Generate Interiors recently completed a project for Wunanbiri Preschool in Alexandria. The preschool caters for up to 39 children and consists of 2 internal classrooms and a large outdoor play area. Additional facilities include a staff meeting room, bathrooms, staff kitchen, preparation room and storage/support spaces. The design provides a light, colourful and stimulating environment for the children who attend the preschool and reflects the culture of Wunanbiri and the local Aboriginal community they support.
Generate Interiors recently handed over a project for the ATO. The reconfigured workplace supports ongoing growth for the organisation, provides for a more efficient utilisation of the available space and helps staff maintain social distancing as they transition back into the office. In total 68 new workstations were installed. A great result.
A selection of 3D visuals developed for one of our clients exploring a variety of collaboration and social settings within the workplace.
A new staff breakout concept by Generate Interiors exploring the role of the workplace as an experiential space which supports connection, collaboration and the development of meaningful relationships between staff. We wanted to create a memorable space which excites and inspires and which helps foster organisational culture and a strong sense of community.
Generate Interiors is now NSWICC (Indigenous Chamber of Commerce) Assured and operates as a 100% Aboriginal Owned, Operated and Controlled Business.
As part of National Reconciliation Week we acknowledge the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respect to them and their cultures; and to Elders past, present and emerging.
2020 Vision: Design Fit For Purpose
As new generations enter the workforce they increasingly seek an alignment between their values and those of the organisations they work for. The search for purpose, therefore, extends beyond their personal lives and into their professional lives. Previously I wrote about 5 trends which would influence workplace design throughout 2020 and while the Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically reshaped the 2020 landscape I thought it still worthwhile to explore the desire for purpose at work and how it impacts the design of our physical workplaces.
Talent, the battle-lines are drawn
In the race to compete for an increasingly limited talent pool - as older generations retire and younger generations pursue travel, extend study or opt for alternative career trajectories - organisations are exploring ways to attract and retain talented employees. Millennials will soon outnumber other generations in the workforce and as the first generation to grow up in the digital age they are curating their professional lives in much the same way as their personal lives, with expectations relating to the purpose of work differing significantly from previous generations.
Sharing across digital social platforms such as Glassdoor allows millennials to gain insights into organisational culture and workplace experiences like never before. Open and non-hierarchical workplaces which provide easy access to management and support autonomy and professional development are highly sought after. In this hyper-connected world organisations must therefore walk the talk in terms of their commitment to an open and nurturing organisational culture to ensure it is aligned with how most young people want to work.
Social (over)sharing and feedback
Millennials want access to colleagues and naturally work collaboratively and socially. They also seek immediate feedback and expect to give it as much as they receive it. Expectations around information sharing have changed dramatically as have working environments which are more open and communal. Conversations relating to commercial aspects of an organisation which were once confidential are now more widely shared, ensuring everyone within an organisations feels valued and intrinsic to its success.
The millennial social nature means they thrive in an environment which is open and comprised of work settings which support frequent communication, information sharing, socialisation and ongoing learning.
Choice and work life (re)balance
As millennials begin to occupy more senior roles within organisations they are changing expectations in terms of work life balance. Along with Generation X they increasingly share parental responsibilities and therefore are more likely to challenge the traditional five-day work week as well as embrace flexible working including working from home.
Plug-and-play technologies and appropriately designed work settings are critical in supporting flexible working. Management culture is also key, one which focuses on output rather than presence where effort is recognised and valued in terms of getting the job done not the time spent doing it.
Brand, more than just a logo
Translating an organisations’ unique brand story extends beyond simply incorporating logos and branded graphics throughout the physical work environment. A more innovative approach challenges designers to harness a company’s authentic value and translate this spatially in more subtle, thoughtful and creative ways.
A workplace which is restrained, balanced and composed of a few key design elements conveys a sophisticated organisation which prioritises quality, clear communication and professionalism. A workplace comprised of bold colours, edgy graphics and eclectic furniture creates a playful, stimulating and youthful atmosphere which conveys a disruptive, unconventional and highly creative organisation. Residential design elements incorporated into a workplace including soft rounded furnishings, layered textures and a warm yet muted colour palette can inspire relaxed communication and convey a welcoming, easy-going and people-centric organisation. A workplace which feels solid, grounded and utilises traditional materials including dark timbers and natural stone conveys a well established organisation which speaks of permanence, trust and tradition.
Design fit for purpose
Articulating why they exist, what their mission is and how they contribute beyond the communities they serve is essential for organisations who want to attract and retain younger employees. Organisations look to designers to translate organisational values through experiential spaces which provoke an emotional connection, convey authenticity and inspire meaning. Designers must engage with organisations to understand their employees, culture and the internal and external influences which impact how they do business. When designers and clients collaborate effectively the end result is a design solution which weaves people, place and technology to create beautiful yet functional workplaces which engage, empower and inspire.
