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When Mind - one of Britain’s leading mental health charities – sought to bring their team together under one roof after 18 months of home working and Zoom calls, they partnered with Peldon Rose to ensure that they had a workplace they could take pride in. As a mental health charity, designing a wellbeing-led environment for employees was a central focus of the brief, guaranteeing that the space reflected Mind’s mission and values.
Previously located in a disjointed space nearby, Mind were supported by Peldon Rose’s workplace strategy team as they embarked on a relocation to a single floor in Redman Place, Stratford, London. Their new workspace is a destination that employees want to come to, but equally gives them the freedom and autonomy to choose how they want to work. Not only does it bring everyone together in one place, but it also provides them with spaces that allow them to collaborate and socialise, foster inclusivity, and support their wellbeing.
Ensuring that Mind’s new workspace was a true reflection of their values as an organisation was paramount, Peldon Rose ensured wellbeing was hardwired into the design.
Wellness rooms have been incorporated in the workspace, providing the team with spaces away from their desks, where they can take time out of their day to refocus or decompress. A combination of low lighting, cool tones and soft furnishings have been used to create a calm environment, totally separate from the office and allowing employees to disconnect as needed.
A second wellness room not only continues this theme, but incorporates a basin and worktop into the space, operating as a multi-faith room for the team.
Shelving, soft seating and bean bag chairs have been used to convert an additional meeting room into a comfortable library, creating a space for employees to take time away from their desks for focused work.
It’s no coincidence that biophilia has been incorporated into each of these spaces. Research has shown that biophilic design helps to increase productivity by up to 20% and reduces absenteeism by 15% at the same time. For Mind, this subtle but important element of the design plays a key role; improving the wellbeing of the team and ensuring that the workplace is a place they want to be.
Featuring cool tones and soft lighting, the reception area offers a calming space right at the entrance to the workplace, immediately setting employees and visitors alike at ease. An artistic, coiled light strip has been suspended above the reception desk, reminiscent of the charity’s logo and filling the space with light, complementing the branded decals featured on the walls.
Even before the move to home working in 2020, Mind’s team were split across five floors in a smaller office. Creating spaces where their team was able to come together as one, collaborate and socialise was an essential element of the design brief.
A new collaboration hub sits at the heart of the space, equipped with booths, desking and white boards to allow employees to gather and collaborate on ideas. A lectern has been included to allow for town hall meetings, where Mind can bring their team together to congregate as a group, whether that’s in a formal meeting or an informal social event.
A large boardroom has been incorporated into the design near the entrance to the office. The inclusion of wheeled desking creates a dynamic space, meaning that the space is equally capable of hosting large board meetings as it is collaborative workshops or focus groups.
Seeking to maximise spaces for collaboration, Peldon Rose broke up some of the smaller meeting rooms intersecting the workspace, creating larger spaces for teams to meet and work.
Mind is a leader in the charity sector, supporting and advising those with mental ill-health and campaigning extensively to raise awareness and promote understanding, improve services, and influence policy for those that need it most. We wanted to ensure that Mind’s new workplace reflected their eminence in the sector and enabled them to fulfil their mission effectively. To this end, a recording booth was incorporated into the design, providing them with a dedicated space to take part in broadcast interviews via Zoom and record their podcast.
Acoustic dampening curtains and acoustic boards fitted into the walls separated the booth from the noise of the outer office, creating a sound-proofed space for recording. With advances in video meeting technology in mind, green screen style paint allows members using the room to change their background at will using Zoom or Teams.
It was a pleasure to work with Mind and create their new workspace. Bringing an entire organisation under one roof after more than year online can be a challenge, and we helped Mind meet that challenge by ensuring their workplace allowed their team to collaborate and socialise. The work that the team at Mind do is important and inspiring and we wanted to create a workspace that reflected that and supported them to do it; it’s a design that embodies Mind’s mission and values, incorporating features to boost the wellbeing of employees and enabling them to thrive.