UK and London Innovative and Inspiring Office Designs and Interiors

When you think of office refurbishment and office design what do you think of? Updating your colour scheme? Purchasing new workplace furniture? Moving some desks and chairs around? If that’s the case then you are most definitely missing out. When it comes to UK and London office refurbishments, the only boundaries are your imagination.

With so many different office design and refurbishment options the sky’s the limit when it comes to UK and London innovative office design (depending on your budget of course).

All businesses are different and need to achieve different things from their office layouts but we can take inspiration from other office designs to spark the imagination and to come up with ideas for your own business. Rather than simply updating what’s tired and outdated, many companies are using their office refurbishments as an opportunity to break down traditional barriers.

Looking at ways of moving away from traditional office layouts and integrating innovation into your office refurbishment can provide excellent opportunities to make the space work for your business, staff and visitors.

Why Is Well Designed Office Space Important?

From our years of experience in carrying out UK and London office refurbishments and the many articles, studies and surveys today that show office space can have a big impact on staff and how they perform in the workplace we know that good office design and well thought out refurbishments can play a major role in innovation, productivity and creativity e.g.

  • A report by Leesman (PDF) entitled ‘The Next 250k’, looked at how workplaces support employee and organisational performance. Leesman’s seven-year assessment of workplace effectiveness, evaluated results from 276,422 employees across 2,160 workplaces in 67 countries looking at five key factors influencing workplace performance. It came to the conclusion that “too many workplaces that are simply not fit for purpose and that represents a huge missed opportunity for business leaders. We hope that the key central findings can help more organisations create better, more productive environments.”
  • An article (PDF) called The Office Renaissance highlighted the fact that “people are rejecting the uninspiring sea of sameness that has come to be known as “the office.” Standardised for efficiency, this uniform approach limits potential for inspiration, expression and social connection with others. This office rebellion is causing organisations to rethink their workplaces — from a singular focus on efficiency toward a pluralistic approach that enriches the emotional, cognitive and physical well-being of people.”
  • In a survey carried out by Peldon Rose, 600 UK-based employees were asked questions to gauge what they thought of their current working environment and whether they were “happy”. Some of the responses should get businesses thinking about whether they are doing enough to provide a working environment which motivates and benefits their workforce and how their next commercial office refurbishment can address some of the issues highlighted in the survey.

Let’s Look At Some Office Refurbishment Ideas

So when it comes to your office refurbishment what are the types of things you should be considering? Irrespective of whether you are big or small, or whether you are a UK or London office business with a small or large budget here are a few tips to consider when it comes to transforming your place of work:

Airbnb

Airbnb recently moved its offices in central London. Inspiration for the design of the offices was taken from a 15th-century painting of a studious priest “St JHerome in his study” proving that design ideas can come from anywhere. A staff based space usage survey was also used to help shape the design.

The most imposing feature of the office design is a walkway with arched doorways made from fluted panels of Douglas fir. Built-in seating forms part of the rear wall of the walkway, while stand-up desks can be found at the front of the structure. The walkway backs onto the office’s core block which has a kitchen, meeting rooms and private booths. There are also a more relaxed area with communal desks, sofas and armchairs.

Google

As you would expect Google often leads the way when it comes to innovative office design. Google uses sometimes quirky, always inspirational design ideas to ensure staff have work space areas where they can be inspired to even greater heights of productivity and their office refurbishment in London is no exception.

The Soho office space is focussed on comfort, relaxation and efficiency and ismade up of a balance of desks, meeting chairs and ‘collaboration seats’. Making it easy for Google staff to work alone or to meet and discuss projects with colleagues in an environment designed to inspire.

Red Bull

When Red Bull thought about their Soho office refurbishment they had two aims: “Encouraging interaction between employees while communicating the company’s brand values and identity”. With this in mind two separate offices were amalgamated into one central headquarters building.

The offices occupy the top three floors of a 19th century building, including a roof-level extension in the form of a glass box surrounded by an exterior terrace which provides staff with spectacular views of  London’s West End. The top floor is drawn together by a continuous design element which runs from the exterior terrace through the building, encompassing the main boardroom and forming the reception area, before disappearing through a void and terminating on the lower floor creating an informal meeting area.

Lego

The Lego London office is an excellent example of inspiring London office interiors. The company was looking to pilot a new way of working to “encourage collaboration and chance encounters that can spark new ideas and opportunities” so their London office divided the office space into flexible work zones, doing away with “departments” and taking the decision to move away from “designated desks”. The zones have no assigned desks and no manager’s offices.

People choose to work in whatever setting best supports the work they are doing. Lego’s COO and executive vice-president was quoted as saying, “The lack of fixed seating is a very tangible consequence but the biggest impact is that the traditional physical concept of a ‘department’ has been dissolved, which enables cross-organisational collaboration even more than we are used to.”

