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Creating an innovation testbed for employee wellbeing

The challenge

In today‚Äôs world, we recognise that employee experience is one of the most important factors determining an organisation’s success. We know the physical environment where people work can have a huge effect on collaboration and effectiveness; but determining what makes a successful workplace isn’t easy.

Without good insights into the environmental factors that really affect performance and employee wellbeing, it’s difficult for estate planners to know where they should put their budgets. Our client set us the challenge of designing, building and running a testbed space to measure the factors that truly determine the quality of employee experience, from air quality to ergonomics.

The approach

We assembled a team of Service Designers, Business Designers and Customer Researchers to create the Workplace Performance Hub, a custom-built workspace that feels like a real office environment. The Hub can accommodate up to 60 people and acts as an innovation testbed for all aspects of employee experience.

The space features circadian lighting (artificial lighting that mimics daylight conditions), sound optimisation, accurate temperature control, a range seating options and various different densities of plant life, along with many other elements, which can be monitored and measured over time.

The outcome

The aim of the Workplace Performance Hub is to establish the elements of a workplace that merit investment. The project helped us identify the factors that have a positive impact on employee wellbeing and performance as well as those that appear to have a negligible effect.

Now that the Workplace Performance Hub is running, our client is able to test more scenarios and generate new insights in an ongoing cycle. By providing a powerful resource for research into the way work affects us all, we hope the Hub will ultimately inform better workplace design and ultimately, improve all our working lives for the better.