Why gyms and a Friday beer fridge just won’t cut it
Much has been written recently extolling the virtues of employee-centred workplace design, but there has been very little serious research backing the trend. The result has been workplace design strategy driven by fads and buzzwords, and where no concrete benefits are subsequently felt by employees. Ultimately, ill-informed redesigns can prove expensive exercises in futility if employees don’t ultimately benefit in terms of quality of life and productivity
There is a correlation between workplace design and productivity. The physical work environment impacts the way people are able to work. Businesses that fail to see how important the physical workplace really is will be at a disadvantage when completing for quality candidates and indeed retaining them
We at Select Interiors strive to illustrate how various aspects of the design of a space can impact workplace effectiveness, office design plays a big part in general.
Every business owner we speak to has an idea for workplace transformation, however they also in our experience would like proof it will positively affect their workforce and ultimately the bottom line.
See above completed scheme where we created additional space and added value with a co-worker space installed into a previously unused atrium and an executive office within an underutilised Reception area
So here is the proof, Select Interiors recently completed a roll out of office and workspace refurbishments for a national Property Company specialising in secondary location of budget offices and co-working spaces throughout the UK. The Interior Design was by Kate Yates, Director of Territory Interiors Ltd in collaboration with Select Interiors whom undertook fit outs. Select Interiors in collaboration with Territory fitted out Nottingham, Wembley, Nelson, Letchworth, Basingstoke and Newcastle upon Tyne and since the fit outs the spaces have all been let which I think has justified the investment
Image of a completed scheme in Altrincham which was 90% let as soon as the works were complete
The evidence above clearly illustrates that investment can pay off when creating workspaces. Having a cutting-edge office with the latest furniture isn’t enough – it needs to also deliver on its promises and be fit for purpose as the images above illustrate
Image of refurbished reception on a scheme in Nottingham which was 100% let after completion of the works
The big question – What are some of the key benefits of putting employee wellbeing at the centre of workplace design?
One of the many benefits of putting employees at the centre of workplace design is talent – this isn’t just talent attraction but also retention. We operate in a world now where competitors are often located next door to one another – take the financial services industry for instance. It is important employees know the space they’re required to work in actually supports them to do so. Employees generally won’t want to work somewhere they’re not able to do their best work in, especially if they can work for another organisation where the physical space does enable them to work effectively. The list is almost endless. Firstly, there’s the assumption that an interior design project alone will provide operational value. Without having HR, IT and FM all involved in the process, plans will just fail to deliver
See above ‘quiet rooms’ incorporated into a design by Adrian Taylor and Chris Britton for a client in Manchester’s Northern Quarter
Noise is a definite factor that (on the whole) we’re still getting wrong in our workplaces. Noise unquestionably has an impact on our work, but funnily enough, nobody really listens to this fact – you still see hard floors in open plan spaces. We find those that report a dissatisfaction with noise are much more likely to report that their workplace design does not support productivity. So if you move employees to open plan environments and offer no means of escaping the noise then you’re introducing a drag on productivity. At Select Interiors we strive to introduce ‘quiet spaces’, separate offices and if space is tight we install phone booths as illustrated below for uber cool Dutch digital media giant Dept
If space is at a premium see above bespoke phone booths for staff in the largely open plan office to take private calls and a break from the hubbub of the general office
The idea that millennials are very different and incredibly hard to please is a bit of a myth in our experience (31 years) the youngest employees actually rank the highest in satisfaction scores. Designing for the youngest employees in organisations means ignoring a large proportion of the workforce, because those under the age of 35 only represent around a third of the workplace. There are exceptions i.e. coding and other digital businesses but generally represent less than half across assessed spaces. By focusing too much on millennials designers risk implementing misguided solutions for other staff.
With vast capital sums being invested in refurbishment and relocation fit-out projects, leadership teams would be forgiven for expecting them to deliver significant operational benefit. In our experience the most productive employees are those who have the tools that support their role in the organisation. We can now clearly evidence the factors that most influence an employee’s ability to report that their workplace enables them to be productive. Offering a variety of work settings is key, as is reducing the destructive impact of noise. At Select Interiors we try not to overload the collaborative space at the expense of the individual focussed space. Our most recent research shows that personal perception of productivity is most strongly associated with the ability of a space to support individual not just the collaborative work
Having a gym on site and a beer tap for Fridays won’t cut it if the research and staff engagement has not been incorporated into the design
See below a video of the team at work on a design & fit out in Grade II Listed Building conversion on Deansgate in Manchester
See Images below of another recently completed project office & showroom conversion from warehouse space for international fashion brand Boardmans in Trafford Park
Please click the link for further images of Select Interiors projects http://selectinteriors.pixieset.com/
The team at Select Interiors would like to thank all the clients above for their valued enquiries and business call 0161 445 40404 for enquiries or email to moc.sroiretni-tcelesnull@ofni