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Six ways workplaces are giving businesses a competitive edge

How rethinking the workplace is winning the war on talent, streamlining footprints, and boosting engagement and culture.

design leadership

Unispace New Zealand Principals of Design, Vanessa Taylor, Darcy Utting, and Alice Dalton discuss six office design trends they’re seeing from clients looking to repurpose the workplace in the post-Covid world.

1. Make the workplace a center of excellence for innovation

BNZ The Terrace_4

BNZ, The Terrace, Wellington, New Zealand – An ideal digital world for the specialist digital, technology, products, and portfolio teams through an agile working environment.

“The workplace has spaces and amenities that you can’t find anywhere else. From ergonomic desks, whiteboards, collaborative spaces, and meeting rooms to optimal acoustics and lighting. You can fuel innovation by designing space that allows people to do their best work.” - Alice Dalton, Principal, Design, New Zealand


2. Don't be afraid to shrink your footprint


Herbert Smith Freehills, Sydney, Australia - Reassessing space needs can result in significant cost savings and the opportunity to reimagine unutilized desk space for multipurpose use. 

Too often, workplaces are designed with a one-size-fits-all approach resulting in a sea of workstations. This pushes footprints larger and creates pockets of underutilized space, negatively impacting culture. Spaces can be repurposed to be multi-functional, to suit both individual and collective needs.” - Darcy Utting, Principal, Design, New Zealand


3. Align your workplace with your ESG goals

sustainable office design

Astellas, Madrid, Spain – Accredited as Spain’s first BREEAM sustainability--certified office building and rated “excellent” in several aspects of the building’s construction and facilities.

“Your workplace is a reflection of your business. Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) has risen to the top of corporate agendas and the workplace plays a key role in achieving carbon, waste, and energy targets – from green fit-out and data transparency to diversity, accessibility, and inclusivity.” - Vanessa Taylor, Principal, Design, New Zealand


4. Break down barriers with the right technology

office technology

Silver Fern Farms, Dunedin, New Zealand – Finalists in the Interior Design Awards 2022, Silver Fern Farms’ post-Covid workplace integrates the right level of tech with new ways of working.

“Investing in the right technology within your space can break down silos by supporting cross-functional collaboration and connectivity, no matter where you are. Tools such as wall-mounted surface hubs allow teams to easily come together to solve problems and build stronger alignment.” Darcy Utting, Principal, Design, New Zealand


5. Create a sense of belonging 

diversity in the workplace

Silver Fern Farms, Dunedin, New Zealand – Māori, Chinese, and English are included on wayfinding throughout the office space in recognition of the languages spoken within the business.

“An integral part of the post-Covid workplace is enabling employees to bring their full selves to work. Take into consideration the inclusiveness of your space - from accessibility to wayfinding, digital displays, lighting, and workstations. The first step is to ask your employees what they need – and then future-proof to accommodate everyone.” - Alice Dalton, Principal, Design, New Zealand


6. Attract and nurture talent 

BNZ The Terrace_6

BNZ, The Terrace, Wellington, New Zealand – A large presentation screen, games tables, fully functioning bar and cardio space provide an energetic recoup area for BNZ staff. 

“Graduates have had a disrupted introduction to the workplace during the pandemic, especially from a social, learning, and development perspective. Attract and nurture young talent by creating a sense of community in the office with spaces for people to unwind, form bonds, and share knowledge in an informal setting.” – Vanessa Taylor, Principal, Design, New Zealand

Step one to figuring out your future workplace is analyzing property suitability, ways of working, and the associated costs of change. Get in touch to arrange a consultation with our team.