The Work Project: Design Thinking the Future Workspaces

June 22, 20178:14 am
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Beautifully designed ergonomic and eco-friendly workspaces go a long way to motivate employees, improve productivity and reflect on performance, reduced absenteeism and voluntary employee turnover.

Holding onto this thought and observing workspace design trends with the new emerging models of working coming to play, we at HR in Asia chanced upon an opportunity to interview Junny Lee, Founder of ‘The Work Project’ during recent launch of well-planned work spaces in Singapore.

In this exclusive interview with us, Junny Lee shares insights, thoughtful approach and thanks efforts of the design thinkers towards introducing this concept and the innovative workplace strategy – these put together has helped create a space for the Future Worker.

Junny Lee, Founder of ‘The Work Project’

Junny Lee, Founder of ‘The Work Project’

The Work Project (TWP) is a design-thinking company. As in words of the founder, “Design to us is not just about creating beautiful spaces which are important, but equally important is to design spaces that work extremely well for the users. That means asking the most basic questions – “what is the purpose of a workspace?” or “what is the purpose of a desk?”

He believes when designing work spaces, form and function are both equally very important. “Working with the best designers and thinkers in the world, our objective is to answer these questions and to truly impact the way people work today.”

All About Workspace Design

The workspace should be beautiful. It is the place that we spend the majority of our adult lives in. But it should also be a place where you can be the best version of yourself – the most productive, creative, collaborative etc. According to a study by Oxford Economics, the number one priority for employees is the ability to focus at work. In other words, productivity and happiness go hand in hand.

Meeting reception and lounge area featuring designer furniture by Ralph Lauren and Baker.

Meeting reception and lounge area featuring designer furniture by Ralph Lauren and Baker.

However, having said the above, change in working models has influenced workspace design concepts to embed flexibility, convenience and ease of access. Lee states, “Every industry has a unique set of circumstances in which technology is impacting their workforce model. What is universal though, is that the modern worker requires an unprecedented level of freedom and flexibility. Technology has contributed to it through improved mobility and remote collaboration.”

For the foreseeable future, the workspace is still an integral part of the way we work. Clearly, adapting workspace design and strategy should be the number one priority. In fact, according to CBRE’s 2017 Occupier Survey, 52 percent of corporate occupiers in Asia-Pacific identified ‘Workplace Strategy Evolution’ as the #1 priority for their organisations. That’s a huge shift in mindset!

See: 5 Great Workplace Design Tips to Boost Employee Productivity

Based on research findings in association with Six Ideas, the modern knowledge worker requires an unprecedented level of freedom and flexibility. In fact, Lee believes, “He/she is most effective when there are multiple workspaces to choose from, depending on the task at hand and the level of privacy and/or collaboration required.”

With careful planning alongside some of the top design thinkers in the world, the workspaces at TWP are designed to offer some of the most diverse range of workplace solutions of various styles, catering to different levels of privacy sought by the today’s worker.

Hot Desk “Verandah” area

Hot Desk “Verandah” area

On the grand opening in June, Lee expresses pride highlighting the USPs of this space. “We are the only company that provides unlimited 24/7 use of the spaces in the basic membership package. For example, we have the largest inventory of small meeting rooms in Singapore (Ranking #15), and we do not charge extra or hourly for their use. Because our research shows that the use of this space is a basic necessity to the modern worker (67% of all meetings today are 4 persons or less).”

Other than space offerings, services often known as “The Work Experience” is carefully curated to include workplace amenities that are must essential for the modern-worker’s satisfaction, in particular those related to F&B and Wellness. Which is why, The Work Project has partnered with The Providore and Omotes and oKoffee to deliver the pantry and café experience.

Downtown Gallery houses 8 boutique gyms, an Oakwood serviced apartment and 15,000 square feet farmer’s market by The Providore in the same building. Downtown Gallery is part of the mixed-use development at OUE Downtown. A nursing room is housed within The Work Project itself.

Workspace of the Future

So if you’re still wondering or picking upon a fragment of your imagination to draw a sketchy portrayal for the workspace in future, then Junny Lee clears off the delusionary bit.

“Towards 2025, workspace design will be one of the most innovative areas in commercial real estate. Artificial Intelligence and IoT (Internet-of-Things) will significantly impact office spaces in a way that we have never seen before. The implications are huge but ultimately, the major effect will be that all would be working with much more freedom, efficiency and flexibility.”

Little is left to imaginations from here when facts clearly state, 71 percent of Asia-Pacific millennials are willing to give up on other benefits for a better office environment.

Do share with us your thoughts on what you think will be the workspace design of the future.

Also read: Impact of Office Design and Decor on Employee Productivity

Content rights: This exclusive interview content is produced by HR in ASIA. Any redistribution or reproduction of part or all of the contents in this interview is prohibited. You may not, except with our express written permission, distribute or commercially exploit the content.