What People Want in a Workspace

It’s a known fact that people aren’t keen on returning to the office. But what kind of office are you asking them to return to?  

The design of your workspace’s physical environment influences company culture and the mood and emotions of those that work within it.  

In this episode of EI at Work, special guest Angela Ferguson, Creative and Managing Director of Futurespace, reveals the process of designing a compelling, productive workspace and what it looks like on a physical, social and emotional level. 

She shares one of her recent successful projects, the ‘The Works’, designed by Futurespace for Reece, Australia’s largest plumbing and supply business. The result – increased occupancy across the entire working week and more. The design approach for this truly impressive workplace demonstrates how genuine care for people can be embedded into workplace design – from monitoring hydration levels to helping to get staff home on time. 

Learn about the impact physical barriers have on collaboration, mental health and how you can even use your environment in emotionally intelligent ways.  

A respected workplace designer with over 20 years’ experience across the Asia Pacific region, Angela creates workspaces for the future. Each environment is carefully crafted to be innovative and in step with the individual organisation’s brand and culture.   

Together with Dr Ben Palmer, CEO, Genos International and Marie El Daghl, Managing Director, Chasing Albert, they discuss the impact workspace design has on culture, collaboration, emotional wellbeing and ultimately – organisational performance. 

In this episode of EI at Work, you’ll learn:

[00:00:10] Why Futurespace focuses on optimising the work experience across various touchpoints like people, culture, wellness, tech, and environment. 

[00:00:53] How Futurespace designs workplaces by understanding the client’s brief, their current and desired work culture, and other factors that influence their work environment. 

[00:03:23] The importance of physical, social, and mental wellbeing in the workplace and how Futurespace incorporates wellness initiatives into their designs, such as hydration stations and ergonomic furniture. 

[00:10:35] Who drives the design brief and why it’s important to involve different stakeholders like Ops and HR. 

[00:11:01] Various methods used to collect data, including interviews, surveys, and workshops, to ensure design aligns with universal needs and addresses gaps in current designs. 

[00:14:18] The importance of how different environments create different feelings and the significance of intentional design to evoke desired emotions and behaviours. 

[00:19:55] How occupancy and increased use of the workplace indicate that the new work environment has promoted collaboration, connection and culture. 

[00:23:28] How a law firm reduced their office space by 50% and invested in technology and people and culture, becoming an employer of choice. 

[00:25:00] About having an ergonomic setup, including a second screen, good lighting, and minimal distractions, to work effectively from home. 

 [00:28:22] How to use specific pieces of furniture and technology to facilitate daily huddles and hybrid meetings in the workplace. 

[00:29:02] About the use of signature scents in office environments and how they can create an association with a brand.  

[00:32:18] Why Futurespace hopes workspaces become more human-centered and fulfilling, emphasising the importance of creating environments that support people’s endeavours. 

About Angela Ferguson

About Angela Ferguson

Angela is the Founder of Futurespace and one of Australia’s leading Workplace Strategists. For over 20 years she has worked with a diverse range of corporate clients across Australia, Asia, and New Zealand to strategise and create workspaces that align with an organisation’s business strategy, culture, brand, technology blueprint and wellness initiatives.  
Angela is an award-winning inspirational business leader, creative thinker, and an international keynote speaker, recognised industry thought leader, published writer, and respected member of the design community in Australia.  

She has a profound passion for Wellness at Work, particularly as it relates to performance, wellbeing, physical and mental health.

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