Another lockdown delivery success

This is Get Living in Stratford
Specifically, this is their new marketing suite at East Village.

Our design saw us appointed from a three way pitch to deliver this amazing space in the heart of the Get Living East Village. Inspired by the surrounding space and the very values of the village, this is what Get Living have to say:

Space to play. Space to train. Space to dream. This is not the London living you know. With 25 acres of parks and wetlands, East Village is a place to breathe the air and get active. Even our gigs and gatherings take place outdoors. Inspired by the amazing facilities of London 2012 on our doorstep, and by the legacy that lives on in every building, life at East Village is on a bigger scale.

An amazing showcase
With it’s own set of challenges

From the high ceilings to the delay in raw materials and everything between, this project is testament to the resourcefulness of our onsite teams, our subcontractors and adaptable designers to deliver a space that boasts a meeting room filled with natural daylight, a private meeting pod set amongst plants from above and below, the apex lounge with furniture from our friends at Orangebox, Allermuir, Frovi and Rawside.

The main feature comes in the ford of a bespoke designed (by our team) Clarke Rendall reception and coffee bar, finished in Chromix Egger and topped with a glorious single piece Corian surface.

The big come back: forward thinking offices are about to change forever

Read about the likely changes we will see in offices following the majority of the workforce working from home.
Covid 19 (if you haven’t heard of it by now…) has now forced the majority of the UK workforce to work from home, if they can.

Interestingly, before we were hit with this crazy pandemic, things were kind of going that way anyway. Statistics show that there has been a 74% jump in the amount of people working from their own home between 2008 and 2018. Entrepreneurs and startups are increasingly based online, and therefore, are growing at home and in coffee shops across the country. Then there’s the flexible workers, the remote workers, freelancers. Businesses are recognising that a worker doesn’t have to be present in the office, to provide the best results.

Regardless of how long you have been working from home, the fact is that as soon as those offices open again for business, things are going to be different. Or at least, they should be. They kind of have to be, actually. When we return to our offices, we will have been working from home for quite some time. Expectations will be different all round. Agile working practises are certainly a way to embrace this new desire for change.

Let’s take a closer look at the changes that happen when you work from home, and how that can be reflected in an agile office environment:

Technology is king
The latest technology makes working so much easier than ever before.

You can conference call, have a team meeting on a messaging app or virtual-meeting software. You can use social media to meet and organise meetings.

There are project management apps for milestones and messaging, calendars and shared information. Collaboration at home is so easy.

This can all be reflected in the office, with additions made to allow face to face meetings if that works the best. Inviting breakout areas, meeting zones or brainstorming zones work well. Glass walls and partitions can help connect people whilst zoning the space.

Technology connects you in more ways than ever before.

Autonomy to some degree
Working from home you are able to work where and how you know best.

People are a bit bored of neutrality and Scandi-minimalism, and that fatigue is reflected in the bright and popping office colour palette of 2020.

In an agile workplace, you can follow your instincts with this too, if the facilities and flexibility are there for you to do that. Agile working means being given everything you need to get the work done, including the freedom to work in the way you feel works best.

Health & wellbeing
Our homes are a space we have cultivated to suit our physical and emotional needs.

The window seat with blankets and books for those times your brain needs a break. The spa bathroom with a waterfall shower to pummel aching muscles. The snazzy coffee machine in the kitchen because you don’t form words until you’ve had that first cup of the good stuff in the morning.

You’ve been in that snuggly, warm womb of a workspace for the entire time isolation lasts. Only to go back to an office where none of those needs are met. A recipe for disaster? Too right. Agile offices need to start providing facilities for their employees that boost their health. From plants to beanbags, free fresh fruit and helpful events, employees need to feel supported in work in the same way they feel supported at home.

Commuting will always be rubbish
Commutes are one of the greatest bugbears of office workers.

Aren’t they hideous? They can take hours of sweaty, crammed public transport. Or if you’re lucky, hours stuck in traffic in your car.

