Invisible Systems are a fast-growing business, that design, develop, manufacture and operate IoT (Internet of Things) sensors and software. Their intelligent systems monitoring delivers data and insight that helps businesses operate efficiently, achieve net zero and create healthy environments. Their in-house lab team design and develop these systems on-site, in their workspace in the Lowry Mill building in Swinton.
Officeinsight were asked if we could provide a test fit layout, that would support hybrid and agile working, boost collaboration and help re-build a good team atmosphere that had been lost due to the two years spent working from home.
As a part of that, there also needed to be a large laboratory area included, which added a layer of challenge to the brief.
The lab team needed to feel a part of the team as a whole, whilst having the obvious need to work in a slightly different environment than the rest of the team. To do this, the lab was created in the middle of the office, using glass partitions so that the lab team can easily see out into the rest of the space to see what is going on. They also needed large areas of storage, to store the different parts that they need for their monitoring systems.
It was important that the lab area felt like it was part of the office space, whilst not just looking like a goldfish bowl in the middle.
To ensure this didn’t happen, our designers incorporated the same finishes in the lab area, as there are around the rest of the office, including the same acoustic raft on the ceiling and the same furniture. The company logo was used as a graphic on the glass, to ensure that health and safety standards were maintained, and also to incorporate the branding into the design.
Challenges with the build
Whilst adding character to the space, the bare brick walls and high, fluted ceilings presented challenges with the acoustic elements. This meant the space had to be carefully planned, with aspects like sound travel carefully thought of.
In collaboration areas, acoustic rafts were designed and installed – custom-made in the Invisibly Systems logo, and a variety of other acoustic products used, such as an acoustic pendant, and a bright pink booth. This helps to reduce any travelling sound that may disturb those wanting to focus independently at their desk, the other end of the office.
Adapting hybrid working methods
One of the priorities in the brief, was to consider the working habits of the staff at Invisible Systems, where they work, how do they work, and how they maintain a team atmosphere whilst scaling as a business. This meant that hybrid and agile working concepts were key factors in the design.
With hot-seat areas, town hall and collaborative areas, it has helped Invisible Systems facilitate better hybrid working practices.
Mobile furniture, such as seating makes it easy for the staff to have an impromptu discussion, grab a chair and join in. Equally, the stand-up table, is a good area for a quick discussion with a couple of colleagues. Whiteboard areas help improve group discussions, as it offers the ability to draw and visualise the point being made.
By including this type of furniture in the space design, it helps to facilitate a better working environment for the staff to come into, as it is the quick, impromptu chats and group discussions and creative collaboration that can’t be done when working from home, or on a teams meeting.
Interested in getting in touch about how your workspace can support hybrid working? Get in touch by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or phoning 0161 233 0030.
Team building and collaborative spaces are becoming increasingly crucial in agile working environments. These working spaces encourage experts from different disciplines to work together to create innovative solutions to novel problems.
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