How workplace design can support your company goals

Case study: Greenflux

The following project shows how an optimised workplace design can enhance the connection between an ‘old’ renovated space and a new space, also enhancing the connection and cohesion between the employees as well as with clients. We believe that workplaces can be designed to accelerate the impact of an organisation and this is exactly what we aimed to create for Greenflux.

An expansion in quantity and quality
GreenFlux is a leader in smart charging solutions for electric vehicles. In 2019, the rapid growth and expansion of the company lead to the need for the expansion of their workplace. This was not only an expansion in the quantity of square meters but in their quality as well. As the company grows, the needs of its various employees grow and diversify.

A challenge of cohesion
To accommodate the company’s growth, the workplace of GreenFlux nearly doubled in square meters. This creates a risk of schism between the ‘old’ and the new spaces that put at risk the cohesion between employees, affecting both their social as well as working dynamics.
The design concept focused on elevating all the current spaces and the new office spaces with the aim to create a coherent holistic workplace that is not only consistent within its different spaces but that can also be fully representative of GreenFlux as a company. Our aim at AKKA was to create a space that not only hosts the activities of the GreenFlux employees, but that also communicates their vision, mission, values, and impact.
The resulting sustainable, light and positive workplaces are able to, on one hand, support the encounters of GreenFlux employees with their clients by presenting a strong representative workplace and on the other hand, boost the teams internally to maximise their wellbeing, performance, and impact.

In order to create a workplace that successfully encourages a better cohesion between its inhabitants, it was crucial to bring the brand identity and inject the GreenFlux philosophy into the existing spaces as much as the new ones. To achieve this, the spaces were designed to be versatile and support all the different ways of working of the GreenFlux many teams. In addition, GreenFlux products were showcased around the different areas of the office. This is very powerful to communicate to the employees a clear and strong connection between their daily activities and the impact they are creating to change the world. 

An ecosystem of Sustainable Development Goals
At the same time, the office space of Greenflux is located in the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) building. Coincidentally, the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) is another one of our projects, take a look at its renovation and design here.

The historic KIT provides a unique experience by itself. Being the Dutch house of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)1 the building curates all its tenants as companies that work towards the different goals of the SDG. 

While this is a wonderful opportunity, it also created a number of challenges at three levels:

  • Identity: when designing the workplace, we had to create the best balance between the identity of GreenFlux and. that of the other companies. We embraced the architecture of the building and infused it with the essence of who GreenFlux is, in the GreenFlux areas.
  • Culture: the workplace had to accommodate the different cultures of the different organisations, while remaining coherent for the larger community at the larger scale of the entire building.
  • Architecture: within the limitation of a monumental building, we had to adjust the physical attributes of the spaces to best suit GreenFlux as well as the other companies in the KIT complex. Working inside a building like KIT can be challenging. The office area in the building does not have big open spaces, on the contrary, the building is fragmented in small spaces. In order to deal with this, we studied the zoning of the office spaces in detail to make sure that every corner and corridor brings extra value to the overall design and plays a role in interconnecting the different departments and teams. The close interaction between all teams, both interactions that are work-related and non-work related, was one of the most important goals for us in this project.

In details

GreenFlux is made of different teams with very diverse needs, including product innovation, programmers, IT developers, sales, marketing, finances, operations & support, project management, and HR to name a few.
The workplace we designed needed not only to accommodate all the different needs of all the different departments, but it also needed to support the meeting culture of the company. It is crucial for the success of the company that the different teams stay in close communication.

Therefore, it was important for us to accommodate and encourage the meeting culture of the company. For this reason, we designed meeting spaces to accommodate any type of meeting at any time: scattered lounge chairs with laptop table for individual work, high tables right outside the office space for a quick chat with a colleague, acoustic curtains to create temporary meeting spaces, stand up flexible meeting spaces between the desk areas. We incorporated mobile whiteboards, mobile screens, different types of furniture, flexible stools, with plenty of green, reused and recyclable furniture and accessories.
Another important aspect to tackle was the acoustics in the building. Considering the sustainable character of Greenflux, acoustic panels from recycled PET bottles were used around the spaces. In addition, desk and standing dividers were reused.

Last but not least, we developed a design scheme for plants. Plants in the office space bring much more than aesthetic value. Studies show that they offer help in decreasing stress, they enhance productivity, improve air quality and even help to reduce noise and distractions. For this reason, a number of different plants were strategically placed in the space in a way that all of their values were utilised. For instance, plants were used as desk dividers between-group desks – this brings the elements of nature close to the employees but also provides acoustic value and privacy.

Being concerned with promoting sustainable green energy, Greenflux’s workplace had to also be aligned with the sustainability value of the company. Sustainability is not only environmental, but it is also economical and social. For GreenFlux, the renovation and design of the workplace was a great opportunity to bring more cohesion among their team members and with their clients. We believe that workplaces can be designed to accelerate the impact of an organization and this is exactly what we aimed to create for Greenflux.

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