During Allwork.Space’s most recent Future of Work podcast episode, The Office Group’s Head of Design in London Nasim Köerting revealed how the company balances designing for both small businesses and corporates, as well as what to expect from office design in the future.
According to Köerting, The Office Group’s services a wide audience by prioritizing one essential aspect of office design: that everyone has a place to work how they want.
From quiet spaces to collaborative areas, Köerting says that providing “as much possibility and options” is key to addressing the needs of businesses no matter their size.
In terms of identifying the method of choosing and drafting each space, The Office Group starts by looking for regions that are popular travel destinations, then seeking out a building that features plenty of natural light which is “a core value that [the company]” holds.
From there, Köerting says the firm seeks a space that has a lot of architectural personality, an easy palette to expand upon, and connects with designers for collaboration to ensure the space has a local touch.
To have a better understanding of what occupants want from the space, the company has conducted surveys to best service the needs of clients.
“[We] found our most popular amenities… cafes [are] number one. Gyms were second…A lot of the responses were around food. So people love great coffee and to come together around food, which again, no surprises there,” said Köerting. “But in general, there’s some… must-haves, which we don’t have in our buildings, but we’re really striving to [include] like prayer rooms, like parents rooms. Places to reflect, pray, meditate.”
She added that another trend that is growing in demand is biophilic design, which can have a significant impact on the worker experience. To address this, The Office Group incorporated an oxygen room at its Douglas House location in London that is filled with live plants and an abundance of natural light.
This aligns with the overall desire for more wellness-focused benefits in the workplace, which has cultivated a huge following in recent years.
However, Köerting says a space that wants to focus on wellness needs to go beyond natural lighting — taking care of everyday workplace needs without any hassle will be critical.
“It’s when you don’t need to think and your Wi-Fi is connected, you don’t need to think and you’ve got a well-ventilated room. The lighting is… at the right levels,” said Köerting. “It’s just all these underlying things that we don’t necessarily we’re not as conscious of, but they’re there and they make your day so much better.”