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Global Workplace Lead Sandra Parét explores the future of work

Global Workplace Lead Sandra Parét explores the future of work

 March 24, 2021

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The 'Future Of Work' is already here - and AECOM's people and clients informed the company's Fast Forward to the Future strategy - which is already underway to reshape how people work. AECOM's Global Workplace Lead, Sandra Parét, shares the journey so far.

Sandra Parét leads the AECOM’s global Commercial and Corporate Market Sector which provides solutions for real estate organizations whose operations span multiple disciplines, geographies and projects. As an architect and interior designer, her primary responsibility is market leading representation of the practice in collaboration with AECOM’s offices and integrated practice around the world.

Informing AECOM's Fast Forward to the Future strategy


Spanning everything from client experience, project delivery and productivity, culture and HR, IT tools and infrastructure and the working from home experience, Sandra asked AECOM employees and clients about their current and future expectations, comparing results with global peer organizations. This intelligence informed AECOM's Fast Forward to the Future strategy that will guide future investments in spaces, culture, working practices and digital tools, as well as its advice to clients planning the future of their own workplaces.

Employee preference for remote working option

Employees informed Sandra that, on average, they expected to work outside the office in the future between 2.2 and 2.8 days, with three-quarters of employees calling for expanded working options. The research also discovered that early career employees and those who’d only been with the company a short time were struggling to make the right connections.

Knowing this, AECOM set up mentoring and collaboration guidelines, communication and quality checks, and new approaches to onboarding and training new team members.

Working to create new connections digitally

Meanwhile, AECOM clients said they would expect face-to-face contact for some work such as site inspections, construction management or when sensitive or classified information is involved, but almost all – 98 per cent of clients Sandra spoke to – said they are open to working flexibly in the future. When it comes to developing new client relationships, however, AECOM learned that many people defaulted to working with people they know. While understandable, AECOM believes this is not a sustainable approach going forward in a company that values growth and diversity.

In response, AECOM is working closely with teams to identify ways of making new connections digitally – and where necessary in person - in order to increase its market presence.

Transforming AECOM's office environments 

Moving forward, Sandra reports that AECOM's office environments will be enhanced to support employees’ safety and well-being and to encourage a culture of collaboration, tailored to the specific needs of each space. For those who are working from home, the company is providing support where necessary to ensure that they can deliver efficiently and safely.

A digital global delivery model will allow the company to bring the best of AECOM talent to its projects wherever employees are based, supported by a strong IT infrastructure.

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