The power of workplace design in creating stimulating and adaptable high-performance workspaces is a multifaceted journey. At its core, design is a unifying force; bridging diverse elements to create cohesive, appealing and functional workspace interiors.
“The power of design extends beyond aesthetics – it shapes the future of the workplace and brings a substantial return on investment for business,” says Deirdre de Bruin, Head of Design for sub-Saharan Africa at Tétris Design & Build.
Underpinning the power of design is its capacity to solve complex workspace challenges. How can space be used to attract and retain talent? How can it meaningfully cater to the diversity of that talent? How can workspaces be configured to enhance productivity along with job satisfaction? How can workplace design complement and support a business’s unique culture? In other words, what does high-performance workplace design look like?
Workspaces should of course be visually beautiful, but that’s only part of the answer. They also have to be practical in form and function.
Moving beyond the theoretical to implementing design principles that actually work and deliver business value and ROI is a fine balancing act. A compelling example is the Oppenheimer Memorial Trust project in Johannesburg, a space which needed to be reimagined to cater for a variety of needs. For this project, Tétris carefully incorporated the natural lighting of the calming gardens outside the office and combined them with warm soft, warm interior tones. This approach is informed by a deep understanding of how light impacts the human eye, and people’s ability to concentrate and engage in focused work as well as group activities.
Businesses are faced with a kind of analysis paralysis given the sheer volume of differing opinions and perspectives on important topics like managing the post-Covid return to work, hybrid work trends, and the future of work in general. There’s a skill in harnessing credible global insights and contextualising them for the local environment.
Designing high-performance workspaces successfully blends sustainability best practices with greater personalisation of office environments. Both internationally and here at home, environmentally conscious, multi-use office spaces now include other services and amenities such as in-house baristas, physiotherapists, parcel delivery, or dry-cleaning services to transform offices into spaces where people want to be.
An exciting trend, which is finally being given the serious consideration it deserves, is designing for neurodiversity. Recognising the variety of personalities, from introverts to extroverts, and their differing experiences of sound, light, texture, and space is vital to unlocking a more meaningful kind of productivity – a kind of productivity that is natural, collaborative and voluntary.