The demand for creative workspace is growing across the globe and no faster than in the offices of East London. Clipper investigates four workplaces that are embracing the push for wellness and incorporating it into the way that employees engage with businesses and their working life.
Best for prioritising employee health
Leading online art platform Artsy ran its first ‘Wellness Week’ in May 2018. Deemed a storming success by its 35-strong London office, it featured healthy vegan breakfasts, a homemade lunch by one of the team members, massages, manicures, a plant potting workshop, and Kombucha cocktails to finish off the week.
“It showed us that there was a real appetite to engage in these activities more regularly and make wellness a key part of working life at Artsy,” says office and people manager Jessica May.
“We’ve now created a more holistic programme that includes regular wellness events throughout the year – for us, opportunities for team bonding, relaxation and exploring one’s own creativity are core elements of wellness so all events touch these three.”
Research shows that while 36% of employees are wanting wellness provisions and facilities, only 15% of employers provide them, but May warns that wellness shouldn’t be seen as a temporary add-on for brownie points.
“It should be woven into the fabric of your organisation.” Her top tip to avoid a tokenistic approach? “Do research, try things out and always ask your team for feedback – the goal is to make them feel healthy and happy, so you need to know what adds the most value.”
2. Goodluck Hope
Best for relaxation by design
Try as they might to separate work from the personal, for many people, leaving the office for the day does not actually mean clocking off.
Allowing residents to shift from work mode to life mode in a single space, Ballymore’s Goodluck Hope development (situated at the foot of the Thames and near East India DLR station) includes The Lantern Room, a purpose-built flexible workspace for creators and collaborators with panoramic views of the Thames and the River Lea.
Residents have exclusive access to an alfresco viewing platform, while at ground level, utilisation of urban design features like park benches and podium gardens encourage outdoor activity and movement, making it an ideal spot for a long lunch break or mid-afternoon breath of fresh air.
3. Kingston Smith
Best for home-working as standard
Nearly 90% of British employees either work flexibly to free up time for their families or passion projects or wish they could.
Acknowledging the value of work-life balance, businesses such as accounting firm Kingston Smith have introduced new ‘agile’ working policies. As of 2018, employees at the accountancy firm are encouraged to work from home to improve their personal wellbeing.
The move involved significant investment in IT, such as the implementation of a single, unified communications platform (Fuze), but it’s improved efficiency, better-utilised office space and reduced the cost, time and pollution of travelling.
The firms staff is split evenly between male and female employees, and the new policy is supporting people to enter, remain in, or return to employment where this might be otherwise difficult.
Best for cultivating creativity
Crafted with the motto of “a state of independence, for an independent state of mind,” east London’s bustling hub Republic is for more than just office occupiers. A mixed-use campus, tenants include The Gentleman Barista, Pure Gym, Hadley & Co accountants and media agency Threepipe, offering a place for them to work, collaborate and socialise.
Dotted around the site is a water garden for tranquil reflection, atrium coworking benches for a change of scene and fully-fitted areas for presentations and meetings. Intended to inspire an entrepreneurial mindset, it’s tapping into many of the environmental aspects millennials seek in a workspace.
With 62% of people currently considering starting their own business, knowing sites like Republic’s exist, which enable them to choose where they work and how, could help keep them engaged.
Clipper Magazine is produced for Republic by Courier Media.
Article Last Updated: June 14, 2019
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