going to be you know, it's going to be difficult for a little while. And obviously we have, you know, Paris, you know, France, the UK, I'm not sure if Italy went into lockdown again? I think Conte was deciding on that yesterday. So we just have, I guess, we're living with this and it's a moving target. Things keep changing, you know, you're locked down, you're open. We've got mills that are shut down and then they're open, logistics, you know, so we decided we'd split the business.

Mark Bergin 17:03

Yeah. And it's interesting that if you go on the cautious side, but what's likely to happen before this pandemic is past, there's four waves that will come through. If you're trying to actually say, oh no we haven't, as the US has done, you know, they seem to be going through their third wave. If you looked at the pandemic, like you'd look at the stock market, you'd say there were three rallies. But they're saying, no, we didn't really get out of the first one. So there's a lot of technical language there, but we know there's going to be multiple interruptions. And the setting in Queensland is very different to the setting in Melbourne. You know, Melbourne with a 17 week lockdown, we're coming out and we just got this release where there's energy of saying, okay, we understand we're going to be cautious, now what do we do? So Andy, I think the points that you're bringing up, we're likely to go see people in the Melbourne market reacting more quickly, and them ringing up the Schiavello or ringing up Restoration Hardware and saying, can you help us refactor? Where can you deliver a container of stuff, because we want to go and actually change this office really quickly. And I think we might see some of those sprints. Whereas in other markets where there hasn't been the interruption to normal as much, it might take a little bit longer.

Andy Hoyne 18:17

I think for any business, you hit a T junction, every certain number of years and that is directly aligned to your lease. Right. So when you meet someone who might be in their 50s 60s 70s, and they retire, you go, oh, wow, you're retiring. You know, you've had a big career, so what made you decide to kind of retire now as opposed to last year or next year? Oh my lease ended? That is standard across all industries or consultancy based businesses. We don't realize it, we forget this because we're so in the day to day machinations of our businesses. But those leases are one of the most pivotal decision making processes that we have, in forward projecting the way that we want to build or maintain our businesses. And right now, what people are doing is making a delay. Now, traditionally, a delay wasn't possible, right? Traditionally, when your lease ended, you either resigned or you moved, or you were out. Now, the way the world works now is you can say to your landlord, yeah I think I'll stay a bit, and I'm going to tell you what the terms are - I'll stay for six months, or I'll stay for 12 months, and I'll make a decision then. And landlords are going, no problem. So the landscape has changed and the power dynamic shift has changed. What's also interesting is that people are rethinking to the point of Celso, that some organizations are going, well we want to keep being progressive, we want us to keep being team orientated, but we're not sure so we're going to change the model. And so yeah, a lot of companies will let their lease go and work from home, which has never been a model in the past that existed for a company that wants to continue moving forward. Now, my personal opinion is that there's going to be a huge number of organizations that move to co working, because it's incredibly flexible. So while the co working industry when COVID hit was crushed, WeWork was smashed to pieces, but interestingly, co working is about to get its day in the sun. Huge amount of companies are going to go, I'm just going to, I need flexibility in a way that enables me to just live month to month. I don't need to worry about you know, 12 months, three years, five years. Where I am right in this office, it's an eight year lease with a five year option. Right. I'm the opposite of a commitment phobe. So I'm going nowhere, you know. And I've got a 600 square metre office just in Sydney alone, let alone Melbourne, which I own the building, or Brisbane. So for me, it's like, I'm moving nowhere. So how do I use my space differently? Would I sublease? Probably not. I've got plenty of staff anyway. But it does make you all of a sudden, what is the driving factor for how you are progressing your business. And I think that in many cases, a lot of businesses are actually asking the wrong questions, because they're being driven by space; not going back to the core of why they exist as a business, who it is that they're there to help, and actually, where there's commercial opportunity to grow and expand and build new services. I know that COVID has had its ups and downs. But I absolutely committed to myself at the beginning, when this hit, that I was going to come out stronger than I started in it. And that I would have new things. I didn't know what they were going to be. That I would look back on 2020 instead of with disdain, I would go, oh my god, 2020 was the year that I built my incredible new prop tech business. 2020 was the year that I actually finally had some space to expand on those new service offerings that made me unique and not comparable to any other business in the world. So I'm really hoping that, while this conversation we're having now is important and we are talking about space, that we continue to remind companies out there that they've got to go back to their core and focus on what makes them meaningful, and why they will be more and more powerful in the years to come. Not just existing.

