2 March 2015
When you compare office spaces now to how they were fifteen or twenty years ago, so much has changed. I think a lot of that is down to people realising how important environment is to productivity and wellbeing, and businesses looking to places like Google and Facebook to learn and be inspired.
When we first moved into UKFast Campus, there was a massive building job to be done and when I look back on that now, it’s amazing to see how much great work the builders have done. I know I drove them a bit mad along the way with being a perfectionist.
One particularly exasperating moment for them was probably when I asked them to pull up the carpet they’d just laid because the underlay didn’t give the homely, luxurious feeling that I wanted it to. But for me, it’s all about how you make people feel, and that comes down to the colours you use, the dimensions of the space, and even the lighting.
There are very few straight lines in the building, for instance, just as there are very few straight lines in nature. Instead, there are lots of curves and interesting angles, which actually helps to get people thinking more creatively.
Just before we moved from City Tower, we painted the walls a really vibrant green colour, which people started associating with the feel of the space, even calling it ‘UKFast green’! So when we made the transition to our new home, the first thing we did was to get this colour on the walls, getting that association straight away to help people settle in.
We’ve incorporated that colour into the design at Le Farinet and it’s the same with the wood we use, which Gail and I immediately loved the first time we visited Richard Branson’s lodge. You’ll find that same wood around Le Farinet and UKFast Campus, and Gail and I even have it in our house. It’s great when we take the team to Verbier, as it’s familiar, making them feel immediately at home.
When we moved to UKFast Campus, it was our goal to create a workplace where people actually enjoy spending their time, and I really hope we’ve achieved that.