Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, I hadn’t fully realised how much an office space can impact our physical and mental health. For my whole career, since graduating from college, going to the office every day had always been the norm for me. This gave me the daily opportunity to see my co-workers, engage with my clients and perhaps listen to a good playlist or podcast on the commute.
The pandemic forced the world to think about what an office space means for our health and our work. When our Edelman team in London recently had the opportunity to put these takeaways into practice, re-imagining and re-designing our new office, Francis House, from the ground up, it gave us the ability to re-evaluate the needs and expectations of our workplace in an evolving world.
It’s not often you have the chance to do this and the team behind the project made sure there was no stone left unturned, involving our people at all stages - including focus groups to understand team needs, meeting room naming competitions and tours with staff throughout the building.
Six months after moving and settling into our new office, I have been checking in with our teams to find out how our purposefully-designed office has changed their work day, and their work.
Here is some of what our colleagues had to say:
Creativity comes from within (yourself and the office)
Our new office is fitted with calming colours, fun patterns, unique art, comfortable seating and collaborative workspaces that open up the imagination. Having an environment that inspires creativity has improved the work we deliver to our clients.
Getting a fresh perspective
Whether it’s having a chat with a co-worker in one of the collaboration areas, moving from a double-screen to a couch for a change of scenery, or meeting with a colleague in the café to catch up over coffee, there are a myriad of different areas that cater to our shifting needs throughout the day.
Matching our move goal one meeting at a time
Naturally, travelling into the office gets us moving in the morning and the design across the four floors of the office keeps us moving throughout the day. We are taking breaks more in order to navigate to meetings in different spaces, grab a coffee from the café downstairs, get in a game of ping pong in the attic, or visit clients in the client lounge.
Connecting IRL with colleagues is key
A recent study found that 94% of employees are more productive when they feel connected to their colleagues. Francis House provides an opportunity to make the most of our time working face-to-face with people, not only in our immediate teams, but that work across the business, to build the important human connections that are critical to our success as one big Edelman team.
A well-designed office space can contribute to our mental and physical health in many ways, and, six months in, we’re really seeing the benefits come to life within our new space. I can’t wait to see how this evolves as time goes on!