In Space

Lizzi Whaley, CEO and Creative Director of Spaceworks, talks about commercial design

Why is good workspace design so important?

A well-designed workspace can improve employee satisfaction and productivity – it’s that simple. We recently conducted a nationwide survey of 200 New Zealand business leaders and according to the country’s business elite, a well-designed office has a direct correlation to employee efficiency. Specialising in commercial design for office, retail, hospitality, aged-care facilities and hotels, Spaceworks has worked with a range of high-profile clients including Google, Chanel and James Crisp.

What’s the new trend in office space?

It is our job as designers to stay abreast of what’s important to Kiwi office workers so our designs are future-proofed and reflect the new way of working while remaining mindful of the ageing workforce. The team at Spaceworks has found that workplaces designed to encourage collaboration without sacrificing focus will always be more successful.

The new-age open plan, which factors in informal meeting/breakout spaces and areas away from the working zones where employees can focus and make phone calls, is the optimal solution. No workspace is too big or small for the team at Spaceworks, and clever design is the solution to various challenges. For example, if meeting rooms are a problem due to space restrictions, meeting areas with high-backed sofas, writable walls and pinboards are a great option and encourage creativity. You can also get clever with storage such as supplying lockers for employees.

How can design transform the culture of a business?

We’ve seen countless examples of design transforming a business. Engineering firm Woods wanted to evolve their culture from an “old boys’ club” into a modern, cutting-edge place to work. This was achieved by Spaceworks by creating an open-plan layout with breakout areas and meeting rooms that encouraged collaboration and inspired creativity. Our client reported that productivity has improved and staff are getting to know their peers better, simply because of the layout improvement.

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