Guide a prospective employee into a stuffy room where archive boxes collapse upon themselves in a dismal cobwebby corner.
The candidate’s answers during the interview may be less than enthusiastic. In response to “Any questions?” the brave contender asks for your thoughts on wellness and the workplace…
True enough, your budget may not run to Monday’s version of the hanging gardens of Babylon in reception or a skate park for your sales colleagues.
Here are 5 practical ideas, based on our 25 years of experience in office fit-outs and relocations, to help give your team a workplace that’s a source of pleasure, loyalty and productivity.
1. Sources of workplace inspiration
You can’t move for reclaimed wood, copper fittings and polished scaffolding poles on virtual bulletin board Pinterest, where people go for inspiration about anything from office interiors to vegetable plots.
The wall-mounted moose head may not be for you, but you’ll get a feel for the kind of interiors that fit with the branding and culture of your workplace. Hate a particular interior or finish? That’s useful too as you explore what’s the right fit for your workplace.
Think about any offices or venues that have inspired you, even if on a far bigger scale to what may be practical in your office, for example. Take a browse too through our case studies, from the best use of a historic building to meetings rooms that maximise light and energy.
All the while, keep thinking back to your team and the space you want to improve. There may just be a feature that you can make sing: exposed brickwork, high ceilings or a nod to art deco architecture.
2. Well well
Some call wellness in the workplace a buzzword, but there are all the signs it’s far from a passing fad. Enter wellness as a search term on the professional network LinkedIn and you get no fewer than 5.6 million results, from job titles to company names and articles about career burn-out.
Navigating your way through that can seem daunting. After all, job quality spans everything from working relationships to management and organisational culture.
Any kind of wellness initiative needs to come from the top of a company and to be simple, according to a June 2018 Institute of Directors blog.
A ping-pong table by the coffee machine or a fireman’s pole to reach street level may not always be a hit.
Workers in their 20s and 30s, or millennials, set more store by collaborative technology and a company’s commitment to social responsibility, according to an Oct. 2017 article in The Telegraph, citing research by Deloitte.
3. Space race
Part of that is to provide the kind of space that’s relevant to current working practices, including an appetite for flexible working.
Gone are the days when the buttock imprint of a seasoned employee signals that Kevin’s chair near the filing cabinets is off-limits.
Today’s workplaces call for collaborative space and scope for hot-desking while still accounting for considerations of privacy.
Open-plan offices have their limits when it comes to that especially delicate phone conversation. Any office redesign includes a mix of space that caters to those needs.
4. Listen up
From light to ventilation, technology to the best use of space – all while bearing in mind end-of-lease dilapidation costs – there’s plenty to think about with any workplace fit-out.
We’re here to guide you, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Acoustics are an important part of the fit-out mix. Acoustic panels, hung on a wall or ceiling to reduce noise, can also be covered in artwork including company logos and fabrics that fit with corporate colour schemes.
Materials for the panels range from cork to fibre-glass and foam.
Artwork on these panels is one option. Including pieces of art elsewhere in the office may also deliver benefits.
According to a survey by the Affordable Art Fair, over a third of London workers said that artwork would improve their productivity, CityAM reported in 2018.
5. Design & personality
Nordic design (wearing a large jumper is optional) has become increasingly popular, both in the home and elsewhere.
“With a focus on craftsmanship, materials and clean lines, the philosophy behind the style remains relevant today,” according to Architectural Digest.
Popularity is one thing, personality another. Clean and uncluttered is all well and good -- but an office fit-out is also an opportunity to communicate your company's culture and values, from the choice of flooring to the tiles in the kitchen space, buying art by local artists and yes, through the use of plants.
The investment and thought you put into a fit-out project demonstrates your commitment to provide a comfortable and inspiring place for your team to do their best work.
That spider will just have to spin its magic elsewhere.
To find out more
If you would like to find out more about how we can help develop your dream office space, give us a ring on 020 8405 0555 or send us a message.