Vox Pop

This week’s Workplace show at ExCel raised the debate about the effects of turning office environments into places resembling the home. Should leisure considerations be included in the workplace or should the office be a place just to work?

‘For occupiers the workplace is a business enabler, supporting and enhancing strategic objectives in a fast-changing world. This means flexible and team working, cross group collaboration and effective communication with clients and partners. Today’s workplace must offer a far greater social dimension than the traditional model.’

Graham McClements, Architect director, Building

Design Partnership

‘The perfect space should deliver ultimate creative output, meaning the people working there should create it to fulfil their needs.’

Henrik Fisker, Creative director, Ford’s Ingeni London

Design Enterprise

‘Leisure is private and voluntary. Neither it nor corporate innovation are aided by being told to have fun. You’re now forced to show you’re a team player who’s passionate about the brand. To design the display of leisure preferences at work is to insist employees show a childlike trust toward human resources departments.’

James Woudhuysen, Professor of innovation,

De Montfort University

‘There are those who live to work and those who work to live. If your job is your passion, then you don’t have any rest but work is play. If it’s a nine-to-five, then home is where the heart is and the distance between each is protection.’

Simon Waterfall, Deepend founder, now ‘alone, single, available for weddings, barmitzvahs ‘

‘The building is no longer the container for organisations, so concerns about the design of formal workplaces and the introduction of leisure/ social elements aren’t sufficient. Workplaces will increasingly encompass hotels, cafés, airports and so on. Workplace and IT strategies will need to embrace wherever employees choose to work.’

Andrew Harrison, Director of research and methods,


‘Office environments should contain some home comforts. They are living spaces, and working and living aren’t diametrically opposed. Comfortable furniture, good lighting, spaciousness and a sense of style are all important.’

Alistair Green, Senior account planner, Bartle Bogle


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