With an emphasis on employee and client experience, the IFS UK headquarters needed to reflect their new philosophy, supporting their evolved market position as part of their wider growth strategy. IFS has been expanding its presence in the UK in recent years, requiring a new regional workplace in Surrey.
Strengthening employee wellbeing and supporting an extraordinary client experience were core elements of our brief. IFS inspire their team to deliver excellence, so our concept thoughtfully considered the emotional, physical and mental wellbeing of their people.
To further support our client's vision, we have reimagined their workplace, creating a more collaborative environment, integrating technology that has enabled seamless and reliable digital experiences.
Spanning three floors, the new workplace is equipped with a variety of facilities including gym, wellness and prayer room. The first-floor space accommodates the main working environment while the ground-floor is utilised for IFS’ transient workforce, client-facing facilities, an employee restaurant and a 175-seat auditorium.
Using this unique relocation opportunity to introduce flexibility and agile working initiatives, IFS were excited by the prospect of breaking free from their existing traditional workstyle. To overcome these challenges, the original scheme was designed ‘open plan’ with individual working zones mixed with collaborative working zones to encourage those ‘bump’ moments between colleagues. Finishes, texture and composition were carefully considered, with velvet upholstery and materiality, timber flooring, moss walls, and exposed services incorporated into the design.
A key aspiration for this project was to create an exceptional client experience, communicating IFS’ product and technology solutions. Complete with an interactive and immersive customer suite, the new workplace has been transformed to reflect the needs of the high-growth global technology company. State-of-the-art technology solutions include floor-to-ceiling screens and ‘smart software’ to demonstrate how its products work in real time.
“Speaking on behalf of the entire IFS team, the workplace design has achieved, and more, what we set out to do. The IFS and Area team have had a fantastic working relationship from the outset. Area understood our vision and were able to provide a solution which incorporates the agile working environments and flexibility we were looking for.
In terms of meeting our business objectives, the design solution flawlessly aligns with our core values: agile, collaborative, trustworthy; and has created a ‘home from home’ working environment for our team who we fervently care for. The office has been so successful that occupancy has increased by more than 50% compared to the previous office – folks just love coming into the office!”
Nicola Carton, Director and Head of Global Facilities Management, IFS