An emphasis on workplace design is crucial for companies to aid their growth and success. For European IT services corporation Atos, the interior environment of its new office in Whitefield, Bengaluru had to reflect and reinforce the business’s core values — a task that was handed over into the able hands of DSP Design Associates.
With vast experience in creating award-winning commercial projects, the Mumbai-based architecture and design firm knew exactly which goals to pursue in the project. “Openness, collaboration and transparency are the attributes companies strive for today, and the office is the ideal place to showcase culture to the most important aspect of any company — its people,” says Vikrant Bhatkar, director – CRE, DSP Design Associates. And that’s exactly what DSP delivered.
People really are at the centre of the design language of the Atos office. The double-heighted lobby holds the reception area, lounge and meeting spaces in an open plan and showcases the company logo and colours juxtaposed with earthy palettes. From the vertical green wall and the double-heighted glazing that allows ample of daylight in to the natural-looking blinds, each element lends a warm, inviting touch to the workspace. “As a design principle, we try to get in as much natural light in the open space as possible, which reduces stress on employees,” explains Bhatkar.
The main office space is curated with several activity-based work settings, and feature ergonomics, postural change and cultural aspects as key factors. “The workspaces are constantly evolving,” shares Bhatkar, “Earlier, collaboration was the key word and the concept was probably pushed a bit too far. Now, people are rediscovering the need for quiet work settings and the value of focus work., which is, in turn, compelling us to make appropriate spatial design.” DSP identified that collaboration and quietness are two ends of a continuum with a range of in-between work modes — each with an optimal setting. The design team put in time to identify daily work patterns and micro-moments that correspond to office design decisions and selected furniture accordingly.
The result is that Atos’ office is not characterised by a sea of workstations placed in succession. Instead, throughout the office, one finds multiple nooks — either for individuals or groups — to gather, relax or deliberate. Each space is distinct, which adds a refreshing quality to the office. Such spaces are interspersed in between workstation rows or in secluded corners that give an impression of an informal living room. Additionally, multiple breakout zones enliven the mood with bright colours and quirky furniture.
Research shows that the more opportunities an office provides with multiple work settings, the more improved is the productivity. Bhatkar shares, “We believe that no person can be optimally productive in a single spot throughout the day. So, we create multiple spaces that may be termed as ‘collaborative’, which serve as buffer spaces in otherwise simple open-plan offices.” DSP designed the office to be multifunctional in nature, thus keeping all spaces relevant through the day. “Take, for example, the cafeteria. It is also used as a training room, smaller huddle space, for team meetings, etc, which then reduces the requirement of meeting rooms,” explains Bhatkar. This model also creates a number of alternative workspaces that employees can enjoy flexibility and choose to work from anywhere in the office at any point of the day. Additionally, DSP peppered these spaces with design elements such as hexagon ceiling, warm pendant lamps, colourful carpets and furnishings, wallpapers, etc, to heighten the senses and invigorate the office space.
This ambitious design came about with the help of able partners who helped complete the transformation quicker and more efficiently. The Atos office is studded with world-class furniture that complements the design ethos as well as adds versatility and uniqueness to the space. “We had prior experience working with China-headquartered Sunon, which has an office in Bengaluru, on a few customisations on various projects. So, we brought them onboard as partners for the Atos office as well,” mentions Bhatkar. Sunon, the 27-year-old furniture company, provided office solutions, some of them customised.
In its programme, a corporate culture is always at the risk of coming across as cold and disenchanting. When design steps in to break the monotony and infuse the office space with a sense of well-being, energy and productivity, you get a place like Atos — a haven that employees love to walk in to every single weekday.