With Gen-Z team members now joining millennials and Gen-X in the workplace, designers are now challenged to deliver office environments that are inclusive for diverse teams.
For an office design to truly be a force for good, it must be thoughtful, well-considered, and accessible to all. By designing with diversity and inclusion in mind, we reinforce our commitment to improve working lives.
Promoting sustainability was once framed as an ‘optional extra’ and fostering team wellbeing was not seen as the core enabler of employee engagement and performance that is today.
Our design strategy is nestled at the intersection of business profitability and value for people. At Kerr, we revisit design principles on a project-to-project basis.
Below is a framework of design considerations that Kerr implements into concept design to impact inclusivity, diversity, sustainability, and wellness.
To be accessible doesn’t mean to be segregated.
Our design team limits the use of white desktops – instead favouring grey as a less obtrusive colour for those with neurodivergent attributes. Walkways are defined with texture and furniture sourced to cater for mixed abilities – including wheelchair accessible workspaces, adjustable desks, and considerations for guide dogs.
To benefit accessibility, low level work and kitchen tops are crucial. Standard full-width doors are planned with sensor or lever-action tap mechanisms. We are also mindful of using heavy patterns and maintaining good colour contrasts between walls, ceilings, and floors.
We carefully consider a variety of furniture styles and spaces. Multi-faith prayer rooms with sinks and foot wash basins as well mother and baby facilities – these areas are both private and comfortable.
The introduction of gender-neutral washroom facilities fosters an inclusive environment that shows a business recognises diversity. It demonstrates that a business doesn’t just accept the differences, but also acknowledges them.
Defending our future.
A building may undergo more than twenty fit outs in its lifetime. Here are some of the recent considerations Kerr has made to help clients meet their ESG targets.
A recent approach to meeting room design is to offer pod or booth style solutions – these are a more sustainable option instead of building material heavy areas that will require stripping out at the end of a client’s lease.
We now try to add more fluidity to the workspaces we design. Areas of modular design allow a landlord to reuse and repurpose aspects of the design that perhaps the next tenant may not use.
Providing a ‘happy’ space.
Advocating wellbeing at work can help create a positive workplace. By minimising stress, improving satisfaction and engagement, and enabling your team to thrive at work – you are already on track to building a happy and healthy workforce that can drive your business to commercial success.
We favour south-facing aspects to maximise daylight, a biophilic design, and use of art or creative design on the walls and ceiling.
Some of our recent designs have dedicated over fifty percent of the floorplan to areas for collaborative work, informal meeting space and relaxing areas for moments of headspace.
By designing with employee engagement in mind, Kerr Office Group truly believes we are improving working lives – that is our ethos. To find out more about Kerr and the innovative workspaces we create, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org and start your workplace transformation today.