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June 21, 2022 26 mins

If you’re a white-collar worker, chances are your office setup looks different than it did before the pandemic. After our two-year-long  global experiment with remote work, many employees say there’s lots to like about it, with a number of companies now  offering hybrid workplaces. All that empty office space is going to have an effect on the rest of our cities.  In this episode, Jennifer Barrett, a senior planner with The Canadian Urban Institute outlines three ways that vacant offices could affect our downtown cores and what she hopes will be our way forward. We take a look at what Calgary is doing – since it was dealing with a vacant-office crisis even before COVID-19 – with the help of The Globe’s deputy national editor for cities and real estate James Keller. Samantha Sannella, the managing director for strategic consulting at global commercial real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield, also joins us to talk about  how Calgary’s revitalization plans for their downtown could inspire other Canadian cities, and whether plans to convert offices into housing are realistic. Finally, Reshma Saujani, the founder of Girls Who Code, explains why so many people want this office revolution in the first place, and how this represents an opportunity to shift away from the white, male-centric ways in which workplaces were originally designed.

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