Mark Bergin 22:24

Yep. And look, I couldn't agree more with you. And for those of you that have seen the visual identity for the DRIVENxDESIGN Award Programs or the Design Exec Club, I haven't had 200 days in airplanes traveling the world, I've been able to go work on the Exec Club and work on the Awards. And thank God, a few people say, because we used to get a bit of feedback about the visual identity. So we're glad we've done that. We're also working on the platform. So you get time to do other things. And that's pretty important there. Julie, I want to go across to you because Andy gave this really interesting segue because I wanted to talk a bit about aged care. Because I think we've got in the Australian market, that there's an aged care Royal Commission. We've had the highest number of deaths that have taken place have been in aged care, which would indicate that stewardship may not have been as good as it could have been. We've also got the idea that people are saying, well, we're not going to travel as much. I wonder, in aged care, because we go everything from the high care end of life, you've then got the medium care, and then you've just got the I'm actually an older person who's wanting to go live in some supportive accommodation. Are we going to see a massive change where we actually see the resort style living coming into aged care? And I know Keeley, this is an area for you too, and Betsy. Help us out. Help us understand what's going on. But Julie, why don't you head off and tell us what you're seeing as the new possible in aged care.

Julie Ockerby 23:53

I think aged care at the heart of it, has had I mean, like he said a bit of a beating this year, but it needed the beating to be honest. The aged care Royal Commission is there for a reason. And the whole industry is waiting for its final results in February to know how to progress. But the truth isn't, you know, this isn't just aged care. I was thinking about this the other day, like just companies in general, if they haven't used this COVID time to actually really look at their business, not just from a business modeling point of view but from a people point of view, then I don't know when they'll ever be gifted a time like we've had. I am not saying that everyone's been sitting back and sunbaking and have had time but it's given us an opportunity to relook at businesses and aged care have had to do that from from a human centric point of view not just for residents but also for their workplace - their frontline workers. I mean, it's funny, human resources was always called human resources for decades and then someone decided to call it people and culture. And then it became workplace and culture and you know, all these titles. And now the signage changed on that door, going down to human resources yet ...

Mark Bergin 25:10

The last tribe of annoyance, I think might be what they should put on it.

Julie Ockerby 25:15

Yes, really in between it all and behind the doors nothing had really changed. Like everyone was just reinventing the same wheel. And everyone was looking at processes, probably changed a few things, but really didn't make things better. And I think the term now is better workplace and culture. Like it's, how do we make it better? And aged care has been pivotal in relooking at and having to relook at how their staff are well looked after. Because if their staff aren't well looked after, then how do you possibly expect them to look after residents the way we want them to?

Mark Bergin 25:50

So I want to just come in there, because there's an interesting aspect to aged care which is, part of aged care is taking from the hospitality industry of it's an accommodation venue that has a back of house team and a front of house. It's also part of property as well, it's where people live. So, you know, Andy, I want to just quickly go onto you for a moment, because when you were doing the property marketing aspect of your work, if I look at the projects I see that are in the awards, a fair amount of them are for people who are in generational change or empty nesters in there. That seems to me like the first stage of aged care is actually, we're getting out of the house that we developed a family in and we're getting into a property which actually allows us to go have the next chapter. And then after that, they're probably thinking about how they go into some form of supportive care. So the work that you're moving people into those alternate homes, that's not a hospitality product. They're not being guests in somebody's space. But the moment they go into aged care, then all of a sudden there's staff and there's supportive facilities there. Is that part of what you're seeing with some of the properties, that they're bringing in the blend between that supportive care, and just residential?

