The foundations of Workplace House were laid 18 months ago, when the Managing Director of Kinnarps, Europe’s largest workplace furniture supplier, got talking to the founder of Advanced Workplace Associates (AWA), a science-based workplace transformation consultancy, about a fresh approach to its Clerkenwell showroom. Both organisations specialise in creating working environments that support collaboration and deliver meaningful workplace experiences. These synergies paved the way to a partnership that would introduce Farringdon’s first workplace experience centre.
“I was thinking about the volume of cavernous showroom space in Clerkenwell used to display product,” says Ashley Hayward, Kinnarps UK Managing Director. “It struck me that so much of it is just a static exhibition, not displaying any real customer benefit other than a visual taster. Organisations are looking to create fantastic places for employees to make their business a success, so shouldn’t we be physically demonstrating best practice in that regard and offering a more immersive experience?”
What started as a two-way co-working initiative soon turned into multi-brand co-creation space when neighbouring design and technology firms spotted an opportunity for collaboration. Since the initial idea back in 2017, five other brands have joined the consortium. Kinnarps, AWA, Skandiform, Christy Carpets, Ascentae, Avocor and Planet Partitioning have since worked together to create a space that captures the best ways to work.
In a bold move, these brands circumnavigated the silos that so often get in the way of workplace transformation projects in order to consider the employee experience in a more holistic way. The result is Workplace House – a space that showcases the latest in agile working environments, where furniture, technology and people converge, and where brands collaborate for the benefit of their customers.
The name of the game is to create a frictionless experience by removing all the obstacles that get in the way of good work. For Ascentae, a technology distributor that’s all about challenging convention, tech should facilitate not hinder collaboration. Workplace House recognises the role technology can play in transforming the collaborative workplace – the digital infrastructure has been designed to seamlessly support an array of activities. In fact, it’s a bit like walking into a scene from The Minority Report! In addition to the tech on offer, every product in the showroom has been chosen with an eye on the bigger picture – every corner and component of the space has been designed with the occupant in mind.
“There is a growing body of research on the impact that work environments, workplace habits and culture have on people and broader business performance,” said AWA’s Andrew Mawson at the launch this month. “The onus is on employers to create environments that generate positive workplace experiences and provide workers with the tools to boost wellbeing, engagement and productivity, enabling them to perform at their best.”
“Workplace management is about designing and delivering multi-faceted, minute-by-minute, multi-sensory experiences that create an emotional response,” he added. “It encompasses thinking about journeys and destinations, the fusion of space, information, services, and how these reflect organisational personality, support human effectiveness, and are attractive to target employees.”
Workplace House brings this idea to life. For your chance to visit the space, visit www.workplacehouse.co.uk.