Working from home removes that commute which can mean you’re gifted with extra time at home. More time to spend with your family, more time to enjoy your life. On your return to work, having to deal with the commute again is going to be awful. An agile office might offer various ways to overcome that commute angst, such as:

● Enabling you to work different hours, at least sometimes, means you get to avoid rush hour
● Remote working means you don’t have to commute at all on the days you can work from home
● How about work has cycles for use whenever you want to enjoy an eco-friendly ride to work?
● How about car-sharing for a commute that’s more fun?

Keep the good
Flexibility, hold on to it.

The virus has forced businesses to be imaginative, creative and adaptable when it comes to working around change. It’s forced everybody to be more fluid in how, where and why they work at any one time.

This fluidity is an essential part of an agile office and it should be treasured. It means problem solving creatively, and having the tools, the gusto and the skills to solve those problems quickly.

Workers and employers can take this amazing flexibility learnt and utilised throughout this crisis, and apply it to future operations and processes.

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”

Albert Einstein

The above are just some examples of ways in which working from home has paved the way for a new world in the office. Expectations are different now, and companies will be expected to have an agile working environment, in some respects at least.

The time for office transformations is now. And now is the time to start asking yourself, how will your workplace change for the better when you return?

Get in touch with the office refurbishment experts

Get return ready with us

Key components of a well-designed office

You need to know about these key components of an innovative office fit-out to guarantee a design that truly works for your business needs.
An office fit-out is both an exciting and stressful event to organise. There’s a lot to think about, first and foremost ensuring that the results are ultimately worth the budget spent, and worth any disruption to day to day business.

Choosing the right company to design and fit the new office can make the process much easier. A forward-thinking business will make the process extremely convenient and most importantly, they will collaborate with you to ensure that the most important aspects of the fit-out are fulfilled. To get a head start on exactly what your workspace consultant will focus on, take a look at the key components of a transformative office fit-out:

Activity based working
Agile is a forward-thinking way to work. 70% of studies suggest there is a positive effect on productivity and workplace performance with ABW compared to standard office layouts.

Any forward-thinking workspace consultant has their eye on activity based working styles, because they offer the opportunity for businesses to enjoy a more dynamic and effective working environment. The basic principle is that any employee does not have their own desk, but rather the office has various innovative workspaces for any employee to use depending on how and where they want to work. Each employee has total autonomy over finding the best workspace for their task whether it is collaborative or independent.

Workplace wellbeing
A healthy workplace supports the physical, mental and social well being of the staff who work within it.

Work related stress and mental illnesses now account for over half of lost working days in the UK. Work related musko-skeletal disorders are also a huge problem, with over 35% of all work related illnesses being MRMSD and 24% of work related absences being because of MRMSD. So on a practical level, there’s a huge reason for any business to place emphasis on the workspace they provide being a healthy one for employees. In addition, any brand who truly appreciates their employees wants to ensure they are providing the most emotionally and socially nutritious environment possible for each and every member of staff. Supporting that environment with furniture that is ergonomic in design, carefully designed lighting and sound-proofing ensures that employee physical health is also supported.

Embracing technology
An advanced office is a modern space that is utilising all possible technologies to enhance current working practises and possibilities.

Cable management, communication rooms, supported networking systems, cloud and audio-visual systems and more, can free up employees to work more efficiently and productively. In addition, technology can actively enhance communication and employee humanity. Take a look at this interesting Forbes article about how technology can transform workspace humanity for a deeper insight into how tech can facilitate a better workspace for employees.

Bringing the outside in
Plants in office decor have been in style for quite a while.

Outdoors inside decor stems from a greater eco-consciousness and health consciousness across the board, as style and decoration reflects societies greater awareness of the deepest human and environmental needs. In many basic re-fits, this addition of decorative plants is often highly simplistic and treats plants like ornaments. Whilst plants are aesthetically pleasing, it is a deeper connection to health and nature that is recognised by savvy workspace consultants who understand the true benefits of using plants in workspace design.

Did you know some of the key benefits of using plants in workspace design are: Plants naturally clean VOCs and other indoor air pollutants, Seeing ‘nature’ in some shape or form is known to make humans happier & just one plant in the office can reduce stress in the workplace by up to 60%.

Plants and living office design features are an intelligent addition to an agile fit-out.

Lighting, acoustics & functional furniture
Lighting is transformative in decor, and it is no different with office decor.

