Investment firms should recognise the merits of a professionally designed workplace; employees’ surroundings directly impact on a company’s productivity and morale, and thus a business’ turnover. Nevertheless, each firm is different; so how can one anticipate what will work for a company?
A little outside inspiration can work wonders. When it comes to the working environment of investment firms, there is no rulebook that dictates that a company’s corporate space should be void of creativity. Quite the contrary: today, trends are developing in the field of office space planning. Companies like Office Monster are providing simple design solutions and financial companies are taking guidance from the likes of Google and Facebook in a bid to attract top talent and create a desirable working environment. Investment firms, both existing and new, should take note and invigorate their office to reap the rewards.
We review recent case studies to share insight into modern office design for investment firms.
Case Study #1: CME Group
As the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, the CME Group understandably recognised the importance of their office space and relocated to enable improvements. Moving into One New Change—an enviable office overlooking St Paul’s—provided the firm with scope to revamp their office. Employing the assistance of a professional service company, the CME Group was able to implement an effective office layout to ensure the space best presented the company and encouraged communications between employees.
With consideration of the office’s specifications, design and relocation experts installed suspended ceilings and raised floors to create cellular offices, meeting and conference rooms, a café, and staff breakout areas. With the city skyline visible from the high windows, an emphasis was placed on forming a modern, open space that encouraged interaction—whether staff were brainstorming amongst each other or conversing with clients.
While the functionality of a space is of utmost importance, it is essential to channel your company’s brand. The CME Group’s new office is professional, inviting, and stylish, which appeals to employees and clients alike—both existing and prospective—and will have a profound impact on the company’s productivity.
Case Study #2: Natixis Global Asset Management
For the office fit-out of Natixis Global Asset Management, designers at Interactive Space took inspiration from the office’s proximity to St Paul’s (the cathedral itself is reflected in the glass façade of the premises at 1 Carter Lane). Here, the brief was to create a strong design statement—far from the stereotypical brief of companies in the financial sector. The project was an opportunity to redefine the concept of traditional within the investment sector, in order to create a modern office.
In the reception area, a photograph of St Paul’s was laser-etched onto a large sheet of glass, which is subtly lit from above and below by LED lights. The result is a dramatic yet elegant backdrop, which creates a welcoming site for all who enter. In the main working area, it was decided that colleagues would benefit from an open-plan layout. The desks were tailor-made to fit, as were the 124 desk lamps and the desktop storage units. The idea was to build a space where colleagues could work fluidly together. To enhance the sense of creativity within the office, ARTIQ—a London-based art consultancy—enriched the corporate colour scheme with thought-provoking artworks. The finished effect presented a seamless blend of professional and inspiring.
Do not be afraid to be bold in your design, as a striking office will enhance a company’s sense of professionalism. Take a leaf out of Natixis’ book and fuse corporate with creative to discern your brand from others.