Andy Hoyne 27:10

So we do a lot of high end residential projects that are generally targeted at downsizers or empty nesters. But the reality is most of those projects that I work on are really high net, you know. I mean they pretty much, apartments start at 3 million, go to about 20 million, an average one is about 7 million. So they're not indicative of the broader general public. We're working on some really interesting projects with age care providers. We're actually doing quite a few of those at different ends of the spectrum. For example, we're working with Saint Montefiore at a really high price point, which is literally like moving into a hotel: tons of services, restaurants, you know, concierge. And these are actually living environments. They're very sophisticated. There's a bit of a kind of tribe, a culture of people you're living with that are like minded. But at the other end of the spectrum, we're working on some rural regional facilities that are really kind of low socio economic. These are, you know, with families who have really struggled to even get, you know, older family members into these places.They're generally run by not for profits on low budgets. And so, you know, our job is to show them absolute respect. And think about how can we change their experience in these environments to make it more fulfilling? How do we make sure that they don't get just wheelchaired out, you know, in an aged care environment in front of the TV, and left there all day, and maybe fed some slop, and then wheeled back to their bed at night? It's about thinking about what can these people do in their day to day lives that actually create joy. Where we are creating spaces where even at the age of 85 and 90, you're still learning things. There's no point in your life at which you want to stop learning. You know, it's just about, you know, keeping your mind busy and being involved in something and having other people visit and engage with you, internally and externally of the building. So for me, I think it's one of the most important categories where living environments are concerned in this country.

Mark Bergin 29:20

Yeah. So Keeley, I'll go across to you now, but I'm going to come to Celso in a moment to talk about digital transformation and in the aged care. Keeley, what I find interesting with both your background as an interior designer and also with some of the projects you've been involved in, is that there's shopping centers in there, which is a type of hospitality. You've got then aged care facilities and you've also got some boutique hotels. It's a guesting experience in all those cases, but a different guesting experience. You know, as we begin to see people moving in Andy's highlighted that there's this top strata - that they don't seem to be having a problem, you know, they're probably just complaining and getting the services they need or want, desire, demand. Then you've got a mid tier and we say well that's probably doing okay. But as Andy, you were talking about that community support level, there's some tremendous challenges that are in there. And often, that's where the point of dignity begins to fall away. And I think as we've got aged care, and we've seen what's come through the Royal Commission, it's been the dignity layer, which is, you know, first are people dying, second have they got dignity, and have they got duty of care. So Keeley, the work that you're doing between the boutique hotel space and also aged care, what part of the market is that position? Is that in that mid to top or is it in the mid to the community supported level?

Keeley Green 30:43

I'd say mid. So if I could talk to maybe the active over 50s retirement resorts, that kind of sector. I would say, I think COVID has had perhaps a positive impact on that. I know that we've had the Royal Commission, etc, for aged care. But in terms of people wanting to actually move into retirement villages. You know, traditionally, there is perhaps this resistance to the retirement village sector. It's quite a small percentage of over 50s, that would actually move into a retirement village per se. But I think there's this thing of, you know, it's better to isolate in a community. I think that's been a bit of an upshot. I know that we've seen more sales as a result. We've been really quite busy as a result of people wanting to be within a community and part of the community whilst isolating.

Mark Bergin 31:38

And regional and provincial Australia has never had the speed of property sales that it's got now. You know, there's lots of people saying, I want to get out. And that seems to have happened in a bunch of places around the world.

Julie Ockerby 31:50

If I could jump in ...

Mark Bergin 31:51

Yes please,

Julie Ockerby 31:53

Having worked in three different industries that are all combined now, the issues I find with aged care, if we talk about culture and behind it, is that yes, and this is with seniors living as well. So you're going you know, if you look at the perfect pathway, it's you go into retirement living, and eventually, you may, you may not, but possibly will arrive into an aged care environment, right. And certainly the baby boomers are a very different demographic. Their expectations are a lot higher than those who started this pathway say 20 years ago, 30 years ago. And culturally, there's a lot of things that are different as well. But and expectations are different. So, the guest experience in an aged care home, or even a seniors living environment is difficult because you don't have people working in these environments with a hospitality background, mostly. We would design an aged care home that has the beautiful sense of arrival, the porte cochère, etc, etc. You walk in and it feels like whether it's a grand hotel or a modern hotel or whatever hotel, and then so you get the guest experience there. But where it sort of drops off a little bit, is carers don't have a hospitality background - they care that that's their job, that's their role. And forever in a day, when I stand up on stage talking to the audience I would always encourage, hey, come on guys, don't stop going to these conferences, but go to conferences in other industries. So whether they're digital type conferences, hospitality based conferences, you know Betsy, all of those conferences that you go to in Asia, you know, expand the horizons. And that's the only way that aged care is going to have that bigger, bigger space to grow.