The look, feel and practical use of a space can be totally transformed with the right lighting. The acoustics of a space can also transform its feel and use, particularly if noise pollution is an issue and a noise reduction could enhance the quality of that particular area.

Furniture should always be beautiful and fit in with the visual theme of the business and branding. It can be easy to think that to have ergonomic, functional furniture, you have to sacrifice the looks. This isn’t the case. The most experienced workspace consultants will be able to source exactly the kind of furniture that your business needs to suit both aesthetic and functional requirements. There really is no compromise with agile office design.

Talking spaces
Talking spaces are spaces that say everything you want them to say about your brand to ensure that employees are able to live and breathe your business mission statement, values and visions each and every day.

Talking spaces spark conversation and thoughts, creativity and inspiration with employees and any visiting clients, who can see exactly what you’re about without having to ask a single question.

“An approach to getting work done with maximum flexibility and minimum constraints.” – Unilever

The above key components of a truly innovative office design should be at the forefront of any truly forward-thinking office fit-out company. By investing in an agile office that is beautiful, inspiring and functional, you’re investing in a more productive, happy and healthy future for your business.

Get in touch with the office fit-out experts

Have a project in mind?

Coming soon… Extreme E & their new London office

This is the next stage in motor racing
This is a new, radical, intense and utterly mental concept for racing, and it’s coming soon

Extreme E is a competitive platform for accelerating the development of electric vehicles, to help create a low-carbon future powered by renewable energy. Extreme E are committed to supporting and partnering with organisations working to restore the degraded environments in which they race, the precious ecosystems within them and the people who live there.

Above all, Extreme E hope to raise awareness and inspire action to encourage every individual to come together and play their part to safeguard the future of the Earth and all its inhabitants.

Read more about Extreme E
An amazing basecamp
Based in Central London

Immediately adjacent to the London offices of Formula E, the stunning new Extreme E offices are themed to perfection. The new space has a host of features that include unique lighting, rope walls, on brand (colour wise) sprinkler systems, container style meeting rooms and even a DJ booth.

A true visionary
Meet the founder of Extreme E

Alejandro Agag is a businessman, entrepreneur and visionary. Founder & CEO of Formula E – the electric street racing series – Agag has a knack for seeing what’s on the horizon and getting on board, and this time it’s RMS St. Helena and Extreme E.

Agag was born in Madrid and enjoyed an international upbringing in Paris and across the pond in New York – gaining fluency in English, Spanish, French and Italian.

Read more about Extreme E

Five key office fit-out trends to expect in 2020

Find out the five key 2020 office trends to get ready for the exciting year ahead.
Towards the end of the year, businesses often reflect, and then look ahead at what can be achieved in the upcoming 365 days of brand-new exciting opportunities.

Part of forecasting your business potential involves your working environment and understanding how it can be improved in regard to productivity, employee health and company culture. To inspire you, take a look at the five key office trends of 2020:

Number one
Fashion – cafe culture lands in the workplace

A true fashion trend to look out for in offices in 2020 is the reflection of coffee culture within the working space. The value of the coffee industry is over 17 billion, and 80% of those who enjoy coffee shops visit them at least once a week, with 16% visiting once a day.

 Coffee has always had a place in the office but, in 2020, the coffee culture sweeping the UK will find its way into the workplace too. At the very least, employees expect better quality coffee than the watery offerings of an old dispenser, or the chalky granules of a cheap instant. At the most, mini coffee chain outlets are working their way into buildings, and in some instances, artisan coffee stations and even coffee shop working spaces will not be surprising additions to see in 2020 professional buildings.

Number two
Colour – bye bye neutral hello brights

People are a bit bored of neutrality and Scandi-minimalism, and that fatigue is reflected in the bright and popping office colour palette of 2020.

You can see that change straight away in the highly textured colourful fabrics being used in office soft furnishings and upholstery. Patterns and tones are playful and exciting, with mint, creamy blues, ambers and peachy pinks all making a strong appearance. Coral is also making a strong comeback for braver designers.

Natural tones provided by living plants comes with the continued wave of biophilia popularity. The trend is less plant walls and more dangling hanging plants like string of hearts and string of pearls suspended from the ceiling or on shelves. This natural trend extends further into patterns to be seen in the more playful office, such as exotic leaf prints.

