our business. Years ago, we would have
had to be in the o ice to access certain files.
Today, as most work is able to be stored
in the Cloud and web-based file sharing
services, such as Dropbox, are
now prevalent, our o ice can literally
This blended style of working can impact
on every aspect of our lives. If our hours are
more flexible and work is bleeding
into the social, then the flow,
to an extent, also works
the other way. Again,
driven this, to
as they are the
never to turn
it comes to
If they are fully
engaged at work,
they don’t mind the
invasion in what was
traditionally viewed as downtime.
The days of rigid nine-to-five have long gone
for most o ice workers.
The plus side is that our o ice
environments have generally become
a lot more relaxed as a result of such a
multifaceted approach to work and we
want o ices that spell comfort as much as
practicality. We all certainly expect a lot
more from the design and facilities and it
has been proven to influence our choices
when it comes to prospective employers.
44 MAY 2018
We want to be based in multi-purpose spaces
that provide comfort and stand out. We want
our o ice to have its own identity.
The type of facilities that are most adept
at accommodating the social side to work
include provisions such as subsidised work
canteens and cafeterias, healthy vending
machines, free good-quality co ee and a
well-stocked bar on a Friday aª ernoon.
A lot depends on the average age
of the workers and the type
of sector (although the
level of formality has
dropped all around,
there is still a
huge di erence
and some of the
terms of what
might be deemed
the workers are oª en
consulted ahead of o ice
redesigns and refurbs, the accepted
‘wish list’ is usually well known in advance.
CREATING SUPER SPACES
Because the o ice is a company asset, and a
physical manifestation of the brand, besides
a place to accommodate workers and to
enhance their wellbeing, one key question
remains: can the space provided tick all the
usual boxes and have the wow factor, while
encouraging productivity and providing a
The answer to this question is ‘yes’ – with
a lot of careful planning. Close collaboration
ensures that the client isn’t boxed into a
corner and budget isn’t risked. It can be
done but, as with everything, it always
comes down to money. That never changes
no matter how much the working world
Creating these blended ‘super spaces’ can
be expensive, and it’s easy to get carried
away while ignoring the bigger picture.
For the seasoned consultant, the art is to
balance what works for everyone with the
agreed budget and to manage expectation
all the way.
We have the privilege of being in charge
of manipulating the blend, with the goal in
sight of a working environment that works
for all and makes everyone feel happy, and
so it falls to the design consultant to come
up with creative solutions and alternatives,
as and when.
Finally, it must be said, the results can
only truly be measured by the influence
that a particular environment has on its
workforce going forward: higher attendance
and retention, increased productivity and,
of course, turnover. Never underestimate
the power of a happy team.
The more members of sta that feel happy
and comfortable in their surroundings,
the more likely it is that they will buy into
the brand and feel at home in their work
environment. And so, much like our homes,
every blend has to be di erent, as it just
doesn’t work to force any given design. It
takes thought and skill to get the blend right
– but it most definitely pays o in the end.
A lot of these changes
are down to technology.
Technology has enabled us on
many levels, including how and
where we physically go
about our business.”