Making their move from two Yorkshire offices into one Wakefield home, legal services firm, Minster Law chose Be Inspired Design to analyse their working practices and design the strategy and interior for a new way of working
Minster Law understood that investing in an engaging workplace can help attract and retain their industry’s best talent. They also knew that they could be more effective and improve communication working from one single Yorkshire office rather than two separate locations. Our first task was therefore to review how their existing office environments worked for the business and their requirements, as well as understanding their day-to-day departmental needs.
After reviewing the potential of both existing premises, the Wakefield office was selected as the preferred Head Office location and a timeline produced for the transition and significant refurbishment of Kingfisher House, Wakefield.
It was understood that in order for staff to fit within one location, the working practices of the business would need to introduce a new style of working, moving away from the traditional desk ownership model.
Minster Law, for a Legal firm was already progressive in their working practices having already embraced working from home, flexible working and removing hierarchical individual offices.
The New Way of Working
It was agreed early on that traditional desk ownership was not the right solution. The aim was to create a work space that would encourage collaboration between departments, allow staff more autonomy, encourage trust and create an open culture.
The solution, therefore required the functionality of the workstations to be flexible for all staff to be remote or office based. Not only did the furniture solution need to be easy to adjust, suiting personal requirements on a daily basis, but the IT solution had to be designed and integrated to support a fully roaming work force.
Our design has helped to challenge the working style of Minster Law moving the organisation to a fully agile working environment. Desk sizes have been reduced to 1400mm to create more space for a variety of collaborative settings. Within the work space, departments are allocated zones, however there is no personal desk ownership. The environment is completely open plan with the supporting settings such as quiet individual focus booths, collaborative high back sofas and high-level touch down tables carefully placed to encourage staff collaboration away from their desk, to reduce noise and distraction.
Personal lockers and departmental storage are scattered throughout the space on main circulation routes, providing easy access.
The top mezzanine level of the building has been completely transformed from a standard office environment to a large breakout and collaboration area. The area has been designed to offer a relaxing environment for staff to enjoy and interact with colleagues during breaks, as well as providing a great space for informal meetings and touch down or short stay working.
A key aim for the business was to create a vibrant and modern working environment, encouraging better interaction and sharing of ideas.
Reflecting the Brand
The brand has been referenced throughout the design with Minster Law’s internal communications colour scheme being used to inject fresh and vibrant colours into the space. Minster Law were keen for the office to not only reflect their brand but have a youthful feel and therefore the use of the bold brand colours has been critical in creating an invigorating and inspirational office. The colours have been used throughout, from a creative feature carpet design to vibrant wall colours and bright furnishings.
A place for the whole team
Creating a social hub for the refurbished office was key to improving communication across departments and integrating the two offices into a single home.
The new tea point, kitchen and lounge were specifically designed to enable staff to collaborate away from their desks, socialise throughout the day, take a break or work in a different setting. The selection of the mezzanine floor for this function has assisted with connecting all staff as this social hub has become a destination away from the ‘engine room’ of the office floors. The space is bright and youthful, with vibrant colour choices for the furniture and amazing natural light and external views.
A significant finding of the initial analysis identified a lack of the right type and size of meetings spaces; therefore, the new environment provides plenty of small closed, bookable meeting rooms as well as open plan informal meeting spaces.
Staff are able to work from any of the meeting rooms, breakout space and even the kitchen, due to the office’s enabling technology. Minster Law retained existing adjustable standing desks to allow staff to work while standing; adding additional health and wellbeing benefits to the fit out.