The location of an office block is a key factor to consider, but not just for standard needs like transport links or proximity to a major city. Staff within the office look outside throughout their day, and their surrounds impact on their levels of inspiration and sense of purpose. Dorado’s Perth office is surrounded by some of the oldest buildings in the city’s history. While it may seem counterintuitive for forward-thinking design, Dorado’s conscious choice to locate an office near historic buildings serves as a constant reminder of its purpose to endure, and inspires the team to angle its thinking towards the long-term before they even step foot into the office.
While the surrounding locale can remind us of a long-term purpose, office buildings themselves need to be adaptable to the modern world. Located within buildings designed in Sydney by Harry Seidler, and in Perth by Kerry Hill, Dorado’s offices are ahead of the curve in their architecture. Instead of playing catch up as technology develops, these leading architects designed offices that have the capability to adapt to technology as it emerges, and as the future needs of any business within the buildings change.
As the working needs of offices change, office design needs to accommodate different styles to suit different situations. Floor plans are becoming more open with each new development, but in light of recent criticisms of this style on sustained productivity, it’s down to designers and developers to figure out how to make these spaces work.
For the Dorado offices, this comes in the form of sectioned spaces for activity-based working. Within the one floor, different spaces inspire different working mindsets across the entire spectrum of deep work to group collaboration. Focus pods allow for staff to isolate themselves and sink into uninterrupted deep work, closed meeting rooms decked out with TV screens and cameras for cross-state collaboration enable focus groups to form when needed, and an open space with desks and computer screens to connect and disconnect laptops to allow staff to hotspot every day.
Sectioned workspaces have not been around forever, and undoubtedly new workspace innovations will come with time.
With each area provided access to whiteboards, video conferencing, and connection points, staff can change where they work according to what they are working on, when they are working on it, and who they are working with. In the boardroom, a round table maintains a non-hierarchical, psychologically safe environment; with no one person sitting at the head of the table, everyone contributes ideas. It’s at the heart of sustaining a collaborative mentality across both offices, facilitating problem solving and solution finding.
Sectioned workspaces have not been around forever, and undoubtedly new workspace innovations will come with time. An open floor plan brings extra benefits by allowing design to change. Based on extensive research around increasing focus in meetings, for example, a recent redesign of one group area was made to encourage standing meetings and reduce phone usage.
The energy of an office is built on its design, and as more IP-based businesses are created every day, that energy needs to be inspiring. Whether it be using an entire outside wall to let in natural light and showcase stunning natural views, adding plants to every corner, or creating a feature wall of forest greenery, working nature into the office space provides a sense of place and connects everyone to the outside landscape.
Ultimately, a business runs on the wellbeing of its staff. While processes are put in place to suit each company individually, the design of the office itself is a key way to inspire wellbeing. This could be installing stand up desks to reduce the amount of time staff spend sitting per day and improve their physical health, thinking carefully about the design capabilities of the staff hub to help keep staff fuelled mentally throughout the day, or even working in spaces for staff to go for a change of pace. For Dorado, that’s the rooftop for a lunch and fitness spot, and a cornered-off couch facing onto the river to inspire reflection and creativity.