Work Is Changing; Workspaces Are, Too
P&G’s Sustainable Spaces Prioritize Collaboration, Productivity and Wellness
Step into any P&G facility worldwide and you might find something new, like creative innovation suites, outdoor workspaces, modular upcycled furniture or calm spaces to recharge and connect with nature.
With the rapid rise of hybrid work, the role of the workplace is changing. And so are the needs of employees. At P&G, the Digital Workplace Services team is making sure P&G offices are engaging workspaces that support the way people work today and are ready for the future.
“There has been an industry-wide shift in the primary type of work happening at the office from individual focus work to more group collaboration, although there will always be a mix,” says Nick Dewald, an architect and design manager in Digital Workplace Services.
In response to that shift, the team is creating functional, sustainable spaces that foster collaboration, productivity and wellness.
“The technology, types of spaces and furnishings are evolving to accommodate and encourage the collaboration and innovation that can’t take place remotely,” Nick explains.
The result is a better employee experience that is vital to attracting and retaining top talent around the world. These employees, in turn, deliver a superior product experience for consumers.
Enabling Flexibility through Top Tech
Nick and his colleague Ervin Perviz joined P&G’s Digital Workplace Services group in Cincinnati four years ago. Even before the pandemic, they were focused on tying technology into each workspace in a way that fostered reliable remote communication, flexibility and engaging in-person collaboration.
“This includes seamlessly integrating technology so the employee connecting remotely can engage and contribute just as much as the person in a meeting room with their team,” Ervin says.
For example, at our office in Guangzhou, China, screens and cameras are present in a wide variety of spaces above and beyond enclosed meeting rooms. This ensures that no matter where collaborative activity is taking place in the office, remote participants can engage. This strategy also maximizes the flexibility and utilization of all spaces.
As hybrid working becomes integral to optimizing the employee experience, P&G’s workplace design teams are improving their understanding of how to create workspace for on-site populations that ebb and flow. The goal is to operate the buildings effectively, provide service amenities such as dining/catering, cleaning or even facilities/concierge support, and ensure that the appropriate quantities and types of workspaces exist for employees to perform at their peak.
“Really, it’s about making the space more dynamic, and a place where you can really get things done,” adds Ervin.
Nurturing by Nature
It’s no secret that our surroundings can influence how we feel and affect how well we work. That’s why the P&G team carefully designs to maximize daylight and incorporate natural materials into furnishings.
“Health and well-being must be in the DNA of any workplace project,” Nick said. “Physical and mental health are closely linked, and we are incorporating design strategies that can impact both.”
At the Madrid GO, natural daylight illuminates a variety of seat types that provide employees with ergonomic choices for how to work throughout the day. Greenery, uplifting artwork, and natural colors and materials create a comfortable and energizing environment.
Supporting employee well-being is closely linked to P&G’s outward commitments to improving everyday lives, as well as preserving the planet.
“Sustainability at our sites is critical to achieving the broad environmental ambitions that P&G is striving for,” said Fred Spittael, P&G’s Global Architect. “We consider the environmental impact of every decision that gets made on our projects, and we’re working with our facility managers to ensure that every space operates effectively.”
Sustainable design was at the forefront of the Singapore Innovation Center’s S*Park project, which utilized carpets made out of upcycled fishing nets, walls constructed of 100% bio-based “Ecor” board, and wall finishes consisting of both cork (up to 80% biodegradable) and live plants that help filter the air within the space.
Designing for One and All
P&G’s Workplace Design group works with architects all over the world to ensure continuity in its spaces while allowing for creativity.
“All P&G sites should function and feel like a P&G place in diverse locations,” says Fred. “We bring in diversity through unique elements that showcase the local culture and P&G history for each office.”
At the Lima General Office in Peru, city geography and its various local forms (urban, natural, oceanic) influenced the look and feel of different zones of the office, complete with native plants and a Peruvian cultural mural by a local artist.
Throughout P&G, designers are addressing accessibility gaps in workspaces, so that offices not only reflect their unique identity but are inclusive for all. Thoughtful attention is paid to universal design – designing for everyone, which goes beyond traditional accessibility to address impairments both visible and invisible.
“Our Universal Design vision is to create workplace environments that are usable by all, to the greatest extent possible, driving connectedness and collaboration among P&G teams and prioritizing employee well-being.” Says Fred.
Across the globe, workplaces at P&G are becoming magnets for talent and platforms for innovation. They’re supporting the company’s focus on delivering a superior employee experience – and bringing teams together to serve consumers in this new era of work.
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