Frontier Economics is a global microeconomics consultancy providing economics advice to public and private sector clients on matters of competition policy, public policy, regulation, business strategy and behavioural economics. We worked alongside the design firm Sam Kopsch Studio and the fit out company Oktra to create a new agile workspace for Frontier Economic's London office.
Frontier Economics had been looking to relocate their current offices from MidCity Place in Holborn but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these plans were shelved. Instead, they decided to redesign their current workspace to suit the new ways of working as a pilot scheme to research how their workforce reacted to the hybrid workspace and also to create an attractive collaborative workspace.
Working closely with the client and design firm Sam Kopsch Studio, it was decided to minimise build costs due to potential future relocation plans. Instead, it was decided to concentrate the investment on furniture pieces, to allow the space to be easily reconfigured and also to ensure that furniture could be taken with them to any future location.
Design workshops were carried out with the entire company to ensure that all staff had input into the new workspace. From this data, the design scheme was finalised with the overall concept to create an agile workspace that provided many different areas for staff to carry out their work, rather than be stuck at their desk all day. The key to this was to turn the office into a bookable workspace where resources were allocated via a workspace app rather than people owning a desk.
Rather than build meeting rooms, office pods were used as a way of providing confidential meeting spaces and these were equipped with high tech AV solutions to ensure a seamless experience for both virtual and office-based staff. This also meant that mechanical costs were kept to a minimum and future dilapidation requirements were carried out in advance.
Central to the workspace is the staff kitchen and breakout space. This large collaborative environment has a number of different styles of seating to allow for both large company events as well as quiet places for working or relaxing. By carefully selecting the furniture, this space can be easily reconfigured for a number of different uses.
In the main open-plan office, zoning furniture was used to create different zones for people to work and for informal meetings. By using a wide variety of furniture styles from height adjustable desking to poseur height collaborative workbenches and ensuring these are all equipped with power, staff can move around the office depending on the activities that they are carrying out.
To provide storage for staff, smart lockers were installed. These use the access cards owned by each staff member to access the office space to allocate a locker on a daily basis for staff to use. These lockers also provide a wealth of data on how much the office is being used and on what days and gives valuable insight to the management team for future real estate plans.
The project was very challenging, carried out in the midst of global material shortages which impacted the overall project deadlines and meant that finish selections had to be adjusted after procurement. However, the result is a stunning workspace that has been very well received by the workforce and will provide an excellent platform for the development of the organisation.