A workplace you want to be
We recently wrote about the technicalities of fitting out new offices for JTI, a leading international tobacco and e-cigarette manufacturer. The project came as they were moving from their expansive site in Weybridge to a more central office space in Putney, London in the wake of changing working habits post-pandemic.
The move was a seismic shift for the organisation, representing a new era. However, while it was an exciting change it was also one that needed to be carefully considered. The goal was to create a space that was more compact, multifunctional and that delivered benefits to team members that were different to those of working from home and that generated a sense of excitement.
The detail was truly in the design.
The new office building is in Putney, set over four floors and a roof terrace. We worked on an aesthetic that reflects the industrial features of the building, with softened iterations of the exposed ceilings, wood and concrete details, alongside a colour palette derived from their logo.
These muted facets create a sense of calm alongside the dynamic energy of the space, while acoustic panels, moveable screens, different coloured carpets and dichroic filtered glass allow for multifunctional use and a sense of free-flowing energy.
A new way of working
JTI as a company is all about continuous improvement and innovation. As a result, they wanted their new space to enable people to move around, generating activity and buzz. Hybrid working meant that they were changing the purpose of the office space itself.
Wanting to adopt a clear desk policy so that workspaces remained flexible, each floor also has a central dress point with lockers so that staff can store their belongings safely.
Creating a community
The ground floor of the building opens from the reception area into a large central bar, which is the buzzing hub of the office. JTI wanted this to be a focal point where guests are directed, there’s a professional coffee area, dining space, soft seating, booths to eat or work at, and a quieter library space at the back.
This floor also has a feature meeting room with a large LED screen. The space has a town hall atmosphere and is optimised for flexibility, so it can be completely reconfigured for events and different occasions.
This is the place where staff are encouraged to take breaks, build a community and communicate, where serendipitous interactions can lead to new ideas and innovations.
The first, second and third floors are all occupied by working office space, each with a similar format. We worked with the business to really identify and understand what their needs are in order to make the space work as hard as possible.
While directors needed dedicated office space, it was quickly ascertained that most of their time was spent away from their desk. As a result, dedicated director offices were designed to double up as bookable meeting rooms with mobile screens to adapt the space.
A similar approach was taken with the boardroom, which also features display shelves to showcase the organisation’s memorabilia as an added detail.
The cherry on top of the JTI offices is the roof terrace, where we sought planning permission for a canopy and created different zones for teams to relax or work in.
There are pods with lighting, heaters and power as well as space for events. We sought BREEAM and Fitwel accreditations for sustainability, part of which included adding herb and vegetable gardens within dedicated planters, alongside other plant life and biophilic details to optimise a sense of wellbeing.
Completing the holistic experience for team members, the office is bookended with a wellness floor, complete with massage chairs and design that encourages a moment of peace within the working day.
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