Trendy office environments attract the best team players

How Pulsant uncovered the benefits of playfulness in the heart of London’s business district

When Stephen Spittal and his team from Pulsant's London contingent moved into their New Broad Street offices near Liverpool Street station he was quite happy to describe their aesthetic requirements as ‘vanilla’.

Yes, they needed somewhere in Zone 1 at the heart of London’s business district so they could look after clients in the immediate vicinity.

Yes, they wanted to be able to welcome these clients to their offices proudly rather than apologetically, which had been the case with the previous office space down the road.

And yes, they expected facilities to be state of the art to complement their positioning at the heart of business technology, helping clients manage and store crucial data efficiently and safely.

And that’s about it. So long as the décor was neutral and well maintained, the Pulsant team would be happy.

But when clients and vendors arrive for meetings it's not the location that they comment on first (though the offices are superbly placed for all central London transport.)

Nor is it the elegant Portland stone building or the impressive and well-designed mezzanine space into which they are welcomed.

Nor is it the fantastic facilities which the office manager and team maintain superbly, solving any problems swiftly with a ‘can-do’ attitude.

No. It’s the super-sized iconic Monopoly pieces that catch their eye. The enormous dog token. The property cards forming part of the wall décor. The gigantic bowler hat (this is the City, after all).

Because behind every 'vanilla' executive is a human being with a distant but powerful connection to their childhood selves. And contemporary research has uncovered the benefits of playfulness:

“People who exhibit high levels of playfulness—those who are predisposed to being spontaneous, outgoing, creative, fun-loving, and lighthearted—appear to be better at coping with stress, more likely to report leading active lifestyles, and more likely to succeed academically.”

The Boston Globe_, What playfulness can do for you,_ July 20, 2014

Stephen calls the office design ‘quirky’, and he and his team evidently delight in their well-planned, contemporary space and the impact it has on visitors. But the trend towards playful working environments isn’t simply about brightening the business day – though that’s a pretty good reason in itself. Playfulness in the workplace is now seen to have a real impact on the bottom line.

On 4 February 2014 New Chapter Recruitment posted this to their website:

“33 percent of FMCG/Consumer businesses in the UK have developed trendy office environments in order to attract and retain the best talent, and a high percentage (88 percent) say that they’re proud to work in this type of environment as we discovered in our latest research ‘Playful office environments – fad or future?

…This finding is in sharp contrast to the levels of satisfaction experienced amongst people who work in a more formal environment.”

And an organisation with a reputation as a great place to work is naturally attractive to the finest talent who bring in the most business.

Office Space in Town's trademark is its stylish, high-quality, well-planned working spaces with strikingly playful twists.

“We like that it feels informal here, but if you ever need something the team can’t do enough to help and will always find a way to get something done,’ says Stephen.

‘We keep strange working hours at times, people are here early and late…’ he pauses ‘…but it’s made easy as this is simply a nice environment to be in.”

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