The Shard, London

Restart. Do not to go backwards.

LONIC is going forward – our office is re-opening. London is still the greatest city on Earth. We want to and will be part of its unlocking.

The world has been united fighting a common enemy over the past 12 weeks. There was no choice but to lockdown. We all have our own experiences and often different opinions about the crisis. Some cannot wait to be back in the office. Others cherish the time spent with their families and are more reluctant to return. Too many lives have been lost. For them, we live on.

The American football coach Vince Lombardi’s most famous quote applies today (he’s probably the greatest sports coach ever, apart from Sir Alex perhaps):

“Once you agree upon the price you and your family must pay for success, it enables you to ignore the minor hurts, the opponent’s pressure, and the temporary failures.”

The sentiment does not apply just to business and the price is not financial. If your child wants to go into medicine, humanitarian work, anything to make a difference where sometimes the financial reward is not comparable to the sums professional sportspeople receive – requires time, support and commitment from their families. The NHS, (who are there at both the beginning of life and before we pass to the next world), over the past 12 weeks have been strikingly front line – they will still be front line when social media moves onto the next crisis and we’ve all moved on. We cannot thank those critical staff enough. They saved more lives than we will ever know – and so many lives will be born in the future, the offspring of those lives saved.

Whilst LONIC may be working differently, we will continue to provide a high level of service because that’s what we are about. The country has effectively lost 4 months of economic activity but gained precious family time and time to reflect.

The businesses we act for provide employment, opportunity, experiences, friendship, creativity and a home. It is time to get the UK kickstarted – albeit cautiously.

To those that say it is the death of the office, it’s the birth of a new way of using our offices. The technology was there prior to lockdown. One thing I have found over the past 12 weeks is that the separation barrier between home and work has been blurred. Personally (and there are plenty of people who will disagree), I do not believe this is healthy. As children spend more time learning at home, the boundaries blur further. Ultimately, the key to success remains the same – passion, hard work, fun, love, preparation, commitment, loyalty and two other vital elements – luck and cashflow.

An office provides identity, collaboration, ideas, support, design and the ability to meet people in person. None of which is on the typical business plan. AI and 5G are already fast-forwarding our working lives. I anticipate greater change in the next 12 months than the previous 30 years, but AI does not replace human interaction, it complements it. At the moment, humans are in control of AI – at the moment.

We look forward to seeing you soon – albeit from a 2m distance.

Stay Healthy