Did our colleagues make the right moves?
The world’s leading chemical company, BASF’s Polish team were moving into the West Station. Their main priorities were to swap cell-like offices for an open plan concept and a new, more open, informal and joyful ambience.
Our diagnostic phase spanned five workshops, a survey for all 150 employees, and 18 interviews with key stakeholders; as well as a lengthy observation of the office’s activities.
The research showed that there was a relatively even split between people who worked with colleagues in their team, with other teams, and with other locations.
They were unsure of an open plan style layout, saying it would hamper the focused work we found they did 52% of the time – even though 62% said they were disturbed by noise. 75% felt the old office helped them to be effective too. To combat this, we took 50 employees around the new space during the build phase, to get them excited about its potential.
The end design included enclosed offices for people who needed confidentiality or spent most of their time on focused work. Then, semi-open areas created the feel of the old cellular office, but were still clearly more informal and open plan.
A relaxation zone and three additional coffee corners were warmly welcomed, along with a spacious dining area, with a view that encouraged people to linger and socialise.
Other facilities included a brainstorm room, external guests zone, comfortable spots for informal meetings and private showers (in addition to ones in the basement).
Put together, the facilities and layout retained an element of the old office – but updated it with modern touches, much-needed facilities and a properly branded identity.