In an engaging interview, Sibani Sarma from Idream spends time with renowned architect Alhad Gore to discuss the importance of space as a fulcrum for creating connections at the workplace. The conversation explores the integration of food as a focal point in certain work environments, where it serves as a magnet for employee retention and fosters a sense of connection. Gore shares insights from his experience working with tech giants who prioritize good food and research detailed menus to create a space where employees feel happy and motivated.
The conversation, recorded in the form of a video for the series ‘Reframe‘ presented by Bristol Furniture, shed light on the role of design in enhancing employee engagement, productivity, and a sense of purpose at the workplace.
The interview delves into the transformation of cafeterias into multifunctional spaces beyond meal hours. Gore highlights the importance of utilizing the cafeteria space effectively to support office management and provide additional amenities for employees. He emphasizes the need for non-traditional workspaces, where employees can work with their laptops, conduct meetings, and engage in small training sessions. By repurposing the cafeteria, organizations create an environment that promotes collaboration and strengthens the bond among employees.
This interview is videographed (watch it here) at an office location that Gore designed. He showcases a unique space within the office designed as a joining bridge between two sections of a building. Inspired by Bollywood and Mumbai themes, the space exudes a cheerful and fluid ambiance. It serves as a recreational area for employees, featuring TVs for meetings and team gatherings. The architect explains how such spaces contribute to bonding among colleagues, creating a sense of community and connection within the organization.
The conversation takes an interesting turn as Gore describes his design philosophy. He rejects the notion of having a specific design style, emphasizing the importance of thinking beyond predefined categories. By avoiding a fixed style, architects can explore new perspectives and think outside the box. This approach encourages innovative and unconventional designs that transcend traditional boundaries.
Gore shares his personal journey and reveals that he would have pursued a career in medicine if not for architecture. This revelation highlights his deep-rooted passion for helping others and making a positive impact. He expresses his contentment and states that nothing easily angers him, demonstrating a state of mind that allows him to approach his work with a calm and open attitude.
The interview concludes with a discussion on the evolving nature of office design. Gore explains that post-pandemic, workplaces are shifting toward experiential design, focusing on creating spaces that foster connection, collaboration, and employee wellness. By incorporating hospitality elements into office design, organizations aim to make the office environment enjoyable and inviting, similar to a restaurant or a club. This approach encourages employees to return to the office and facilitates meaningful interactions.
Gore’s insights shed light on the importance of designing spaces that mold community behavior. He highlights the power of design in shaping how individuals interact and engage with their surroundings. Through thoughtful design choices, such as creating multifunctional rooms and incorporating elements of comfort and hospitality, architects can influence community behavior and foster a sense of belonging within the workspace.
In the end, Gore and Sarma reflect on the significance of creating employee-centric workspaces that prioritize connection and well-being. They acknowledge the positive impact of organizations that provide opportunities for personal and professional growth, treating employees as more than mere production units. With a shared appreciation for the power of design and the value of human connection, they conclude the interview with coffee and cookies, appreciating the karma of life and work.
Watch the full video here