The fact that employee satisfaction is critical to the success of any company hardly qualifies as news. However, the consulting and legal firm PwC from Basel, Switzerland, took this concern to a whole new level. As the result of its collaboration with the Swiss architecture and design studio Evolution Design, the entire design of its offices is centered around the well-being of the employees and the desire to adapt the work environment to the needs of the company’s workers.
An important principle followed by the design team was the natural need for movement. Physical activity is critical not only for physical health, but also for a well-functioning mind. While offering yoga and Pilates classes was already part of its strategy directed to a more physically active workforce, the company wanted to make movement part of their employees’ everyday work routine.
To encourage movement, the design of the PwC offices went well beyond the classic cubicles and resulted in different functional areas where employees can work in different positions. While this encourages a daily traffic for one area to another and an increased amount of walking during the day, it also responds to the fact that employees have different work styles.
In order to accommodate such work styles, the designers used different types of furniture, from ergonomic office chairs and sofas to coffee tables and bar-height desks.
Different tasks are also best approached in different environments, so the different design of each functional area allows employees to choose the best place for the task at hand – such as phone booths for making undisturbed phone calls or coffee social zones for team meetings.
Entire areas were created around such concepts as undisturbed thinking (the Quiet Zone), team work (the Team Space) or focus groups (the Focus Space). Each was adapted to this specific type of activity, from layout and furniture to colors and overall mood.
For instance, the Quiet Zone is a phone-free area, with private, enclosed spaces designed to reduce noise and allow for alone time and uninterrupted thinking. Soothing green hues contribute to managing stress and encouraging the mind to relax.
The newly designed offices, finalized in July 2016, are more than a simple design choice with aesthetics that step out of the ordinary. They are an investment in performance and productivity, which are direct results of the employee well-being.
Please take a look at our Before and After images of selected projects from 2016 HERE.
If you are thinking to open up a new business or in a process of rebranding and remodeling your existing business, contact us to get a free consultation from Mindful Design Consulting. Click HERE to price your project design.
Also, take a look at “Branding By Interior” e-book, the only book written on this subject at this time. It brings insight on how you can turn your business into a market-dominating competitor by using human cognitive responses.