Guest blog by Tushar Agarwal, CEO and co-founder of Hubble
Keeping employee morale high is key to boosting productivity. Establishing measures that will keep employees happy, such as providing stimulating training and offering customised rewards, all contribute to growing a loyal and motivated workforce. But, in this competitive market, employers need to go one step further to create an inspiring work environment, and are quickly realising that office space is a crucial element.
Today, the office is far more than just a central location to keep desks, computers and staff. It is now a place where companies create and develop their brands, values and work culture. Shifting from cubicles and corner offices, we now have open-plan layouts and hot-desking – making for a more collaborative working culture. With the war on talent, businesses are putting the physical design of their office and a ‘people-centric’ approach at the heart of their strategy to not only attract and retain talent, but also to bring out the best in their team. This has led to some of the most innovative office spaces in London, with facilities going far beyond just a ‘functional’ office.
At Hubble, we’ve seen some of the most interesting office designs emerge – each of which has a unique and diverse offering. Some of the facilities on offer, such as at Cuckooz Nest, aim to make the lives of parents as easy as possible. This includes facilities such as a creche, OFSTED-registered staff, a darkened sleeping room, breastfeeding area, interactive arts and crafts and even a soft climbing play area. Quite revolutionary considering how challenging it can be for parents to return to work after maternity – or paternity – leave.
The Ministry has maintained a space that offers lifestyle perks to boost health and wellbeing to employees. Cinemas, wellness rooms, and artist studio spaces support the playful nature of its occupiers, making this office space unique. Pets are also allowed; proven to reduce stress and increase productivity.
With a busy city environment to contend with, office providers are finding that working with outdoor space helps mental wellbeing. The White Collar Factory features bright and airy space with plenty of natural light and ventilation, incorporating high standards of fresh air levels. The outdoor courtyard, roof terrace and rooftop running track is a place for employees to enjoy stunning views of the city, reduce stress and get their blood flowing. One Heddon Street, on the other hand, offers breakout spaces and quiet booths. It also has a rooftop space and gym facility for employees who want to exercise before, during or after work.
The rise of flexible working has allowed individuals to work around other commitments, such as family, and therefore work ‘out’ of the office. Advances in technology mean we can now carry out some of our most thought-provoking work from even the most remote places in the world. This has not meant that employees are cutting down the hours they work, but that there is less of a need for ‘face time’ with others to get a job done. This means businesses are dealing with quite rapidly changing headcounts and therefore need the space they operate in to adapt. A separate ‘innovation’ office, for example, may better serve the needs of staff who are working on specific projects and therefore not required to be in the office full time. Also thanks to technology, finding and moving into a new office is now as simple as booking a hotel room, and can be done in a matter of weeks. Whether it’s a few hot desks or room or a group of 100 people, the process no longer has to be laborious or costly. At the end of the day, it all comes down to making business sense.