Celso Borges 33:57

Well, technically, no, I was just going to say actually, you make a really good point, because particularly now where there are so many hospitality people that have been let go, particularly in the brands. So those corporate people that really understand what luxury looks like and across all different markets and all different segments within their own hospitality brand. Will that happen? Will hospitality people move into the aged care sector? Because as you said, as the baby boomers, personal included, are, as we age, our expectations are far different than what our parents generation was. And I look at the two markets that are the best within age care, and it's Australia and Japan. And these are literally five to six star resorts that people are expecting and have the wherewithal that can actually purchase in that realm. But when it falls short from the hospitality and the service function and you are really focusing on the medical side of it, how do you bridge those two, so that people, as Keeley was talking about the, you know, the active set of over 50, over 60 over 70, among, you know, the people that we're seeing going into these resorts now, is it going to change? Can we get more people moving into that sector?

Mark Bergin 35:21

And I think it's really interesting here, because there's a hosting aspect in all of this, but there's a care hosting or a pleasure experiential hosting. And that seems to be interesting how that goes. I took part in the AGM for an organization called Annecto, who particularly deal with disability services and trying to go and actually bring digital transformation into the service delivery there with indigenous communities, and also people who are in those lower socio economic brackets. And I was interested to see the flavor that's coming to all of that is about dignity. And Celso, I want to go across to you, because I know there's government projects that you've been involved in, particularly with New South Wales, with government housing, the way that tenancies work. Is that extended out from just general government housing into government provided aged care? Or is that a continuum? Or does it stop and a new chapter picks up?

Celso Borges 36:24

Yeah, it's been interesting to see how the focus on that has definitely picked up. I don't think it wasn't there and now it is, I think there's just the attention and the focus of it is definitely highlighting that. I think what we're seeing permeating across the different government levels that we are doing business with, as well as enterprise, is the idea of inclusive design, is the idea of design that brings dignity to anyone and everyone that is using it, regardless of their age, regardless of their background. And I think there's been a big push on that. And I think, you know, for agencies or businesses that have a part to play in that digital transformation, is how are we developing our culture internally to be able to sustain that? Because if we can't maintain that internally, how are we meant to educate? How are we meant to change the mindsets of these businesses of the C level, you know, C suite level and enterprise as well as where these projects are coming from, from a government perspective, to make sure that this is a considered layer regardless of the project, regardless of the outcome? So for housing, yes, absolutely it makes sense that when we're creating experiences that are utility based and support the staff, but are dealing with people that have gone through unfortunate situations and made some very difficult decisions in their lives. How are we introducing that layer? How are we facilitating it? How are we equipping people to be able to engage with these people in a meaningful way? But also, how does the community feel supported when engaging or when being engaged through these services? So I think it's something that's really important and needs to, I guess, propagate beyond digital. And it needs to be any kind of service regardless of whether it's a digital service or not.

Brian Collins 38:08

Yeah. And Hass, I want to I go across to you for a moment because there's, you know, we've got this interesting thing about co working spaces which are, and Andy was talking about the idea of the commitment phobic, and we've seen, we work and change their model into actually people who were going for longitudinal leases, as an outsource property product that they got a very different offering than the people who were just going into an office hotel. And I want to then take that across from thinking about how that on demand office space works, and how does it work in aged care? You know, all of us have either got a relative who's not in the city that they previously wanted to be. So it's not like you're signing over and saying, well my parent is moving into aged care. But we've got people in different locations. You know, what Schiavello seen coming out with the aged care properties that you're in? So let's go into the office thing first. What are you seeing?

