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12 October 2021 | by Sarah Syson
As drinkers switched from the pub to home – the pub industry had to change. Offering somewhere to go for a drink was no longer enough. These changes led to the birth of destination pubs – each with a compelling and distinct reason to visit. Whether it was a beautiful beer garden, a superb food menu, a must-have view or children’s play facilities – thousands of breweries and landlords started to think more creatively to drive custom.
This renaissance was the result of considering what would actually make customers visit and it led to development of positive and memorable pub experiences that customers could not get by drinking at home.
I mention the pub industry because it’s a powerful example of change – and it’s highly relevant to the renaissance the UK workplace is currently undergoing.
The destination office is a concept we widely discuss in office interior design– for it acknowledges that offices have to become destinations in order to be relevant to employees. That means offering the facilities and experiences that the growing population of hybrid and remote workers just can’t get elsewhere.
In practical terms, it’s unlikely to mean the widespread appearance of office beer gardens (although garden terraces are high on the list of workplace wants, and clubs and bars are becoming more popular!) but offices can learn a thing or two from destination pubs.
Where a gastro-pub is a place you’d seek out to meet friends for a great lunch – the destination office coffee shop is the place you’d choose to catch up with colleagues and interact with your peers.
Destination offices curate the best workplace experiences by offering a number of differing work settings and zones to suit different tasks and needs.
The eight settings of the destination office are:
Destinations offices offer the facilities, which lead to the experiences, that people will travel for. There are compelling reason to do this too – it’s widely recognised that productivity, collaboration and innovation are boosted when people are together physically. After a period of prolonged separation most employers are keen to bring their people back together – even if it’s just a few days each week.
For housing associations striving to encourage employees back to the workplace – even if it is part of hybrid working model – it’s time to view employees as customers. Give them compelling reasons to expend their energy, best efforts and loyalty for your organisation. Give them reasons to visit, make it fun and somewhere to be proud of. Ensure its rich in the amenities that have real value to how work is done.
Get that right and your new destination office will thrive. Then you’ll definitely deserve a pint!
Associate Director, Head of Design
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