BuroHappold hosts ‘Healthy Office’ business breakfast
On the 20th of April BuroHappold Engineering hosted a business breakfast “Healthy Office” in its new office space in Warsaw. The event was organised in cooperation with Philips Lighting and was attended by key stakeholders from the commercial office sector in Poland.
Ian Booth, partner at BuroHappold Engineering, Jiří Tourek, GM, Philips Lighting and Maciej Żłobiński, owner of Activus invited the guests to a discussion about future of workplaces and solutions that enhance employees’ wellbeing and productivity. The primary goal of the event was to share knowledge on the key trends and latest thinking changing today’s offices. After a networking session accompanied by truly healthy bites and organic juices, Ian Booth, showed the guests around the company’s new office introducing the latest technologies and solutions that have a positive impact on health and wellbeing of company’s employees.
Katarzyna Chwalbińska-Kusek, business development and marketing manager, BuroHappold, discussion moderator, opened the discussion by introducing the topic of health and productivity in offices. Katarzyna highlighted that about 90% of business costs are connected to staffing costs, including salaries and benefits, whereas energy and rental costs account for only 10%. This is why, an office environment should boost employees’ health and well-being.
Then, Ian Booth shared the story of BuroHappold’s new healthy office, which is a living lab test environment for cutting edge office design. He admitted that the key factors, that were critical in creating this efficient space are: acoustics, lighting, HVAC design. As he said “We designed Our New Healthy Office to showcase what we offer to clients: cost-effective, sustainable engineering solutions that make buildings work for people.”
During his presentation, Jiří Tourek indicated that what was challenging when moving Philips premises in Prague recently was redefinition of firm’s culture. As he said “The greatest impact was felt in working desk arrangement, choosing location and the need for team cooperation.”
The closing voice in the discussion was from Maciej Żłobiński who sits on the board of the National Society of Ergonomics. Maciej drew the attendees attention to work ergonomics, and the way we sit at the desk can have a tremendous impact on our health. Unfortunately this aspect is often forgotten in the light of the fancy designer furniture and trendy solutions that can often have very negative long-term effects.
Workplaces have changed beyond recognition over the last 100 years – from task-oriented, autonomous desk working at the beginning of the 20th century to the flexible and collaborative working practices we embrace in the 21st. A modern office needs to serve its users. Companies that offer an efficient, healthy office space can enjoy its benefits, such as a decrease in absenteeism and staff turnover which, in turn, leads to an increase in efficiency. That’s how they can bring competitive advantage. In the long-term, these factors can have a significant impact on a company’s financial results.
Agnieszka Kalinowska –Sołtys, director at APA Wojciechowski Architects, who attended the event shared her impressions about the new office space: „The new BuroHappold Engineering office, arranged mostly in open plan, is a very good example of a modern approach to designing a workplace for an engineering company. The office offers a good atmosphere for creative work for the employees who need silence, a place to focus and at the same time work in teams. Very well designed technical installations, lighting and acoustics make working in an open office space pleasant for ears and eyes of the employees. Engineers from BuroHappold can also enjoy a number of conference rooms , “phone booths” and small quiet working rooms where, depending on the needs, they can work in teams or individually.”