Interact is a Southwark, London-based organisation that’s committed to the development of human effectiveness through behavioural sciences and performance-improvement methodologies. Put simply, they use expert actor-based training programmes to deliver results for enterprises of every size and kind.
Their world-class approach encompasses proven principles, disciplines and results-based interactions among people in their work environment.
And their solutions and effectiveness stretch from top to bottom, from post-room to the boardroom.
What’s more, from their London offices their 1,500 strong global associate team, all trained to work in the Interact way, can deliver their solutions wherever clients are in the world.
Our client wanted to upgrade their Southwark office. It had been their home for about 10 years and the space was tired and in real need of a makeover.
During the briefing phase of the project, it became clear that they were a very close team, describing themselves as a ‘work family’.
As usual with our clients, we spent a lot of time with them, understanding how they operated, and their unique processes and challenges. For example, it’s not every company who has a list of over 200 actors who they need to trawl through to decide who’s the best match for a client and their training.
Structurally we changed very little. In this refurbishment our work was more of an aesthetic overhaul.
The focal point for the whole office area was a large ‘family’ sofa, a place for them to gather as a team, as small groups or individually. As a refreshing change to most office layouts, all the desks were positioned so that everyone faced mainly toward the middle. This allows for far better communication and collaboration.
With a few cyclists amongst the client team but nowhere to leave their bikes, we created a bike shed in an awkward corner, with the bikes hanging on the wall as works of art.
We had great fun designing an area for the client’s team to use to choose which actors to select for an assignment. We created a board lit with dressing room style lighting and all of the actors images on magnetic Polaroids.
The old kitchen, which was tucked away in a small room, was completely opened up to the corridor to become an inviting facility for both staff and clients.
Existing storage units were given a new lease of life with artist commissioned graphics of quotes that related to the company’s ethos.
We undertook the project with the client team in full occupation, which posed some challenges to ensure they could keep operating. They kindly closed off the training facility, which we were able to us as swing space.
We then worked very closely with the client through every phase of the refurbishment – meeting them on a daily basis to agree which areas we could work in and when.
We took advantage of the downtime available during most weekends but the client’s flexibility allowed us to complete the project in a shorter timescale than we had all first imagined possible.
Having lived through every stage of the refurbishment, the client’s team still felt the end result was very much worth the wait.
It was clear that the change from the old, cold and tired environment couldn’t have been more welcome.
By incorporating new work practices into the very design and layout of the restyled office, the Interact team now work far more efficiently than before, as well as having a great new workspace.