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Your office looks great but does it really work for your business?

Updated: Apr 15, 2019

After many years’ experience in talking with clients, taking briefs and translating those briefs into successful built environments, I have realized that the core function in creating an interior design workplace solution is problem solving by asking questions. It’s a much better result for all if a client’s response to the question about their satisfaction levels of their new business abode is , ”this fitout really works well for us”, rather than, ”it’s beautiful but it doesn’t support our business very well”.

By asking enough of the right sort of questions you can get the answers which determine what is working/not working, what the current business processes are, the staff who need high levels of contact with each other, those that don’t, and what workspace types have some appeal for the client. A proper Needs Brief can then be developed which will address short-comings and determine solutions for new ways of working, proximity needs, provide support spaces and facilities not currently available. We can create the new rules of engagement with the new workplace so that all users know how to utilize it effectively, including addressing the unwritten rules, i.e., “oh, so we can use the quiet rooms for one-on-one meetings!”.

Some clients will describe a current problem but at the same time will offer their solution to that problem, it is a danger to agree to that solution without fully interrogating the problem to fully understand the underlying causes, being able to ask the right questions based on years of experience creates the avenues to solving these problems and coming up with the best answer -or answers! Supplying the best answer is the key to supplying the best solution to the problem, not the knee-jerk solution arrived at through superficial investigation. A client is not well served by their designer if the designer only repeats the client- given solution without any intellectual dissection. This is the response of a drafting service, not of a professional design consultant.

We are not saying for a moment that the look and feel of a workplace is not important, it most certainly is! But for us, it is not the most important. If our solution for our client does not address their functional operating objectives, then for us, our solution is a failure. Interior design is an interwoven amalgam of competing objectives, the best solution prioritises these so that the strong bones of the result are fit and able to be dressed in the corporate livery of the business’s brand and culture.

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