“90% of employees say the quality of their working environment adversely affects their attitude about their work.”
Source: Gensler US Workplace Survey (2014).
Soledad Berbegal, strategic director of the brand Actiu, recent winner of the National Design Award.
I want to begin talking about 2018 with an idea in mind: people. They are the most valuable business asset we have. They are the drivers of our brands, the watchmen of our companies, the hands that shape our future. Taking care of them is essential, and ensuring their wellbeing in the workplace is a goal that benefits not just the company’s efficiency and productivity, but the employees’ health and happiness.
Our challenge as a brand is to create environments where people feel good in the work context, enabling them to be more productive, creative and sustainable. At the same time, we aim to help other brands on this path of change in which people’s wellbeing is the focus. Because an optimistic worker performs better, generates a more positive atmosphere and is more creative and involved in the company’s everyday activities.
Today we are immersed in an unprecedented process of digital transformation, and all our paradigms are changing. As new work methods arise and new generations demand other enhancements, it’s necessary to rethink our physical spaces and adapt them to new realities. Old settings are being reborn as new spaces in which people collaborate, learn, create and work.
Actiu is ready to accompany any brand that wants to make the change. Reformulate its workspaces and adapt them to new realities. Study its work processes and give its teams the tools they need to perform different tasks throughout the day in the best possible context. Because if we don’t do the same thing all day long, why is our space always the same?
At Actiu, we have christened this movement Cool Working, a philosophy that sees environments as active elements that help companies generate value, in which people take center stage, above the work they do. By designing spaces and furniture as tools, we can create customized solutions that take into account the current trends and the characteristics of the environment where the furniture will be used.
Change is afoot. We are heading towards a working world defined by greater spatial mobility (no fixed workstations, for example), sustainability, locally sourced materials, modular spaces easily adjusted and adapted for the needs of every organization, and the existence of many more places to meet and socialize with others. In this environment, where offices are meeting points for work teams or places that enhance concentration, design and furniture can greatly help every space to be adapted and suited to the demands of specific users.
Because companies that know how to meet the needs of their workers, look after their health, retain talent, foster creativity and recognize the importance of the emotional salary (in which wellbeing and professional happiness are valued above one’s wage) will be prepared to meet the challenges presented by the new paradigms.
And with a big challenge on the horizon, we begin 2018, a year in which we celebrate our 50th anniversary. And we owe it all to them: the people who make up the great Actiu family.