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In a good place

Workplace Week London shone a spotlight on some of the most effective, creative and downright cool workspaces in the capital while raising money for children’s charities.
Jo Sutherland, Magenta Associates MD and IFMA UK chapter Board Director, reports

In November, Workplace Week London 2019, brainchild of Advanced Workplace Associates (AWA), took over the capital the same week that BBC Children in Need graced TV screens. Thirty organisations, including some of the world’s biggest tech, media, entertainment, facilities management, legal, fashion and finance firms, opened their doors throughout the philanthropic event to celebrate workplace innovation and share best practice.

“The idea was that Workplace Week could open people’s eyes to new thinking on ways of working, workplace design and technology,” says Andrew Mawson, founder of AWA and the brains behind the week-long event.

And this year’s sell-out event didn’t disappoint. Here are some of the highlights.

Dr Martens’ London HQ mirrors the company’s ‘history of rebellious self-expression’. The brand is all about music and identity, and that certainly comes to life in the Camden workplace which is complete with an amp wall, a drum kit, a stage and framed records depicting the organisation’s core beliefs and values.

But the corporate branding initiative that sits at the heart of the workplace strategy goes beyond the Diesel designer tiles, black mesh, neon lighting and grunge artwork. Dr Martens’ three distinguishing features have been craftily incorporated into the design of the space.

The yellow stitching, the brand’s most obvious trademark, is represented by rows of yellow lights; the unique cross logo features on the reception desks and doorways; and the tread unique to the resilient footwear is mirrored in the edge of the stairways. This is the punk rock ’n’ roll of branding.

The design and management of the space places equal weight on the people within it. Dr Martens’ ‘culture vultures’ focus on three main strands: wellbeing, charity and events. From yoga and financial wellbeing workshops to lunch ’n’ learns and parties on the roof terrace overlooking Camden Lock, the team knows how to doctor its environment to keep people engaged, inspired, motivated and ‘on brand’.

Following rapid growth, Deliveroo, the six-year-old start-up that is on a mission to transform the way customers eat, moved into its current riverside location in 2017. It now employs more than 1,000 full-time staff and works with over 20,000 restaurants in 130 cities around the world.

With bright colours throughout, ping pong tables, beer fridges, caffeine stations and an onsite gym, the workplace is as fun as the brand, and it successfully caters to its younger demographic. As one might expect, these guys really care about food. Employees get to enjoy a daily ‘snack hour’. And enjoy it they do. The onsite FM quipped that the food gets demolished within minutes.

As if that weren’t enough, all employees have year-round access to the rooftop garden, which spans the length of the entire building and offers panoramic views of the London skyline.

Over 27 million people in the UK use LinkedIn to make professional connections. In a bold move, the web giant offered an exclusive tour of its brand-new premises at The Ray Farringdon, a mixed-use development providing high-quality commercial and office space in Farringdon Road, split over seven levels. The space has been designed with growth in mind.

There is a strong focus on community – not just the LinkedIn community but the community in which the business operates. Engaging with local artists, the space pays homage to the capital, from the bathroom tiles that capture a typical London pub aesthetic to London Underground murals.

Throughout the corridors, pots of pens have been left next to blank canvases to encourage self-expression. The idea is that people will add a personal touch to the artwork while meandering through the space. It’s all about creating a sense of belonging.

About Sarah OBeirne

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