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Fostering employee wellness and engagement at Ombudsman Services image

Fostering employee wellness and engagement at Ombudsman Services

Case Studies, Knowledge Centre /

We were recently selected as furniture and fit out partner for a full workspace transformation project for Ombudsman Services – a Penketh Group stationery customer of more than 10 years. The main goal of the project was to encourage staff back to the workplace post-pandemic by reframing employee wellbeing and engagement with a fresh, modern perspective.

The client wanted to create an empathetic environment that different personalities can thrive in, with lots of open spaces where people can create, ideate and collaborate. The brief called for a number of diverse work settings to facilitate new ways of working, as well as a gym and bar to cultivate a healthy work-life balance and improved social capital.

The project is being completed in phases as we transform both the North and South wings of the 40,000+ square foot space with full design, furniture and fit out requirements. Here, we explore the first completed phase, including bespoke storage, feature lighting, acoustic panels, reconfigurable furniture and a brand new business lounge.

Take a virtual tour below and hear from our Sales Director, Chris or keep scrolling for more images and information about the project so far.

  • Sectors: Commercial offices
  • Project Type: Fit Out & Interiors
  • Project Size: 40,000+ sq. ft.

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.

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