To find out how we can assist you with your workplace in these challenging times feel free to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
2020 Vision - 5 workplace trends to watch this year
An increasingly disruptive business environment is demanding organisations become more agile, adaptable and innovative, while technological advances and demographic shifts are having a profound impact on the way we work and do business. Successful organisations understand the role of the workplace in driving innovation, engagement and peak performance, and how critical it is to align core business objectives with people, place and technology. Throughout 2020 organisations will continue to look to designers to help them respond to these complex challenges, with a particular focus on the following 5 key areas.
New generations entering the workforce increasingly seek an alignment between their personal values and those of the organisations they work for. This desire for meaning in their personal as well as professional lives will see organisations prioritise the communication of their company values throughout the physical work environment, articulating to staff why they exist, what their mission is and how they contribute beyond the communities they serve.
Organisations will look to designers to translate these values through experiential spaces which provoke an emotional connection, convey authenticity and inspire meaning. Through colours, furniture, fixtures, materials, lighting, graphics and a mix of spatial experiences, designers will continue to explore creative ways to connect staff to an organisations’ unique brand story. When done successfully the impact in organisational performance can be significant, with noticeable improvements in staff attraction, retention, engagement and satisfaction.
Health and Wellbeing
A workplace which supports health and wellbeing sends a clear message to staff that they are respected and their individual contribution is valued. Not only do organisations increasingly view wellbeing as part of their corporate social responsibility they also see value through enhanced business performance by reductions in staff absenteeism, disengagement, injury and work-related stress.
Wellbeing initiatives include connecting staff to the natural environment through access to natural light and views, integrating greenery throughout the workplace and locating work settings both inside and out. Physical comfort can be enhanced by providing responsive lighting which minimises eye strain and adjusts throughout the day, while adjustable furniture can improve ergonomic comfort by offering a range of seating height and standing height settings. Increased physical activity can be encouraged through a variety of ways including the strategic placement of amenities which require staff to move throughout the day.
Throughout 2020 acoustic comfort will be a high priority and organisations will increasingly challenge designers to explore ways to minimise noise and other distractions within increasingly open and diverse work environments. As further research is developed exploring the relationship between the physical work environment and employee wellbeing we will see more pressure on companies to implement wellbeing initiatives within the workplace.
Flexibility and Choice
Flexible workplaces comprising varied work settings will continue to be adopted by organisations as they embrace the varied demographic characteristics, work styles and personality profiles of their employees. Younger generations challenging traditional notions of work, men and women with families requesting flexible work arrangements and older workers delaying retirement, will put further pressure on workplaces to evolve to accomodate their diverse needs. In addition, we will see further recognition of the need for workplaces to support varied personality profiles (introverts and extroverts) as well as neurodiverse employees (those with ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder or Dyslexia).
Designers will continue to curate spaces around variety and choice, accommodating different ways of working, communicating and connecting. The idea of choice, however, will extend beyond merely providing the right work settings for the specific task at hand - whether it be team-based collaborative work or individual focused work - but also to support individual employee work styles and personality profiles. Getting the mix right, including proximity, openness, configuration, adjustability, noise management and technology, will be key in the successful design and implementation of increasingly open and diverse workplaces.
Technology and AI
Technology and AI will continue to impact the workplace in profound ways throughout 2020. More apps will be developed including intelligent booking systems, communication platforms which help find and communicate with colleagues and RLTS (real-time locating systems) which track workplace utilisation, asset location and building performance. As people increasingly embrace voice-assisted AI in their homes organisations will look for ways to integrate this technology in the workplace to automate and simplify everyday tasks. Amazon has released "Alexa for Business” and in the next few years it is believed up to a quarter of interactions by workers will be managed by voice-AI and digital assistants such as “Alexa”.
This increased deployment of technology throughout the workplace will facilitate further collection of data on how employees spend their time at work. While only 30% of organisations were using monitoring technology in 2015 it is expected up to 80% will be using this technology in 2020. While this technology and the metrics it generates can dramatically enhance the way we design workplaces - facilitating a more bespoke approach tailored to each employee - privacy will be critical and as such organisations will need to navigate this issue with care.
As demand for action on climate change gathers pace, particularly in light of Australia’s recent bushfires, we will see organisations look to take practical steps in addressing environmental sustainability. Initiatives explored to minimise an organisations environmental impact will include re-use, strategies to minimise real-estate, reducing energy use and limiting churn through the design of flexible workplaces which easily adjust to changing business needs.
In addition, with increasing pressure to instil meaning at work - particularly in relation to the environment - organisations will see the value in promoting their sustainability credentials in a bid to attract and retain an increasingly conscientious talent pool. In a recent survey 61% of people believed sustainability was essential and 46% said they would only work for an organisation which valued sustainability. Also, workplaces which valued sustainability increased the cognitive performance of employees, decreased absenteeism and aided sleep quality, giving those organisations an edge in an increasingly competitive business climate.
To find out how we can assist you with your new workplace transformation project please get in touch at email@example.com
Generate Interiors is now a proud Supply Nation Registered business.
We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respect to them and their cultures; and to Elders past, present and emerging.