Employee wellness and staff relationships are key to the Ombudsman ethos so this needed to be reflected in a people-centric design scheme.
This design scheme also needed to be built on the foundations of Ombudsman’s four cornerstones – Balance, Empathy, Courage, and Openness – in order to foster an environment that supports staff both physically and emotionally. As a result, Ombudsman hopes to achieve enhanced wellbeing and greater output by empowering its people through the physical workspace as well as its company culture.
The space also needed to be diverse and varied, as well as functional and resourceful, in order to offer people more choice and control around where and how they work depending on task and requirement.
We made sure that there was a general feeling of transparency and openness across the space as a whole to mirror the client’s cultural values. However, we also maintained functionality and visual interest by dividing the open-plan workspace into a number of different settings. This includes high and low heights, hard and soft furnishings, and a business lounge that provides highly tech-integrated areas alongside more casual, low-tech spaces.
People-centric considerations were also made in terms of look and aesthetics. We chose neutral upholstery in many of the spaces for a soft and empathetic feel. We included washed timbers and concrete LVT to create a biophilic finish and also pay homage to the townscape surrounding the office’s location. This was all enhanced by a sophisticated but playful colour palette and neon feature lighting.
The scheme also includes a bespoke bar and gym room – both designed to support employee health and wellbeing, as well as an improved work-life balance. Both spaces are purpose-built for flexible multifunctionality so that they can be easily reconfigured for external hosting as well as regular internal use.