Image Sii Offices – Nantes

Number three
Furniture – 2020 looks soft & sustainable

Geometric shapes and patterns have been on trend in both the home and office for quite a while, and although that trend hasn’t totally died off, in furniture, it’s been pushed aside to make space for curves. Along with more colourful upholstery, the furniture will have softer lines and curved accents. This plays nicely into the fluidity and flow naturally provided by agile working spaces taking centre stage next year.

When it comes to the build of office furniture, sustainability is at the forefront of priorities for both businesses and manufacturers. Businesses want eco-credentials to let customers know that they care about the environment. 88% of consumers want you to help them make a difference, which is why they want to support brands who are ‘doing their bit’.

Sustainable design is key in 2020 and it can mean including less non-recyclable materials being used in fit-outs, more sustainable materials being used such as cork flooring, as well as talking spaces presenting a greener brand overall. So, instead of a natural veneer, furniture and office materials will have deeper green kudos and build.

Image of Radiology Partners Offices – El Segundo

Number four
Ways of working – collaboration is key

Conscious co-working is another way to describe agile workspaces, or activity based working and it is going to be seen everywhere in 2020. Co-working involves well-designed zones and areas that encourage collaboration and teamwork, as well as focus areas and solo working spaces. You can also expect designated desks to be out, and instead, a wide variety of seated and standing options to use how and when you want to depending on the work that needs doing.

Companies will also make the most out of outdoor spaces, recognising the regenerative benefits of being outdoors and having access to a natural space. Did you know that science confirms that creativity can be directly improved by access to the outdoors? Office design consultants will increasingly see requests made for hardwearing outdoor furniture and outdoor spaces that can work for business use all year round.

Image from coworker.com

Number 5
Technology – smart learning & smart buildings

There will be a sharp rise in remote and flexible working in 2020. Technology like laptops, global servers, video calls and teamwork apps all provide the ability for company employees to work together, from anywhere in the world. Offices are likely to have video-call and digital conference capabilities built-in to meeting areas. As it stands, around 70% of the global workforce work remotely at least once a week and realistically, that means the competition for the best employee talent is higher than ever. Integrated online learning systems are likely to rise in popularity as employees expect to grow within their role, otherwise, they can easily seek new work remotely.

Smart buildings are also set to take offices by storm as AI takes centre stage. Sensors and integrated technologies will help with energy management, security, space use optimization, wellbeing, collaboration, productivity, ergonomics and more. There’s some clever tech on the way to forward thinking businesses in 2020.

In summary
How will your office work in 2020?

As this year draws to a close and your thoughts drift towards your 2020 office design, it makes sense to recognise all the ways your business can benefit from the exciting design innovation on its way. Could your company benefit from biophilia? How about some beautiful textured bright fabrics or tropical patterned walls? Do you need to be more agile? There’s a lot to think about. If you’d like some expert help, consider getting in touch with an experienced office design consultant who will be able to design and re-fit your office based on your specific business needs. It could be exactly what your company needs to achieve better productivity, creativity and wellness in 2020.

Get in touch with the office refurbishment experts

Want to be on trend in 2020?

Get a better space

We live in an era where the amount of employees working from home continues to rise and advanced communication and project management apps and technology enables any company to work with any appropriate candidate worldwide.

 

More and more information like this is dropping into the headlines daily. It really is no surprise that employers have no choice but to step up their game when it comes to providing a more fluid and dramatically less linear way of working for employees if they want to retain the best in the industry.

How can forward-thinking businesses snare excellent candidates these days? Stealing them away from remote working and freelance offerings without compromising on a carefully cultivated office environment?

Activity Based Working: What Is It?

If you are interested in creating an office environment that benefits your business and every single member of your team, activity based workplace design should be high on your agenda.

The concept was first properly formed in 1983 by Robert Luchetti, and the term activity based working coined in groundbreaking book The Art Of Working by Erik Veldhoen. In the early 90’s, the implementation of the concept occurred in the Netherlands and has spread worldwide since.

