Ogilvy Healthworld
Ogilvy Healthworld
Office Interior London - Photography by Jefferson Smith
Before the refurbishment, the Ogilvy Healthworld office was bunched up and stretched out in all the wrong places,  meeting rooms were scarce, and small, and it was awkwardly sub-divided, which meant staff were working in a cluttered and inefficient way, not fit for the purposes of the new collaborative organisation that was evolving.

The results of an occupancy study, carried out by Spacelab and which monitored desk use for three weeks, suggested more radical changes could also help. It found that, on average, staff were spending just half their time at their desk, with the rest spent in meetings, or with clients, or working elsewhere.

‘It was a good indication that we were already working dynamically, and that we just needed to create a space that supported that,’ says David Davenport-Firth, the creative lead on the project from Ogilvy Healthworld’s side. ‘It was clear that our desks were not somewhere we needed to be all the time. So we had to create different types of spaces within the office – the types of spaces we were leaving our desks to use.’

‘The key to the success of a flexible workplace is to have a series of different spaces,’ says Ogilvy Healthworld CEO Matt de Gruchy. ‘That way, staff can find the space they want to work in, rather than be told where they have to work.’

In terms of design, transparency was key: some meeting rooms have glass walls, and others just have partitions to set them apart from the main office space, so that anyone passing by can see who is inside.

The results of a post-refurbishment survey also speak of its success, with 79.5 per cent saying the work has improved the way they function and complete day-to-day tasks, and 80.3 per cent saying it has improved the look and feel of the office.

‘The physical environment now supports the culture of the agency,’ says de Gruchy. ‘It gives people choices about the way they work, and allows them to do it in a more open and collaborative way. And when people collaborate, they are working as part of a team, which means they are more invested in the business.’
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