Fostering dynamic and inclusive workplaces for employees
Workplace Experience Design (WXD) is on the rise, as organisations increasingly acknowledge its significance in shaping dynamic and engaging work environments that enhance employee wellbeing, productivity, and a profound sense of belonging, said Tim Larson, recently appointed as Unispace’s Managing Director, Asia and Chief Creative Officer.
Larson, who brings over 27 years of experience in experiential design, emphasised the need for workplaces to reflect the values and needs of the workforce in meaningful ways. He cited examples from Nike and Orrick, where Unispace created workplace environments that fostered a sense of belonging and connection to the brand among employees.
Particularly for Orrick, a global law firm committed to inclusivity, Unispace created a sense of belonging for employees in their Los Angeles office through an Art for Impact programme, featuring an art-filled space that is inherently inclusive with collaboration technology in every room, and multi-use accessible spaces for people with different abilities.
“Workplace experience needs to reflect the values and needs of the occupants in meaningful ways, diverse workforces need to ‘see themselves’ in the spaces they occupy through art, through interfaces, through materials, finishers, and furniture choices,” he told HRM Asia.
Larson also highlighted the importance of HR professionals in the collaborative process of designing workplaces. He stated that, as the voice of employees, HR must ensure that workplace experiences align with the organisation’s culture and values.
“The attention to workplace experience is more important than ever as organisations and employees navigate the return to the office and the evolving nature of work,” he said. “The intentionality of design to create environments that cater to happiness, wellness, security, a sense of belonging and shared values helps to support a more happy and healthy workplace community and support organisations by attracting and retaining the best and the brightest.”
Larson has played a pivotal role in building Downstream, a Unispace subsidiary specialising in experiential design. He has led the organisation’s work in creating user-activated environments, pioneering new approaches in innovation spaces, technology labs, visit centres, retail stores, sports and entertainment venues, and public space communication technology.
“Asia is a fast-evolving market, where we have seen a strong return to office trends,” he concluded. “Organisations are also eager to adapt to learn about the latest workplace trends creating work environments that will accelerate the employee experience and contribute to people and business success.”