It works on the basis that rather than trudging in to the office to spend the day at your allocated desk, you simply don’t have one single assigned space to work in, you actually have many. You can choose from a workspace design with a wide selection of different zones or areas, designed to support certain types of task. Workplace consultants will create spaces to facilitate needs such as focus, working as a team, or for training.

As each area has to accommodate the needs of a wide range of users and it has to be flexible for that reason. When implementing ABW managers and supporting staff have to first be on board with the huge change that comes with this new way of working so that they are in a position to help employees transition as smoothly as possible.

The Benefits Of Activity Based Working

Who doesn’t love a desk? Lots of employees enjoy their own dedicated workspace, with their own cacti, maybe a picture of the kids and the comfort of knowing that is their space to work and nobody else’s.

So why change anything?

Activity-based working comes with many benefits, predominantly recognising that employees do have a wide range of workstyle needs depending on the type of task they need to complete. Rather than have a ‘one-size-fits-all’ desk, ABW staff can enjoy the choice of workspace, enhancing their own productivity.

Key benefits of activity based working (source design and management of activity based workplaces, Theo J M Van der Voordt, Delft University Of Technology)

  • Architecture and workplace design appreciated by staff
  • Better communication in the workplace in general
  • Easier socialisation
  • Ease of exchanging information
  • Better office dynamics
  • Better office acoustics
  • More comfortable furniture

With the right workplace design and the right implementation, there are many benefits to ABW for many different types of business and organisation.

Is Activity Based Working Right For Everyone?

A study by Leesman Index suggests that certain types of workers are pretty attached to their workstation and they represent 30% of the workforce, and a further 41% will explore other workspaces, but still remain tethered to a workspace to call their own.

This does represent a significant issue for businesses trying to transition to much better working practices, especially as certain job types are so linear and straight-forward, they don’t necessarily call for a more flexible way of working.

Another potential hurdle for ABW is office ergonomics, or rather, ensuring that the ergonomics in the workplace are correctly integrated into the shared zones created by workplace consultants.

Statistics tell us that over 3 quarters of British workers spend up to 9 hours at their desk every single day with over a third of those people spending up to 6 hours seated. Those figures alone tell us that a different way of formatting an office is likely incredibly good for the health and lifestyle of the British workforce. However, additional figures reveal that a change like activity based working needs to be paired with strong ergonomics of the new workspaces.

64% of workers feel their office environment has negatively impacted their health, 45% don’t feel their employer cares about their health and 26% aren’t even aware of risk assessments for workspaces.

So a change in the office layout without the right risk assessments and ergonomic consideration could spell disaster for any company looking to keep their employees healthy and happy (and looking to avoid being sued!).

ABW can be ergonomically sound, but the organisation implementing the change should seek to employ workplace consultants with expertise in office ergonomics, ensuring that health and safety are a central feature of the new commercial fit out.

“The secret to getting ahead is getting started” – Mark Twain

Adopting an activity based working office design is a great way for businesses to begin future-proofing, offering a flexible and modern environment for their employees. The focus is on we and not I, and on the work produced, not on the way it is produced. With ABW there is no specific place for work to be completed, but also, there are multiple spaces that it can be completed.

Working in this way does require a transitional period, experienced workplace consultants and a detailed analysis and approach to implementation for any chance at a successful result.

If successful, activity based working can bring a wealth of benefits to any company, initially helping to retain and attract employees with a focus on what they can do, not where they can do it. Businesses looking to invest in activity based working are cultivating a modern and truly flexible workspace designed to accommodate optimum productivity, health and happiness.

CDW ’19

Clerkenwell design week…what better way to look out for new ideas, trends and inspiration.

Its very easy as a designer spending everyday in and out of meetings to get set in your comfort zone and use product that you know have worked for you in the past.

Clerkenwell design week encourages designers to explore everything from the big items to the smaller things that get missed out till the last minute. Having a day or two out of the office with your colleges to explore these things gives you a better perspective of who they are as designers a what they can bring to the table. We all got to get inspiration outside the confinements of google and Pinterest and got ahead of the game by seeing and testing products that still had not been released to the public.

Showroom highlight
Frovi

We started our day going through all the furniture showrooms and ended up in Frovi where they had displayed their very new range Colony which had not yet been released. A beautiful display of agile working, in a time where people need it the most. With a few amendments you can create a lounge into a meeting room or office, perfect for any open plan area.