Inventionland

In an effort to encourage employee creativity Inventionland have gone beyond “the norm” to encourage their staff to let their creativity fly.

Their 70,000 sq. ft. facility is made up of many different office layouts from a pirate ship to a giant robot to race tracks, and a castle! With a company motto of “The best work comes out of the spirit of play” it’s little wonder they’ve gone the extra mile to ensure their staff have amazing an workspace.

The BBC

The BBC’s new futuristic office interiors headquarters in Salford were designed to be open and welcoming while at the same time adapting to “a more modern way of working”. At each entrance “arrival reception area zones” were setup to allow people to find their way around more easily (a lesson learned from the problems at the BBC offices in London where people would very easily end up lost).

Giant metal and brightly coloured neon “thought wheels” can be found throughout the office space and were designed to create spaces to allow two people to sit and talk to each other. Staff are not assigned desks instead they use areas called “collaboration pods” which include desks, collage walls and lockers that encourage staff to work in whichever area they choose.

Innocent

When it comes to London office refurbishments Innocent is another great example of innovative design. The ground floor open plan office areas are carpeted with fake grass and there is a large picnic area and a testing room behind glass patio doors. A red telephone box and a giant leaver at the exit which is labelled ‘last leaver pull the leaver’ to power down the whole building takes pride of place.

The offices are spread over two floors, a lower floor and a mezzanine level above. On the mezzanine level, the meeting rooms are all named after different vegetables and on the top floor there is a diner-style meeting room and terrace.

Businesses Big and Small

Although the examples above are of big business, the same ‘concepts’ can be applied to smaller businesses where open plan and break out areas can form spaces “away from the hustle and bustle” of a busy office, giving staff the to unwind or meet with colleagues to brainstorm or simply socialise.

By creating an office design, with ideas like those above, which encourage staff to move around, rather than be tied to a specific desk you can inspire greater creativity, help staff to be more productive and encourage collaboration.

Think comfortable chairs, sofas or bean bags, private areas and colourful spaces. Anything which helps your staff de-stress or feel energised, depending on your objective, will ultimately raise staff productivity levels.

Of course when you have an unlimited budget you can do just about anything but that’s not to say that smaller businesses across the UK and London can’t make their office space work for them in a way that meets the needs of staff, encourages creativity and productivity while embracing the understanding that “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”.

So what can you do to make your office space inspiring?

Pods

Office pods are a great idea when you require break out spaces that are a little bit different. They can act as individual office spaces, small meeting rooms or breakout areas. They are easy to assemble and have the flexibility that they can be moved around your office as required. You can fit furniture or furnish them as you wish. With office pods, office space has never been so flexible or innovative.

Glass Walls or Partitions

Glass is a great material which is very popular in offices, showrooms and retail outlets. It’s modern and attractive and helps keep office areas bright. Glass partitions offer a great way to divide up office space while providing soundproofing. Glass can be overlaid with frosted window film or branding to give an element of privacy and create a stunning effect.

Office Mezzanine

Installing a mezzanine floor provides additional office space, from space that’s currently just taking up the ceiling void, enabling you to almost double your floor space. If you don’t need the additional space you can always rent it out to other businesses providing you with another income stream.

Lighting

Lighting can make all the difference to the ambiance of your office from changing the overall look to creating different zones to lighting different areas to different levels or using coloured lights to create the right atmosphere. Lighting combined with a floating suspended ceiling can make a room look modern and contemporary. Using colour or white LED strips between the levels can give depth to a large room. This combination of ceiling and lighting can make a statement and is a great solution for a reception, waiting or meeting room.

Bespoke Office Furniture

In many cases off the shelf workplace furniture may be exactly what you need but if you need something specifically tailored to your individual needs you may want a bespoke piece of furniture. Perhaps you need a bespoke reception desk or a boardroom table or maybe built-in storage walls to utilise spaces that would otherwise go unused? Bespoke furniture can make a statement. By going bespoke you’ll have something that’s unique and tailored to your specific requirements.

Flooring

Flooring is very often overlooked but the right kind of flooring can make all the difference to an office design. There are so many options to choose from including carpet tiles which are fantastic for incorporating your corporate colours into your office to vinyl flooring which is ideal for hardwearing areas, corridors, kitchens and washrooms. Flooring can be used to designate different areas or create walkways. Flooring can also be used to incorporate colour into your office design.

How Can JBH Refurbishments Help?

JBH Refurbishments have over 30 years experience in London office design and build, office fit out and office refurbishments. From your brief, to putting together a project plan, to developing your office design and layout to delivering your office fit out JBH Refurbishments will provide piece of mind. You can contact us on 0333 207 0339 or via our contact page today for a free on site consultation.


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