Can a small space be home to work, rest and play?


One of the world’s leading supply chain businesses, Palapina had recently decided to move to a 500 sq m office in Warsaw’s newly-opened West Station 1. They asked us to make sure the space would perfectly suit their needs.

We started by collecting qualitative and quantitative data. Workshops defined objectives and issues. An online survey and 10-day physical observation of Panalpina’s office guided our thinking. And we fine-tuned everything in a post-research meeting.


The research highlighted two types of colleague interactions: business-critical ‘primary’ connections, and less vital ‘secondary’ ones. The new floor plan reflected these connections, putting people within easy reach of the colleagues they needed most.

Before the move, employees felt their office wasn’t infused with the business’ culture and values – it was well-designed, but functional. They also wanted more space for private calls, and somewhere to relax. On the plus side, they liked the fact colleagues were close.

The new office features two distinctly flexible areas. The kitchen has a number of seating styles, and can host meetings and small gatherings as well as lunches with colleagues.

A space at the other end of the office includes a bookcase to create a homely, informal ambience, yet is also home to a cosy room with both sofa and whiteboard.


A survey showed that everyone liked the new office and that it added to their sense of wellbeing. Interior design and location made a massive difference – but things like bike racks and natural light played a role too.

More pointedly, 95% of employees are ‘proud of the new office’, and 80% feel it creates a sense of belonging: facts that should ultimately help Panalpina attract and retain staff.

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