Hassan el Rayes 39:07

Well yeah, the office thing first. And we do also build whole villages - we call them communities for students, residents of all types, as well. But let's look at the office space first. The office space first, there is a branch we haven't discussed of alternatives that we can go down, which is we've talked about going back to the office, a centralized office, working from home, co spacing, but there is some other alternatives in working away from the offices in the next evolution of co working spaces. And that would be, well the co working space that we have now, the structure is it's an overflow in the CBD type areas around the Sydney, around cities, where an office has extra staff and don't have any space for them. So there's a need to get at lease, a small lease in a co working space for six months, a year, whatever. That's still a CBD business model. What we're looking at from a working away from the office model is, you might be working in the suburb somewhere, and you need to set up an office for a week, a month or longer. You might have what's going to be referred to in the next evolution of co working is an office hotel. An office hotel is basically somewhere where you and a group can go there for a period of time, you can't work from home, but you need that collaboration space, that cultural space to feel like this is part of my bank, my pharmaceutical company - but it's not going back into the CBD. That will be small satellites all around the burbs. And that will give you that choice whether I can go into, you know, the headquarters or I can just work isolated at home or at this sort of, you know, 'rise of the library'. The library is going to come back. The Public Library concept is going to come back. Now aged care, that makes it a lot more difficult because you don't just move around from your residence as well. And a lot of psychological factors too. Especially the elderly moving around. But moving i think is the most stressful thing - death, divorce and then moving. And that applies both in the commercial space and your private life. So you have to be very conscious of that. I'm probably not going to comment too much on that age care part of it, I'll let the other experts on the panel talk about that. But from a co working space in the office, that is alternatives that will progress in a path in the future. We will evolve in that direction. We won't have a fixed address. We will be a bit more nomadic. And I think that's going to lead also to healthier lifestyles in the sense of the personalities of who can and who can't.

Mark Bergin 41:51

So then Keeley and Julie, I'll go onto the two of you seeing you're in this age care space. Are we likely to go see somewhere in between the boutique hotel and the aged care? Is there a product that's likely to be one of the new possibilities for somebody who wants to be a month, or the week, month, or a couple of months, close to their family until they can't stand each other (sorry I didn't mean that), where they want to be close to loved ones for a particular reason? Is that something that's coming around? Because we, as I see it, there's like it ratchets up as soon as you go into aged care, it's actually you're now, you've done a financial product which is taking part of your you know, domestic dwelling, a certain amount of it goes into the property, you'll get a certain amount that comes back at the end. It seems like it's a financial product, not a lifestyle product. What are we going to see?

Julie Ockerby 42:46

I don't think that financial model allows for that at this stage. Having said that, who knows what will come out next year. I mean, I really doubt that they would have been that innovative talking about that. There's a lot to manage, how it is now to make it better let alone, another product offering so to speak. I don't see why you can't have that in a romanticism point of view, you know. And in many ways there are some homes that offer rehabilitative packages. So, you know, one could cut or palliative packages, so to speak. That's very end of life, though. But I think the financial modeling stops any ideation of that moving forward in the short term.

Mark Bergin 43:36

Okay, and because there's some issues there about the way that the finances are structured that that's now clamping down, that people don't get some of that flexibility. So they've probably made a decision that they're either going to become grey nomads in an old bus and travel around the country, or they've decided to go into the aged care facility and we're not giving them flexibility. But seeing they're baby boomers, they're going to want flexibility aren't they? Keeley, there aren't many baby boomers who take no for an answer. They want to go have every option they could imagine.

Keeley Green 44:09

I think they do. I think baby boomers expect a lot more. I think we, you know, baby boomers definitely are expecting better service, right. It's also a different style perhaps that they're looking for. Better facilities. Just choices, I guess, right? Which is what we're speaking about. But like Julie said, I mean, financially I'm not sure from a regulation perspective as well, how you incorporate, you know, choices in terms of, you know, short term sort of accommodation, which is what I think you were speaking about. I you know, I think it can be done. It has been done in like a try before you buy kind of sense before. But as a permanent sort of ongoing offering, I'm not sure how that would work either.