Large offices can be draughty spaces to fill, and often alienating for employees. The reception area, which dictates all-important first impressions, is not usually a space to idle unless you’re a visitor waiting to be seen. And shared public spaces can be little more than a pokey kitchen with a dirty microwave.
But large corporations are waking up to the benefits of enhancing their foyers and open areas. They are commissioning bespoke art and furniture, by turn showing their support for young artists and designers and chalking up brownie points. And they are encouraging employees to interact in shared eating spaces and ‘soft’, downtime areas.
Free food on tap, young artists’ showcases, television and Internet access for the general public, and temporary exhibitions are just some of ways the British Council, financial news provider Bloomberg and ad agency J Walter Thompson are showing off their corporate assets to best effect.