The ‘Future of work’ session, organised by PI Labs and moderated by Faisal Butt, founder and chief executive of PI Labs, discussed the themes of working emerging in the short term as a result of Covid-19.

Agarwal said people’s work preferences are driven by their age, industry and job, which makes it difficult for landlords and developers to cater to everyone’s desires and as a result, different levels of workspaces will emerge.

He said: “We like to think that the office space industry is heading more and more towards this hotel-ification, where it’s more hospitality-focused. You’re going to start to see different brands offering a different value proposition.”

“You’re going to have some office brands that want to be the Four Seasons; they want to be the five-star hotel, super-high hospitality, excellent customer service. There may be some brands who become the Travelodge; they’re no frills, they’re cheap, they’re budget, but they have good locations. And then you could have the Marriott or Hilton, which is a global trusted brand. It does okay, but everyone knows what it stands for and different people will want that.”

Victoria Hill, Pi Labs’ mental health and wellbeing venture partner, said businesses are now going to have to adapt to satisfy their end user, which has not always been the focus.

She said: “The office market hasn’t always catered for the end user. It’s been offices built to sell rather than for occupiers. They should adapt to the end user and put in place the technology changes that are necessary to make sure you retain this sense of connection.”

Jonathan Emery, Pi Labs venture partner and ex-managing director of Lendlease, argued that the change in business models to build-to-rent has made landlords have more of a relationship with customers.

He added that the struggling hospitality sector could even try to compete with the office market. “The Hilton could start offering office space and compete against the traditional office. I think their challenges in that business model may let them think about the skills they have to come and compete in office market.”