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Commentary: Never enough meeting rooms – hybrid work has exposed the outdated modern office

LONDON: Every organisation has a language that makes sense to insiders, but baffles everyone else. The Financial Times is no exception.

Inside its London head office, people think nothing of saying things like: “See you in Nakfa at three” or “Why is it always so cold in Pataca?” Or: “Where is Ngultrum again?”

That’s because most of the building’s meeting rooms are named after a currency, which is a pleasing touch for a financial newspaper, even if it can take a bit of getting used to.

But since the shift to hybrid working, I often think it would be more appropriate to have rooms named “Hen’s Teeth” or “Gold Dust” or any other word that means “spectacularly rare and hard to find”.


Tracking down a free meeting room was hard enough before the pandemic. But it’s hopeless now that so many more people come to the office just to meet each other, or visitors, or do a Zoom call.

This is by no means just an FT problem. “Brutal,” said a man from a large global company when I asked him what the hunt for a meeting room was like at his London building.

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