Behaviours in the workplace

I was invited to attend the latest Mix Inspired seminar held at Milliken’s showroom in Clerkenwell to discuss ‘The people and culture shaping tomorrow’s work place’.

The evening’s panel consisted of three diverse Client end users whose views sparked some interesting and lively debates amongst themselves and the audience.

One point that divided the room was the idea of a completely paperless office, which Glenn Elliot has successfully achieved, much to the amazement of the many Architects and Designers in the room as paper is still very much a part of our daily creative activities, even with all of today’s advances in technology.

An interesting opinion was made about how the workplace industry still hasn’t quite mastered the art of total flexibility and agile working both from a technology and architectural perspective.  The true original envision of open plan working has been diluted and almost lost over the years due to commercial footprint value per person being gradually reduced for more profitability.

As well as profit, another big catalyst of agile working is to gain competitiveness and attract talent. At KSS, we understand this is absolutely key in the sports industry, where attracting the very best elite athletes, coaches, medics, strategists and researchers is fundamental to a team’s success. The working environment of these individuals is the training centres and academies, the design must strike a balance, being both inspirational and professional, whilst actively working to promote collaboration.

The variety and types of behaviours to cater for is potentially the largest challenge to a designer within these environments with many layers of complexity. One layer being whether the individual is a Premier League centre back or physiotherapist, they both want a highly specialised environment in order to excel and perform at their best. Another layer is generation and personality types, catering equally for Millennials or Generation Z, extrovert or introvert, this is particularly important in creating a team culture and within learning spaces of Training Academies. Our challenge is to balance the most appropriate level of work, focus, social connection and home comforts within one building, futureproofing technology and providing a secure space in today’s rapidly changing social media landscape.

As designers we need to constantly ask and challenge all end users, not ‘how’ but ‘why’, to keep these environments as dynamic, elite and agile as possible. There isn’t a template to suit all, it’s about individual and group mind sets that can shape the end results.

Guest panel included:

David Smally, Editor, Mix Interiors

Dereck Dziva, Workplace Performance Manager, CIMA

Glenn Elliott, Founder & CEO, Reward Gateway

Mike Walley, Head of Workplace Experience EMEA, Criteo

For more information: www.mixinteriors.com


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