Visit Frovi's website
Biophilic design
Ocee Design

In a time where plants and retro furniture are the hype of design. Ocee has perfected these small items of furniture for any teapoint or collaboration area by bringing small bursts of colour into the space.

Visit Ocee Design
Lighting
Featured at Fabric

Lighting is one of the most important things in a room and it’s the one thing that is so commonly pushed to the side till the very last minute. I must admit as a designer there have been times that I’ve left my lighting design till the very end of a project and struggled to find the absolute best solutions.

The Lighting exhibition that had taken place in the very popular nightclub fabric was one for the books. You didn’t need to be a designer to appreciate what was displayed, everywhere you looked there was a product for someone or somewhere.

See the scrap lights here

Clerkenwell isn’t just about new products in the market, it’s also about refreshing your memory on existing products and finding cheaper alternatives to things that you like. It’s a time where all designers come together and make new connections.

IRIS Software HQ

We have recently completed a 35,000 sq. ft workplace fit-out for IRIS Software in their new headquarters based at Heathrow Approach on the M4 contains many high end design features including a 17 metre curved wall as the backdrop to a solid corian reception desk. Accommodating the third and fourth floors it is now home to 240 staff members who have access to a large collaboration wing, bookable meeting rooms, quiet rooms, ad hoc meeting spaces and state of the video conferencing and iPad controlled coffee machines from our friends at Scanomat.

The result of this project has been the undertaking  of furniture and fit-out project for IRIS Software’s further twelve offices across the UK.

View the project here

Why do people hate their offices?

We spend a huge chunk of our lives sat at our desks, the time there is reducing for some, but not all. So we asked some end users ‘what annoys you about your work environment?’. Here’s what they said…

Too cramped

Definitely a big one, this. But the problem wasn’t really that the desk itself was too small, but rather there was too much stuff everywhere due to a lack of storage space. Our desks have specially designed storage units that are a perfect place to keep your work bits and bobs while staying well out the way of the task at hand. And if you need that bit extra room, why not consider a monitor arm to get that up off the surface? And since our desks come with cable management systems, you won’t have to worry about a spaghetti nightmare of cables making your space feel more cluttered than it really is.

Make you ache

We’re not built for sitting at a desk all day. Lots of people report having trouble with their necks and backs after being sat at their desks for long periods. Sit & Stand desks are seeing a huge swell in popularity in the past couple of years, as they allow you to spend some of your work time standing, which not only reduces aches and pains but burns more calories, reduces the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart diseases and decreases those afternoon feelings of lethargy and sleepiness we all feel.

No privacy

Despite it having been shown to decrease productivity, we all accept that open-plan workspaces are here to stay. But working right on top of your colleagues can leave people feeling uncomfortable and can increase stress levels. You can get the best of both worlds with our desk-mounted privacy screens and lockable storage, which gives employees the sense of their own private space while still keeping the flexibility of an open plan office environment.

Perenco furniture delivery

What an incredible project to be part of…

The UK headquarters for renowned oil and gas company Perenco at 8 Hanover Square. This new home was designed by MoreySmith for the 200-strong multi-disciplinary team and was been designed to provide maximum flexibility to enhance collaborative working in an inspiring environment.

We were introduced to the project for our exceptional contacts within the furniture industry. Here’s what MoreySmith say about the project:

On the fifth floor, with views over Hanover Square, a café bar area encourages employees to come together to work and socialise. This informal setting is designed with relaxed lighting and seating around the central café bar, emanating a contemporary lounge area.

The upper three floors are connected by a beautifully sculpted cast concrete staircase, with a helical form inspired by drilling mechanisms. The stairs link the café bar, sixth floor reception and executive offices. The double-height space centrepiece is a collaboration between MoreySmith and Studio Drift; the artists created a bespoke kinetic art installation, titled Flylight, that mimics a murmuration of starlings

MoreySmith has used a selection of natural materials including timber flooring, cut and patterned stone and leather wall panelling with bronze inlay. The metalwork details on the staircases and fret-cut features have created a unique identity for the company.

View the project photos here