Since the covid pandemic, salary and job security are no longer necessarily the chief attraction for choosing a particular place to work. Employee expectations have changed and many now prioritise quality of life at work. That includes having greater freedom and autonomy and working in an environment that is not only inspiring and welcoming but also good for employee well-being and productivity.
Bureau Moderne Group has recognised this phenomenon and how it is reshaping the challenges faced by businesses and organisations. In 2023, the group launched its New Work Academy, an entity that offers clients workshops at which they can explore the concept of ‘new work’ and address their specific concerns regarding workspace design.
“The New Work Academy is a concept as well as a space,” says Camille Lohbeck CEO of Bureau Moderne Group in an interview in the latest edition of the group’s Spaces magazine.
During these workshops, we develop concrete improvements that our clients can implement in their work environments
Lohbeck explains that clients are initially presented with BMG’s view of ‘new work’ and how workspace designers need to factor in hybrid working, digitalisation, communication and the environment.
“Later on, we offer client workshops in which we explore ‘new work’ in a general way and investigate the specific topics and concerns that are important to them. During these workshops, we develop concrete improvements that our clients can implement in their work environments,” Lohbeck says.
For instance, digitalisation is now so essential to work that designing a space to maximise the efficiency and ease of using digital tools is crucial. That means the seamless integration of surfaces, including interactive boards in the design, and ensuring cable management is at its most efficient and aesthetic.
New ways of working also mean clients can plan interiors less classical workspaces, because spaces will be shared. “With those savings, they can invest more in creating interiors where people feel better and are more productive. It’s a win-win situation,” says sales consultant Paolo Vetri.
In terms of communication, office designers must take into account the different ways of working of the organisation as well as individual employees. “There is an increased demand for meeting spaces, for get-togethers, brainstorming or video conferences,” says Stephanie Panther interior architect at BMG.
So separate meeting rooms should include sets ups that allow staff who are working remotely to dial in and join the conversation, but in a way that they can see and be seen by everyone in the room. Smaller privacy areas for one-to-one digital chats or for staff to use for personal business are also in demand. And in an era of partial remote working, informal break-out areas where employees can catch-up up with colleagues are valuable in creating and maintaining strong bonds.
Ergonomic chairs, flexible furniture and stand-up tables can be used to provide comfort, while mental well-being can be enhanced through clever use of colour, lighting and acoustic design.
The New Work Academy is housed in a 2,000 square metre inspiration space in Luxembourg that enables clients to instantaneously see and feel the different solutions available to support the ‘new work’ concept.
Alongside Bureau Moderne, home design specialist Reed&Simon and production factory Febrü Luxembourg, the New Work Academy is now the fourth entity in the Bureau Moderne Group. “Work is changing, and the New Work Academy is a great opportunity for company directors, department heads and anyone who wants to motivate their teams and attract new talent,” says Lohbeck.
To find out more about the New Work Academy, visit the dedicated website.