Woodhouse Workspace is a family-run business based in Hatfield, Herts, focusing on the design, planning and installation of “Smarter Workspaces”. With over 40 years experience in office design and fit-out projects, and with offices in London and Belfast, Woodhouse has witnessed many new trends changing the nature of work and the workplace over the years.
Offices have changed significantly over the last hundred years, and as technology evolves, the pace is rapidly increasing and it’s becoming crucial for experts to explore the drivers that are changing the nature of work and how to better enable a positive workplace transformation. Since its launch, Woodhouse has built a highly skilled and experienced team handling everything from minor refiguring work to major renovations and refurbishments. Today we are delighted to meet with Matthew Cooper, Business Development Director at Woodhouse Workspace and chat about the main forces shaping the workspace environment and how a smarter workplace can bring benefit to any type of business.
eOffice: Millennials today expect more than a simple workplace environment seeking spaces that encourage collaboration, boost productivity and provide informal breakout areas to relax. How can you help businesses work smarter?
Matthew Cooper: Millennials today expect more than a simple workplace, they expect a SMARTER WORKSPACE. This means that the space where they work has to provide the right environment for the task on hand, i.e. a quiet space for reading, an informal breakout space for collaboration well positioned in the environment, a variety of meeting rooms including 2-person, 3-person and 4-person rooms – too often you find 2 people using a boardroom set out for 20 people, etc. On top of the layout and provision of different spaces is the highly important requirement for connectivity. An essential element in today’s society to keep people connected.
eOffice: You have the ability to increase human health by the way you design and build office environments. How do you promote health and wellbeing for your clients?
Matthew Cooper: There are some basic elements included in every design we produce to ensure we’re meeting the building regulations including the lighting, fresh air, etc. We take great care in how we maximise the daylight within our designs. Real life plants are a good way of increasing productivity through the oxygen that it provides as well as the visual effect. It is also very important to provide the facility for cyclists – bike racks, showers and changing facilities are essential on any new development.
eOffice: What are the main forces shaping the future of the workplace scene?
Matthew Cooper: The two main forces I see are technology and millennials. Technology is moving so fast that connectivity is now essential for every workspace. As well as connectivity being important, there is much less requirement for paper storage, huge servers and fixed locations. Millennials are also driving change as they are more adaptable to change – if the workspace isn’t good enough, they’ll go elsewhere.
eOffice: What makes you different form other office design and fit-out firms?
Matthew Cooper: What sets Woodhouse apart from our competition is our ability to complete complex projects on time and on budget.
eOffice: Which exciting project are you working on at the moment?
Matthew Cooper: One of the exciting projects that is finishing on Friday 1st July is an office fit-out for Proact in London, SE1 – watch this space for some completed pictures! Split across two floors, one floor is dedicated to desks and the other is dedicated to meetings rooms, breakout, flexible meeting spaces, etc.