An example of the comfortable work and chill out pods at Lego

An example of the unique We Work office space

Design work with Bear Grylls

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Work Spaces Need to Become a Home From Home, Not an Office

Lifestyle

- 25 April 2017

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Work is no longer 9-5 which means our office environment shouldn’t just be a functional space that serves the outdated working life hours. 

We are working earlier, longer and later into life, therefore modern workplaces need to respond by providing environments that satisfy the employee’s life outside of traditional office hours. Employers also need to create work spaces that keep employees at work for longer and allow them to do their ‘life admin’ in the comfort of their own office, and no longer in the comfort of their own home.

Increasingly, we are seeing corporate clients asking for unusual office spaces which feature lifestyle items such as:

  • Onsite gyms
  • ‘Chill’ or lounge areas with sofas and TVs
  • Breakfast stations
  • Wellbeing rooms including space for masseuse tables and yoga classes
  • Bars serving more than just drinks, but the pub experience including snooker tables and foosball 

According to recruitment site Adzuna, some of the coolest offices in London belong to business suppliers Moo, travel website AirBnB, advertising agency Mother and online food company Hello Fresh*. Each office satisfies their staff’s lifestyle in some capacity which is going to have a positive impact on productivity. One office even includes a mindfulness room to demonstrate its commitment to team wellbeing and to build a company loyalty like no other.

We have always been impressed by the design standards at Lego and the offices wholly represent the brand’s inspiration ethos. With chill out zones, snugs and innovative working pods, Lego delivers on a comfortable work environment which will prevent employees clock watching and desperate to head home to a more chilled and relaxing space.

The rise in popularity of quirky rented co working spaces such as We Work proves that the traditional office space with the chair, desk, and water cooler is fading. We Work offers on site bars and organic food stations, with the co-working space looking more like something from a country estate living room than an office. Corporations and SMEs with office space need to sit up and listen and respond to the change in demand for lifestyle enhancing spaces or risk losing staff to more attractive working environments and perks.

One of our clients, Bear Grylls, has just asked for designs for a climbing wall and climbing structures to be installed at the head office for the adventurer’s many brands. If a company represents ultimate living on the outside, then they need to live and breathe it on the inside to drive creativity, motivation and the right company ethos and Bear Grylls certainly is delivering on this. We recommended **

  • Based on concept created at Oxygen Freejumping centres where we implemented multi storey training zones for people to train their body for OCR events in creative ways
  • The look and design was based on the BG Epic training brand – functional, simple colours big impact. Focus being on the fitness not the frills. Orange logo set against all black structure with pops of orange and natural rope.
  • Although a continuous assault course, each zone can be used in isolation as part of an exercise class with set circuits or excercises.
  • Bear Grylls is creating three main brands – fitness, education and entertainment. We fit into the fitness sector but their head office will likely incorporate all three. Climbing walls or structures in their head office will likely provide fitness for employees, but also act as well being and fun. 

But you don’t need big budgets, extra space or whole new offices to respond to this trend. We have recommended many cost-effective solutions to clients including the simplicity of adding a pop of colour to interiors, replacing standard tables with picnic tables, creating feature walls or installing dramatic bookcases. On a bigger scale, we have recommended

  • The industrial aesthetic is still on trend, and is affordable because it celebrates exposed services, raw materials which are economical like plywood, chipboard, exposed concrete. Focusing on finishing these materials well can allow a large space to be renovated at a low price.
  • Break out spaces with a coffee bar which could be used as the lunch area, entertaining clients or holding events. Movable furniture which can be rearranged depending on the use. 

The opportunities are endless and we will work with your office space and budget to create the space you need to meet the new lifestyle demand. If you want to start a chat about the options available, email Jon on jon@adventureinarchitecture.co.uk for Adventure In Architecture’s interior design and architecture ideas and recommendations.

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