CEO, The Office Group
A transformation in the way people work has been supercharged by the Covid-19 pandemic and resulted in wellbeing placed at the centre of new workspace design.
Working nine-to-five at a desk in a crowded office with little natural light and nowhere to quietly focus on work or chat with your team is becoming a thing of the past.
Employee wellbeing is now top of the agenda as more forward-thinking companies seek to provide spaces where their people can focus, collaborate, be inspired and recharge — and where teams can be brought together and feel empowered to do their work.
Office design that encourages productivity
The Office Group, which has more than 70 buildings and some 30,000 members, provides clients with an array of work-style spaces crafted to meet all of these criteria, allowing companies to be ever more flexible while helping to boost their bottom lines.
According to their CEO Enrico Sanna, there is strong evidence to support the idea of putting employee wellbeing at the forefront of bosses’ minds. He says: “Prioritising wellbeing empowers productivity and is key to a team feeling valued and trusted.
“In a recent customer survey, we saw 98% of our members agree that an enjoyable workspace can make employees happier. Also, 91% agreed that badly designed workspaces can negatively impact an employee’s wellbeing.”
The need to move out of traditional offices
Changes to office style and use were beginning before Covid-19 struck, sending everyone to work from home. However, the pandemic is undoubtedly responsible for speeding up the transformation process.
“It showed just how much in need of change the traditional model of working five days a week, at a desk, in an office with zero flexibility was,” explains Sanna. “That desire to reimagine the workplace experiences and to empower people to work in a new, flexible way has been at the heart of our business from day one.
“Our clients were embracing a new approach to work even before Covid-19; and now, flexible workspaces are predicted to reach more than 20% of the market by 2030.”
Prioritising wellbeing empowers productivity and is key to a team feeling valued and trusted.Enrico Sanna
A space to recharge and collaborate
The Group’s latest, and largest to date, ‘workspace experience’ is Chancery House situated in Holborn, London. It has been wholly designed with wellbeing at its core. As well as considering air quality, light and acoustics within the design, more than a quarter of the building is dedicated to wellness. This includes an on-site gym, café, library and plenty of outdoor space. There is an abundance of natural light and an outdoors/indoors feel, allowing people to get out easily for a breath of fresh air.
Members will enjoy a first-of-its-kind office space where they are enabled to create and connect, as well as recharge and relax. Every detail has been considered in a bid to support productivity. The needs of different working styles are met with a range of workspaces from focus booths to comfortable lounges, plus 17 meeting rooms for collaborative work.
Thinking of new ways to empower employees
Sanna recognises the importance of well-designed workspaces, conducive to employee wellbeing and productivity. He believes workspaces should not just be about property but must be focused on people and the enormous value they can achieve from a collaborative, healthy workplace.
“The office isn’t a commodity, it’s a space where you bring your team together and empower them to do their work, in their way. They need space where they can focus, collaborate, be inspired and recharge to do this successfully,“ he concludes.