Openwork, one of the largest UK financial advice networks, relocated from a shared space to its own dedicated office in Swindon. In addition to projecting its own brand identity, it wanted to create a better employees experience – better wellbeing facilities combined with modern design to create new energy.
Our design focused on creating a “home-from-home”, boutique feel for staff with domestic wallpapers, knotted oak surfaces, architraves, oak panels and stylish furniture, including leather sofas, selected by our sister company Sketch Studios.
To give staff maximum flexibility, we designed a range of primary, secondary and tertiary workspaces, and to maximise wellbeing, we installed showers and changing facilities, helping staff to embrace an active and healthy lifestyle. To highlight Openwork’s culture, we created black and white photographic wallpaper of its charitable work.
"We absolutely love the new offices. The team from Area took our design brief and worked closely with us to create a very special place to work which we believe will inspire us to do great things! We genuinely enjoyed working with the Area team throughout every stage of the project and would not hesitate to work with them again"
Project Director, Openwork
As this was a big cultural change, we worked with Openwork’s in-house FM team to fully involve employees and give them a voice. We ran focus groups and workshops for employees to review materials and furniture. Test workstations were mocked up in their old office. We even presented alongside our client’s CEO and directors to help staff acclimatise to their new environment. This helped staff retention and enthusiasm for their new home.