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How do you improve employee morale, health and efficiency? By designing an environment that considers every detail of their daily life and reflects the best practices in sustainable design. A work environment is more than a comfortable desk and chair. It’s the tiny interactions that create a company’s culture.
Avon’s new headquarters was designed to reflect and enhance the company’s brand values to both attract and motivate employees. Some of the perks available to the facility’s staff include: staff training facilities, a restaurant, an employee shop and a history room. Furthermore, the client wanted to provide a more integrated work environment and openness to staff, which has resulted in increased productivity within the workspace, better collaboration between European and UK operations and ultimately, has enhanced employee engagement through its state-of-the-art design.
Management at Avon desired a building in which they could manage and maintain operations in a style that was both efficient and secure, yet also promote an improved and cohesive work culture. Avon’s commitment to attracting, retaining and developing skilled employees and developing a work environment where the health and well-being of employees is of utmost importance, greatly influencing the overall design process. As part of that process, Avon gave employees the opportunity to participate in visioning and engagement sessions that resulted in a more productive and motivated workforce, thus allowing Avon to expand its regional status as a major employer.
The workspace strategy proposed more open plan and interactive work settings, which was achieved through consultation with Avon employees on key principals, layouts and design features. Avon’s five-story UK headquarters is arranged in two wings that wrap around a central atrium. Each wing is offset to provide a substantial amount of daylight for the well-being of employees as well as clear wayfinding. The interiors were designed to meet Avon’s operational needs, with floor plates providing flexibility for reorganization of the workspace, thus future-proofing the design.
Furthermore, every aspect of the design and construction was considered with sustainable design solutions in mind. These included: passive solar control features, high recyclable content and low-emissions materials. For internal conditions, heating and lighting are zoned with separate controls and sensors to monitor substantial users of energy. Rainwater harvesting and solar thermal water heating are provided along with low-flush cisterns and sensor taps. Additionally, a significant amount of recycled material was used in the carpeting, matting, workstops and workstations.
A green travel plan was developed to encourage employees to car-share, walk, cycle and use public transit. Recycling facilities and alternative printing arrangements are in place, and a teleprescence suite provides virtual conferencing facilities worldwide.