How To Create A Fantastic Workplace
Why create a fantastic Workplace?
Seems like a silly question, why wouldn’t you?
There are numerous reasons why we strive to create the perfect workplace. A recent global report highlights how employees that have more control over various aspects of their workplace and work experience, are more engaged. Therefore, empowering people to decide where and how they will be most productive is one strategy organisations can employ.
There are six fundamental elements that form a ‘framework’ for creating a workplace that enables both wellbeing and productivity we can call the 6 e’s as follows:
The sum of all these elements will make a significant contribution not only to the holy grail of wellbeing, performance & productivity of the workforce but will enhance the performance and productivity of the organisation. This is difficult to quantify and the ephemeral idea that a happy workforce will repay a large investment in an unprofitable company will not cut the mustard with the board. So as ever it is a balance between investment and return, the return in ‘‘boardspeak’’ being increased efficiency, productivity and profitability.
Efficiency – So how can we measure efficiency? One metric is to relate the cost sqft to and the cost of the person within a defined area.
Space efficiency can be determined as the occupation density (per M2 or sqft.) and the space utilisation (the % of space occupied at any one time or given period). As a general rule of thumb for leased offices; 85% of the cost base is people, 10% property, 5% IT, infrastructure & kit. So, would you agree that 65sqft per person seated in uniformed ranks of desks at plus 80% occupancy with 0.5 lineal metre for storage would represent the ultimate in efficiency? If your answer is yes, you’re probably an accountant! Your space needs to be not only efficient but more importantly effective. There is more at play than just metrics and people per sqft, essentially there should be a balance between regimented serried rows that translate in people sqft. terms to efficient use and the needs and requirements of the modern workforce.
Effectiveness -The planning and design that allows people to be at their best every day, should enable choice of working areas for differing tasks. The space should flow, make life simple, intuitive and allow staff to feel like stakeholders as opposed to just cogs in the machine. For the space to be effective the staff should be motivated, happy, energised and productive.
It is essential to balance the efficiency with its effectiveness and stating the obvious; to get the accountants amongst you on board to invest in a workspace that inspires and energises the workforce. This will allow people to be at their best every day, enabling choice by providing working areas for differing tasks, quiet / contemplative, collaboration, informal and formal meeting spaces. Proving these options will promote trust and transparency and moves thinking from ‘my space’ to ‘our space’.
Expression – A space that is legible, with services & facilities available in the right places, spaces that encourage interaction, collaboration, areas for quiet moments, concentration and for training / development as well as a good brew. The areas should be easily identifiable, and the design and scheme should have a ‘flow’ and reflect the company’s DNA without resorting to just splashing brand signs everywhere.
The space may express the brand, but the story needs to be part of this.
Ultimately as we have established the human capital represents 80% of a company’s costs, therefore it seems fair to state that staff stories will communicate the company ethos through correspondence, conversation and actions. In any environment the overriding brand we see, feel and experience is human.
Head office of Levitt Bernstein Architects in The Bonded Warehouse, designed by the crack team at Levitt and fitted out by Select Interiors Ltd.
Environment – A fantastic well-designed workplace should be as environmentally responsible as possible. This should be communicated by either achieving accreditation like BREEAM or selecting a contractor with a strong environmental policy which is clearly communicated within the design process. Simple and now economical all lighting should be LED, zone lighting so that areas not requiring minimum lux i.e. near windows have fewer fittings. Lighting in large areas should ideally be phased and on passive sensors so that if staff are working early or late the whole office is not illuminated.
Similarly lighting in W.C.s should be on passive sensors and extract and timers linked so that they turn off when not in use. Sanitary ware should have dual flush, taps should ideally be none concussive or on passive sensors to limit water use. Urinals could be waterless and if not fitted with passive sensors so that they only flush when used rather than on crude system of timers. Typically, contractors allow 10% wastage on construction materials which can end up on land fill, this is because labour usually accounts for 65% of fit out costs, so any shortfall on materials that impact productivity can be costly to the contractor. Insist on seeing contractor’s environmental policy and waste management plan and ensure that targets are met by scrutiny of waste recycling targets & that their skip companies have proof of compliance. Waste should be segregated into separate skips to help recycling targets – plasterboard, electrical items (florescent tubes taken to recycling centres WEEE directive), timber, metals, green waste, inert materials concrete / ceramics / aggregates. Ensure that A/C / boilers are serviced regularly and that for A/C has programmable thermostats so that units are not in use after hours and for radiators that each has a thermostatic control.
Design by Chris Hosty Architects, fit out and graphics by Select Interiors Ltd
Ether – In a world of instant accountability through social networking, creating a positive online association through sharing of positive workplace experiences has become vital. A well-designed workplace can make a huge contribution towards how customers see and experience your company’s brand and offering by creating a natural association with the admirable values of ‘company looking after its people’. Either through sharing of positive stories or on general or social media or on specific sites i.e. LinkedIn, the strength of the message lies in the value as perceived by the reader of company ethos. The presence of a fantastic workplace should not be just physical but should be communicated on social and standard media to support an organisations purpose and draw potential customers and employees to it.
