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Do you ever wonder why an office looks like an office? Generations change over time, people change over time, and so do their purposes, needs and preferences. That means, the work environment also needs to change accordingly, and not stick to this pragmatic approach.

In 2023, a sobering reality surfaced: a mere 62% of employees expressed satisfaction with the offerings of their workplace. In other words, almost half of the working people are not satisfied with their office environment.

A survey Microsoft conducted last year indicated that 41% of the global workforce would consider switching jobs in the next year, with 55% noting that the work environment would play a role in their decisions.

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employees want.

These statistics underscore a pivotal moment in the ongoing saga of talent acquisition and retention: the realisation that the conventional office model no longer suffices. As generational shifts, evolving needs, and changing preferences redefine the workforce, it's imperative that the workplace evolves in tandem.

Let’s reset the office. Let’s call for organisations to reevaluate the fundamental purpose of the office. What is its ultimate mission? What role does it play in fostering productivity and processing, creativity and decision making, and connecting and disconnecting? The answers lie in a paradigm shift toward human-centric design.

So what does this humanity means? While designing our office we need to know how our human brain works. We need to take all our human senses into consideration, and above all we need to be aware of the fact that we - as humans - are a collective species.

We need others to feel good, to create, to fail, to fall and stand up again.

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Choice emerges as a cornerstone of this transformation. Employees seek autonomy in when and where they work, redefining the office's purpose from a mandated destination to a choice-driven environment. Choice is inherent in the overall work experience. When you have a reasonable degree of choice about when and why you use the office, you give the office environment a purpose again and voluntarily choose to be there.

In line with this, the office should provide the necessary functional spaces that, depending on your task, can be used to fulfil that task as creatively, efficiently and pleasantly as possible. It is also through this degree of choice of different spaces - quiet desk, informal meeting space, outdoor space, meeting room, call booth, fashionable bar, restaurant, ... that the purpose of coming to the office becomes clearer, giving the individual autonomy in how he organises his day and his tasks.

With this in mind, the workplace must become a magnet, enticing employees with a purposeful, enriching experience.

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A place people
love to be.

The pandemic, while disruptive, provided invaluable insights into the shift towards hybrid and virtual working, understanding how private life can seamlessly flow into work life. It's time to embrace this trend, viewing the office not merely as a workspace but as a hub for connection and collaboration.

Moreover, the office becomes an open house - a space for colleagues and the wider professional network, such as partners, suppliers, clients, etc. And why not open the doors and welcome family, friends and the neighbourhood? We are used to taking our work home with us. But what about when we bring our home to work?

Amid these shifts lie new opportunities for businesses. The hybrid work model allows for the integration of diverse perspectives and talents, transcending geographical barriers. The merging of private life and worklife can nurture an extra sense of belonging—a crucial element in fostering team cohesion and morale, particularly in remote settings.

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Next to these essential company culture elements, creating a super home for talent requires a meticulous approach to design—one that prioritises employee well-being and comfort.

This is about creating an environment where people just love to be. Just think of a hotel you booked months before, a restaurant you made a reservation for months before… because you absolutely love the place. It’s this lifestyle element that we need to indulge in the world of offices.

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“The office setup and design are crucial for attracting and retaining employees, reflecting the employer’s values and commitment to improving the workplace experience. This includes optimising acoustics, sustainable design, and creating a welcoming atmosphere.

5AM’s design for our office has greatly helped in meeting these goals”

- Bernard Pollet, CEO Indiandribble -

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An office is becoming more about hospitality. It’s about the way you come in and how you’re welcomed. It’s about the colour and intensity of the light, the amount of real daylight (not artificial daylight), the materials in the space, the combination of scents, the air quality, the level of noise, the art, furniture, textures, and about how all these elements are combined into a space that just feels right.

This is where a good design team provides its expertise and merges the company’s identity, the employees needs and the spatial experience into a well-designed environment. It becomes clear that this has become the work of a specialised interior design studio. Through the years, since 2011, 5AM has been designing and developing these work environments, from the smallest - 8 sqm, to the large office spaces of about 15.000 sqm.

This way, the office design can help attract the right people for your company. Furthermore it can help keep the right people into your company. It begins by showcasing company culture—a visual narrative that reflects values, ethos, and identity. A comfortable work environment, replete with amenities and multifunctional setups, appeals to professionals seeking a positive work experience. Furthermore, offices designed to promote collaboration and innovation entice talent drawn to dynamic, team-based environments.

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In conclusion, office design is not merely about aesthetics — it's a strategic tool in creating a work environment and building a company culture. By reimagining the workplace as a dynamic, purpose-driven environment, organisations can attract, engage, and retain top talent in an ever-evolving landscape. As the saying goes, the future of work isn't just about where you work—it's about how and why you work.

In this strategic search, we as a design studio can help and guide you along the way, and form the work environment that is suitable to your organisation.

Want to hear how we can elevate your workspace?

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