How to make meetings child’s play
“The addition of play and creative spaces are vital in an office environment, especially in a business like ours,” says Eva Daly, Moose Toys global PR and partnerships manager.
“Not only do these spaces bring key people together and provide them with an inspiring space, they also provide team members with a place to go and get some quiet time, and reset if they need to.”
The Moose mission statement is to “Make children happy”, so the company decided this had to apply to staff, as well.
“Everyone who walks into our office smiles as soon as they see the beanstalk and treehouse. It is magical, and that is what we wanted to achieve,” says Daly.
“We also put a lot of thought into the design of our work spaces, our outdoor areas and the beautiful art and sculptures throughout the office. We have dedicated Skype rooms set up specifically for meetings with our teams who are based overseas – one of them is the cockpit of a DC-3 plane.”
These spaces do more than just help staff work together or take a break. A well-designed office can be the key to retaining staff in a competitive environment. Moose Toys carried out an engagement survey that found over 90 per cent of staff viewed the company in a positive light, while over at Roche employees felt fitter and more positive towards the company.
“The proximity of the Rain Room to workspaces, and the fact that it leads to a beautiful rooftop garden, helps promote employees taking regular breaks and provides opportunities for interacting with their colleagues, which have both physical and mental health benefits,” says Scott Marks.
“If employees feel better physically and mentally, they are bound to be more productive and satisfied.”
Canon Oceania gave its employees a key role in designing the company’s Sydney office, which is full of collaboration zones, modern art and bright open spaces.
“Canon employees chose factors that mattered most to them,” says Sara Marshall, director of human resources, communications and facilities at Canon Oceania.
“This included green building credentials, being active, travel to and from work, information management, storage and sharing across the organisation.”
There are also zones to encourage coincidental catch-ups where employees from different business units might meet. Canon employees reported there was a significant lift in the kinds of incidental meetings that have been found to drive quicker problem solving and creativity.
And for all these companies, providing workspace improvements for staff is a process that is constantly evolving.
“Good design never stops. We are constantly reviewing how our spaces are used, and adapting to encourage different working styles,” says Moose Toys’ Eva Daly.