Energy – Wellbeing is one of the key considerations of our age. Energy can be defined as the strength & vitality required for a sustained physical or mental activity. The logic being that a a fit, healthy and happy workforce are more likely to be present, energised and productive. The physical space can provide amenities / facilities or external services that enable better decision making on the part of all who use the space concerning their own health & wellbeing. The workplace should be designed to inspire and energise the individual and make a contribution towards wellbeing.
10,000 sqft fit out by Select Interiors over 3 storeys for QA Consulting
Each of the six e’s are more complex than the short paragraphs above to fully explore, there are many variables to consider. Redesigning the workplace is just one of many factors that can have an impact on productivity, wellbeing and profitability.
Research has highlighted that in many organisations workplace design is overlooked, when it can have a significant impact on employee engagement and satisfaction.
The physical surroundings can shape employee behaviours, feelings and attitudes towards their employer and experiences at work. To maximise its performance, organisations must think about the workplace as an ecosystem of spaces that allow people to have choice and control over where and how they work. Only then will they feel fully supported and able to perform at their best.
Select Interiors have been invited to tender for a fit out for old friends Dept, an existing client. Dept are an international digital agency with over a 1000 experienced thinkers and makers. They are at the forefront the digital revolution and merge creativity, technology, and data. With offices worldwide and teams of experts in creative, digital, marketing and commerce. We at Select Interiors Ltd are grateful not only to have worked for them over the last 2 years but are overjoyed at the opportunity of being asked to tender for their exciting new head office.
Select Interiors Manchester design & fit are proud to have won a contract for design and now the fit out for a new northern head office for Clarke & Clarke, part of the mighty international Walker & Greenbank that incorporates premium interior design brands Zoffany, Sanderson, Morris & Co., Harlequin, Scion and Anthology. The contract for the complete re-design and fit out is particularly special as we are massive fans of Clarke & Clarke’s design, fabrics and wallpapers. To be asked to do interior design for this premium design brand is flattering and we are very grateful to Founder and Special Advisor, Lee Clarke for the enquiry.
Interior space planning and design for international interior design brand Clarke & Clarke
Select Interiors internal 3D model for this prestigious scheme on Manchester’s Deansgate
Select Interiors Manchester design & fit are proud to have won a tender for the complete re-design and fit out of an international firm of Property and Estate Agency in a premier location on Deansgate in a Grade II listed building.
Week 1, demolition / strip out & 1st fix electrical
Select Interiors have won the interior design & space planning for the rapidly expanding 360 Resourcing group run by dynamic Managing Directors Stephen Rundell & Tom Coulter. The group are purchasing a 10,000.00 sqft office over 3 floors.
See plan layout above for the innovative, rapidly expanding 360 Resourcing where Select Interiors have incorporated a Co-Worker space, Coffee Shop, open Kitchen, Gym and Games Room within the ground floor footprint. The 1st & 2nd floors are the main work & meeting / boardroom with the ground floor providing space for informal meetings, fitness, games room and social spaces – what’s not to love?
Select Interiors are currently designing a new Call Centre for the rapidly expanding Millers Vanguard in Bury.
The brief to create a dynamic new call centre for 45 staff, the client used the term “with screens like Nasa’’ which we at Select, loved. See above excepts from 2 & 3 D layout and mood board images. Select Interiors have developed the brief incorporating an acoustic cantilevered ceiling with 900mm radial dimmable LED luminaires, mechanical / ventilation and full fit out.
Select Interiors have recently completed a design for the expanding Amaranth in the premium shopping arcade at The Royal Exchange. Scope of works include full design including submission to Listed Building & Building Control.
See above elevation / section drawing by Select Interiors Ltd for Grade II Listed Royal Exchange project for Amaranth
See above front elevation drawing by Select Interiors Ltd for Grade II Listed Royal Exchange project for Amaranth
Part of Mood board presentation illustrating finishes and lighting
Select Interiors have recently completed a Cat A fit out project for the mighty Castlefield Estates. The project on the 3rd floor of the uber trendy 2 Commercial Street next door to the ground-breaking Deansgate Square development. Scope of works includes; Electrical, Fire Strategy, MF wall linings, partitions, coffered ceilings, computer access flooring, joinery and decoration.
Select Interiors have recently completed a fit-out project for Bury Council and the charitably run Mosses Centre a refurbishment and fit out of a Nursery, Main Lounge / Hall / Entertainment space and a commercial kitchen. Scope of works includes: Design, Asbestos management, suspended ceilings, fire strategy, LED lighting, partitions, hygienic cladding, flooring and decoration.
Please click the link for further images of Select Interiors projects http://selectinteriors.pixieset.com/
The team at Select Interiors would like thank all the clients above for their valued orders and would welcome new enquiries.
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