With an average of 40 hours a week spent in the office it’s no surprise that the physical workplace environment plays such an important role in retaining and attracting talent.
Sam Sahni, Principal Strategy says “The journey of creating contemporary workplaces has shifted, with increasing numbers of organisations seeking environments more holistically encompassing, filled with behaviour and experience focused spaces. The magnetic-pull of these work hubs, along with organisational culture, is supporting talent attraction and retention, empowering people and generating a positive brand perception, not to mention creating spaces people love to spend time with-in.”
“With the modern work force adopting more flexible work styles and more people working from home or out of the office, organisations must rethink their approach to the physical work environment to offer models which encourage wellbeing, cultivate collaboration, flexibility and choice and value the overall employee experience.”
Flexibility and choice
We partnered with Pernod Ricard Winemakers 24 months ahead of their move, to define a workplace strategy for their new Sydney headquarters at Barangaroo. They underwent a monumental workplace transformation moving from a 4,000 sqm, multi-level traditional workplace in North Ryde to a 2,500 sqm ABW model. The result is a flexible and convivial workplace that embodies their culture and empowers their people offering the freedom of choice and shaping a mindset of flexibility and agility. Christian Campanella, HR Director at Pernod Ricard Winemakers says, “You cannot underestimate the importance the physical environment has on your workplace culture. People are sitting where they want to sit, with who they need to do their job effectively. It’s natural you get an increased level of buzz within the office”.
At Deliveroo in London, we configured the space to be inclusive and engaging, while giving team members a variety of different settings dependent on what their day might require, offering a fully tailored experience. Every meeting zone is unique: be it the war room, on the risers on the ‘Rooball’ pitch, or sitting in hanging baskets in the canteen. The matrix of creative, collaborative and flexible settings is a critical component to enticing talent to the corporate HQ.
Unispace has seen a trend in retail, hospitality and domestic spaces inspiring workplace design to enhance the user experience within the workplace; where lifestyle and workplace converge. In Sydney we worked with UBT to develop an environment akin to that of a boutique hotel. Hospitality drives the configuration and materiality of the space, with features including a dedicated concierge and members lounge as well as a barista coffee bar and fully catered café for both clients and staff.
As the physical manifestation of a brand, the workplace must cultivate culture and experience to attract talent. “Organisations are looking to build workplace communities with spaces devoted to the collective experience, to share the brand, learn and connect. The culture of an organisation should be reflected in the physical workplace. Moving beyond workplace gimmicks such as table tennis the workplace should reflect the best side of a business, producing spaces that encourage employees to congregate and feel part of a greater whole.” Says Sahni, “Good workplace can bond employees in ways that virtual communication cannot replicate. It attracts talent to a company and offers an organisation the chance to showcase its culture. What we’re seeing at Unispace is a focus on effective community building.”
At TripAdvisor in Sydney we brought the experience of travel and adventure into the office without being cluttered or kitsch, with each detail evoking different parts of the world. Every meeting room in every TripAdvisor office must have a unique destination name. In Sydney, teams can gather in Angkor Wat, Golden Gate or Times Square; floor to ceiling graphics depict someone experiencing that place, rather than a static monument. “This is a fun and immersive work environment that’s also high on productivity. Everyone loves the new office. We can connect whenever we need to. And it’s fun – we work hard, but it’s a social and inspired creative culture.” says Jeff Lewis, Vice President Engineering, Viator.
Technology and learning
Technology should blur the boundaries between the physical and digital workplace, responding to the flexible nature of the modern worker and the need to connect at any time, from anywhere. At Unispace immersive technology allows our people to connect with our global team seamlessly, through our interactive academy spaces. These spaces offer the potential to inspire learning, an important offering for organisations in attracting millennials. They are a global platform for continuous knowledge sharing, collaboration, creativity and learning.
The notion of wellbeing in the workplace has evolved. While integrating prayer, exercise rooms or on-site gyms are key attractions, configuration of space to encourage movement, activity and circulation are simple steps organisations must take to retain and attract employees. Additionally, areas to decompress are important to restore focus, mindfulness and contemplation. Areas including Wi-Fi ‘Not Spots’ and spaces designed to encourage creativity and artistic expression being placed high on the list of desirables.