In this conversation between Architect Rahul Kadam of NGK Studio and workplace transformation expert Sibani Sarma from Idream, they discuss the importance of activity based working in being ‘employee-centric’. This is from a series of conversations titled ‘Reframe’, presented by Bristol Furniture, that explores various facets of a shift in organisations thinking towards becoming employee centric from decades of being employer centricity. There are various facets of being employee centric and Reframe, through each episode, captures some of these. Reframe is about looking at employees as the fulcrum of an organisation’s growth.
Rahul emphasizes the need to understand employees’ requirements and aspirations through end-user interviews to create a suitable design brief. They also highlight the shift from traditional workstations to activity-based working (ABW), where employees have the freedom to work both indoors and outdoors.
Rahul emphasizes the connection between nature and workspace design, mentioning the five elements of nature that can rejuvenate employees during their eight-hour workday. The conversation highlights the inclusion of outdoor meeting rooms and strategy-based collaborative workspaces in the facility to cater to extroverts’ needs. For introverts, there are spaces like yoga rooms and libraries that provide solitude while still being surrounded by nature.
When asked about the changes they would make in pre-COVID designed workplaces, Rahul emphasizes the lack of respect for nature and suggests incorporating outdoor workspaces alongside conditioned spaces. He believes that nature and built spaces should coexist and create a synergistic environment.
During a rapid-fire round, Rahul reveals that he is a morning person who prefers sweets and finds a balance between physical strain and mental strength. His favorite age was when he graduated from architecture school because he wanted to explore the world. He expresses a willingness to skydive but hasn’t done it yet.
Regarding spaces that don’t work as planned, Rahul mentions conducting feedback meetings and evidence-based mapping after the project is handed over. This helps identify any shortcomings and allows for potential augmentations to align with the revised requirements. Rahul stresses the importance of being present during these augmentations to ensure the holistic concept is maintained.
Overall, the conversation highlights the significance of understanding employees’ needs, incorporating nature into workspace design, and continuously evaluating and adapting the spaces to create an employee-centric environment.