Here at Peldon Rose we love welcoming the next generation of office workers to our Wimbledon HQ. Over the summer we have several students coming in for work experience and one such student was Simran who worked in our marketing team. We like to remain one step ahead of the rest so we thought we’d ask Simran what she’d like to see in the workplace…
Having had no previous experience with office interiors and design and build, I was interested to learn about office designs and how the industry is developing. I was keen to understand what future generations want from an office and what attracts employees to their workplace. During my week-long work experience placement, I learned how companies are doing more to consider their employee’s needs and the following 3 trends seem to be increasingly important to me and the office interior design industry.
Every company has a unique brand image and depending on which sector you work in, there are varied levels of creativity when it comes to companies expressing their identity or indeed the brands they are associated with. Kantar Worldpanel is a great example of an office which creatively communicates their brand within their office through the furniture they use throughout their space. Featuring pieces such as a seating booths, bean bags, hammocks and a wooden seating zone, Kantar have a vibrant office that helps inspire their staff. It is a space that is clearly designed with their brand and style of work in mind as it allows them to showcase their brand identity and philosophy.
Another example is Google’s office in Buckingham Palace Road which incorporates a park themed area filled with deck chairs. These office characteristics stand out to me as I feel that they are great ways of attracting potential and retaining employees to a company. Using branding in this way shows that the companies can visually communicate their core values rather than just speak about it which in turn, helps attract talented people.
I noticed that most companies are steering away from the traditional cellular office structure and multi-floor offices that can leave teams and departments isolated from the rest of the business.
Now, companies seem to try and operate in an open-plan office or at least provide spaces for employees to come together on shared projects. The MOO office I visited, for example, is 35,000 sq ft and holds 190 employees spread out across one huge open-plan space. Their office is extremely spacious with a bright colour scheme and natural light flooding into their workplace. In my opinion, MOO’s office is one that recognises the need for a diverse workplace and it shows that the company do not believe in separating fun from the work place. MOO have multi-functional areas within their office design which encourage colleagues to collaborate where they feel most comfortable. Their office design is refreshing and uplifting which I believe to be an important factor to improving productivity and making employees feel more relaxed at work.
Some offices tend to include features such as gyms, showers and incentives such as breakfast or free fruit during the day in order to promote healthy living and employee wellbeing. By building this in to office design, you can see companies understand their responsibility to help staff maintain a healthy lifestyle as part of their working life. This can also be an effective way to ensure that employees have good energy levels and a positive outlook about the place they work in.
Professor Oswald at the University of Warwick has stated in the 2014 paper ‘Happiness and Productivity’ that ‘companies like Google have invested more in employee support and employee satisfaction has risen as a result. For Google, it rose by 37%, they know what they are talking about’. Dr Proto commented on the research and believes that companies ‘should strive to make their workplaces emotionally healthy for their workforce.”
For future offices and especially as the younger generation enter into the workplace, these ideas and examples will begin to be recognised as essential standards. A company’s ability to implement these ideas will depend on their office size, values and what image their company wants to represent. However, the underlying factor is that a company’s office design should cater for their employees in order to enhance their wellbeing and happiness.
Prior to working at Peldon Rose, I hadn’t really considered how the interior design of an office would affect the wellbeing of people working there but you could say I’m quite clued up on the subject now! The inspiration for this blog came from the marketing department at Peldon Rose, the MOO and Ragged Edge offices I visited, analysing case studies and undertaking research. I would like to thank everyone at Peldon Rose for making my office experience a positive and an enjoyable one.
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