New Agile Working Environment for the Global Supply Chain
UNILEVER SCC ASCC
Floor Area: 2`350 m2
Work Style: Agile
Completion: June 2011
- Project Management
- Construction Management
- Research & Brief Development
- Full Architectural Services
- Workplace Design
With the expansion of the Schaffhausen offices to create the main European hub for Unilever’s Supply Chain Company, Unilever asked Evolution Design to create their new 2‘300 m2 office with an identity that would clearly reflect and represent their core values and visions to employees, clients and visitors alike.
Showcase Agile Workplace design
Unilever wanted to make the Schaffhausen Hub a showcase of its new global ‘Agile Workplace’ design: a flexible approach designed around activities to maximise collaboration, employee engagement, health and wellbeing. Agile workplaces contain different zones designed to support different types of work activities: Focus Zones for individual working, Connect Zones for collaboration and Vitality Zones to socialise and revitalise.
Evolution Design’s concept created a new workspace layout to support the Unilever values and visions in the context of Agile Working. It was essential to transform existing traditional workspaces into flexible space designed to drive innovation and ideas sharing. This was achieved by distributing differentiated functions along the periphery of the building, and additionally creating an open, centrally located staircase linking all three floors for visual and social connectivity. The new open-plan office creates a greater sense of a single team working together, and allows for people to choose where they sit, depending on the team they are working with on any given day.
“In the Focus Zones, the goal was to create well-designed and innovative spaces that motivate and inspire employees to excel in their daily work. Within this zone, designated Quiet Areas offer a diverse range of work areas with different moods and atmospheres, such as the cozy and soothing ‘Library’ or energizing ‘Garden’. This creates a choice for the employees depending on their preference and increases their feeling of wellbeing,” says architect Tanya Ruegg.
The fresh and vibrant ‘Deli-Bar’ and the warm and inviting ‘Coffee Hub’ in the Vitality Zone introduce new social spaces on the building’s two main floors. Their central location makes them an informal alternative to meeting rooms, for collaboration, networking and creative brainstorming. Dedicating special areas for employees to revitalise and relax also brings to life for employees Unilever’s commitment to helping people ‘feel good, look good and get more out of life’.
Strong identity and branding
Throughout the space, the Unilever brands create a constant theme. The idea of creating a sense of belonging and employee pride in Unilever was designed at many levels; strong visual branding on the core elements, displaying Unilever visions and values. Mixed product branding was cleverly employed in the individual meeting room designs, with each meeting room representing and named after selected Unilever brands. And finally, Quiet Areas and Vitality Zones were even designed with a concept of atmospheric branding through the use of brand or product attributes creating moods that evoke feelings of certain brand attributes.
Engaging employees and visitors on so many different levels, Unilever’s new offices in Schaffhausen are an excellent example how a company can bring its core values and vision to life in the context of an agile workplace – creating a flexible space designed to bring collaboration and engagement together to design a truly great place to work.