Recruitment, Retention and Design

How Office Design Plays A Direct Impact Upon Recruitment And Retention

We’re pretty certain that Aristotle didn’t have office design in his thoughts when he coined the phrase "The Whole is Greater than the Sum of its Parts", but after reading the results of a survey on recruitment, retention and office design, we can safely apply it now. Echoing the T.E.A.M. acronym—Together, Everyone Achieves More – for any business to be a success you need the people on board to make it happen.

With this in mind, lets sit back for a moment and have a look around our own office space – and in light of this survey’s findings, even more importantly have a fresh look at the room in which you conduct interviews.

“Can’t get the staff these days”

Of the of 1,000 UK office workers questioned, almost half (48 percent) cited that the room where they were interviewed for a job would influence their opinion of whether or not to work for an organisation.  A whopping 41% say a modern office is a key factor when deciding to accept or reject a job offer, and 43% admit that they’ve rejected job offers in the past due to uninspiring offices.

But it’s not just in recruitment that your office space plays a part – 39% blamed a dull office as being a key reason for leaving a previous position, and 22% said they would settle for a 10% reduction in salary to move to a modern office.

Office design plays a huge role in the well being of your employees, and how frustrating to lose great members of staff, and to not be able to replace them. just because your work space environment is not up to scratch?

Upping the budget on creating a commercial interior fit for the best employees may not be a priority in your overall business budgeting expenses, but the evidence suggests that if you want your company to be better than your competitors, to recruit the best staff and to retain exceptional employees, then office design should be right up there as a prerequisite.


Office Seating Trends 2019

There has been an increasing demand for flexible office space over the past few years, and that demand is predicted to grow by up to 30% annually for the next five years. This year alone, one 6th of all new commercial property in London has been taken up by flexible workspace operators, and the take up has tripled outside of the capitol, with Manchester and Birmingham recording the fastest growth.

Along with the change in how many people are working comes a change in design trends, and one trend we at 20six are seeing is in office seating, particularly in communal areas.

Office Seating Trends 2019: The Rise Of Stadium Seating

Amusingly also referred to as the stairways to nowhere, stadium seating, (or bleacher seating in the US) has made a big entrance into both co-working office spaces and more progressive businesses, making a bold statement in any shared meeting space.

Of course, this type of tiered seating is far from new - go visit any Roman amphitheater and you'll see ancient versions of stadium seating. More modern versions started appearing in commercial premises in the 1960s and 1970s in American schools. It was an immediate hit with the children, being inherently social and climbable, and with the tutors for being able to see and therefore communicate better with all their students. And this may be in part why stadium seating is becoming popular with modern office space designers. This set-up facilitates productivity, communication, and embraces an element of fun.

One of our favourite examples of stadium seating in the UK is in the London offices of Morgan Lovell who say that they have used an "anti-corporate approach" in their office design to create "anything but a normal office space". Utilising recycled timber for their stadium seating, the space is inviting to all who want or need to come together to collaborate.

We predict seeing a lot more examples of this type of commercial seating and are looking forward to seeing what else 2019 has in hold for office furniture and design.

What Every Office Needs?

As an established office fit out and office furniture supplier, we are acutely aware of how office design can play an important role on employee health and well being. We all know that the sedentary nature of today's office staff is having a detrimental impact upon workers and we are all being encouraged to move more.

The insurance company Vitality has recently announced it is going to reward its customers who do a certain amount of exercise, and these incentives can become more lucrative the more you do. The idea is that as people become more active they can lower their health risk, lower their risk of morbidity and mortality, and decrease their insurance "risk".

A major stumbling block for a lot of workers is the one thing every office needs, but most offices lack - showering facilities.

What Every Office Should Have

Here at 20six when we designed our own offices we made sure that we included an office shower - this gives all of our employees the option of cycling to work, or swapping a sarnie at their desk for "runch".

Brighton has been promoting sustainability for several years, with a huge push for more people to either use public transport of cycle/walk to and from work. But Brighton is also a city that is built upon small businesses - there are one or two large employers in the city but by and large Brighton is made up of smaller offices. You may well get your shower cubicles in the likes of Google and Reebok, but they are sadly lacking in the majority of offices.

A shower and changing facility doesn't take up an enormous amount of space, and so we feel this should be pushed to the forefront of any office planning and design - a small addition that benefits the health of your workforce and the environment at the same time.

The Desk Is Dead

Has The Office Desk Had Its Day?

The 2018 Orgatec furniture fair in Cologne had as its theme "visionary concepts for a new work culture". Focusing on new design ideas for office furniture, here at 20six we were keen to see where designers were heading. And the takeaway sentiments that we noted the most were about office desks.

The desk has had its day” cried designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby.

"The desk is dead," declared designers Thomas Bernstrand and Stefan Borselius.

These are bold statements, ones in which we read whilst sat at our desks – so what are they alluding to here?

The theory behind the demise of the traditional desk is based upon modern ways of working, most notably mobile working and hot seats. We are no longer tied down to a desk top computer but can take laptops and tablets to any area of the working space. Echoing the idea of Activity Based Working, these designers see us moving between the different zones within the office and working in temporary, comfortable, communal places.

Barber & Osgerby are promoting their concept called Soft Work: out with swivel chairs, in with swivel tables that are situated between soft seating enabling you an option of working positions. This type of office furniture has been designed specifically for laptop users, and the addition of partition screens can be used to segregate areas for more privacy.

Borselius & Bernstrand have also embraced the idea of soft sofa seating that has a multitude of options for set up. Mobile tables can transform the sofa system into a desk, and wall partitions are again an option to allow for private conversations and face-to-face meetings.

The Desk Is Dead - Long Live The Desk?

Consensus at 20six HQ is that there were some fantastic, and exciting, new office furniture concepts showcased at Orgatec 2018; but we don’t agree that the demise of the desk is imminent. Yes, technology now allows us far more mobility and flexibility; yes, we are embracing Activity Based Working more; yes, more interaction and collaboration amongst employees fuels creativity and productivity. But for most of us there are still times where we just need to get our heads down and work on a project, and this is still done best with a dedicated ergonomic desk and chair.