DINZ + Crestline Furniture Systems Symposium White Paper

Designing workplaces that inspire people to perform their best.

How people-centric design and true choice can make the workplace a destination – one that helps people look forward to Monday morning.

Crestline + DINZ Symposium.

As part of their ongoing sponsorship with the Best Design Awards, Crestline arranged and facilitated a symposium with some of the best design minds in NZ.

Ten Gold Pin office workspace winners and judges from the Best Design Awards joined forces to share thoughts and experiences and answer the big questions revolving around today’s office environment and how workplaces can be designed to not only facilitate day-to-day work, but also encourage workers to succeed.

Crestline asked:
– What are workers wanting in today’s workplace?
– A new level of workplace design
– People-centric design 
– Wellness in the workplace
– Creating your future workspace

Facilitated by leading designer and DINZ board member, Andy Florkowski, the panel included:

Co-ordinated & hosted by Crestline Furniture

What are workers wanting in today’s workplace?

In-person, meaningful work
People are realising that in-person collaboration and shared experience is crucial to consistent work; they are drawn to the office each day for the meaningful experience it offers. Warren and Mahoney’s Daniel Kempka has even heard clients describe it as ‘FOMO’.

But the workplace needs to be a place that workers want to spend their working day once they get there; it needs to offer a premium experience. Workplaces need to evolve beyond mimicking home comforts, and instead go a step further by focusing on providing distinct and high-performance environments.

True choice: creating flexibility within the workplace
The design experts we talked with all agreed that to achieve this, a modern workspace must offer true choice for ways of working. “This is the first time we’ve had four or five generations at once in the office due to the retirement age going up. It’s a more diverse workforce than ever before and the range of people in the office means there’s no one-size-fits-all,” says Mikayla Roadhouse from Stack Interiors.

Beyond offering flexible working arrangements and helping people find a work/life balance, options within the workplace must be available: quiet zones where people can focus, reconfigurable work zones, visual separations for privacy, nature zones and open spaces for collaboration and socialisation.

Catering for different people, needs and ways of working is the foundation to a successful workspace.

A new level of workplace design
Now more than ever, considered design is key to creating a workplace that empowers those who use it everyday. While workplace design has more recently focused on creating spaces that mimic the comfort of home, this has now evolved into the desire for spaces to champion the people.

By creating a space that champions teams and people – one that gives employees a sense of belonging, connection and choice – the office can become a commute-worthy destination that people look forward to every weekday.

Offer everything a home doesn’t

When people leave the house today, they’re looking for something different. 

In a person's home, you very quickly get a good sense of who they are, what they value - the home reflects their identity. From an organisation and brand sense, what does that look like?” says Designwell’s Alexander Wastney.

Wellness in the workplace.
Our panel noted wellness in the workplace as a hot topic, and for good reason. Health and wellbeing is becoming more and more important to the workforce, and the workplace has a massive responsibility in this area – there is an obligation to care for staff.

Thankfully, organisations are listening.
Wellness amenities such as end-of-trip facilities, quiet rooms for people to decompress, and even prayer rooms and parents’ rooms are being introduced. Overall, everything in the office must be better than at home. If a worker enjoys the office because it’s the one place they can concentrate, there must be opportunities for focus that exceed those at home; if someone is looking for energy and collaboration, the office space needs to facilitate this. The office needs to come out on top!

Identity, connection and belonging.
Having a strong identity and culture is part of this. It’s something our panel of design experts believe is key to earning top talent and encouraging performance in the office. Just as everyone’s homes represent who they are and provide a sense of belonging, this also needs to be captured in the corporate world.

“When I come to work, I am representing Warren and Mahoney. At home, I represent myself. The workplace and home are two completely different working environments, competing against one another for your attention. Home has its perks but is not a high-performance workspace, so the home will struggle to provide for this or be equipped to respond. High levels of productivity and quality are expected, but if staff are to thrive and exceed this expectation, they should also expect their workplace to be enabled with the tools to encourage and support this behaviour,” says Daniel Kempka.

“A desirable culture, social safety, and a strong organisational identity will give staff their purpose. It will manifest itself and be a magnet to draw more people – feeling a sense of belonging and a part of meaningful contributions. It's more important now more than ever we make a clear distinction between home and the workplace and to level up our abilities to demand more from the spaces and tools in the workplace.

People-centric design
People-centric design through the language of architecture, high-performance design and high-quality furniture plays an important role in establishing a ‘vibe’ and distinct identity in the workplace. It goes beyond basic practicalities – people want more than that. Designing with the team in mind adds to the values and identity of the company in an authentic way – one that puts people first and responds to individual needs.

“The experience of the workplace needs to emulate the qualities of the company it represents,” says Asha Page from Warren and Mahoney.

“It's about making people feel connected to each other and to the broader purpose of their work on a deeper level. Understand what people need to feel connected and to perform their jobs well. Provide well-performing, high-quality spaces tailored to the work they do."

Create your future workspace
A sense of belonging and identity, authentic connection and true choice in the workplace is key to inspiring employees to perform at their best. Your people deserve the best, so how can you look after them? We look forward to seeing how workplaces evolve to not only be functional spaces, but destinations that inspire.

Click HERE to download the full Whitepaper.

Crestline would like to extend our sincere gratitude to everyone who contributed to the success of our symposium, it was an engaging and thought-provoking discussion, accompanied by fine food and beverages served up by Crestline's in-house chef.

The result was the creation of this white paper.

Thank you for reading!

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