Jumping Off the Bandwagon – Helping Businesses Defy Workspace Trends

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Following a design trend is all well and good if you want to do what everyone else is doing. But what if you want to throw ‘standard’ out of the window. What if you want to create a space for your business that makes everyone else want to be like you? How can innovative, forward-thinking ventures ensure they have an office to match? Working with a trailblazing interior designer is a great place to start.

Take the Sheila Bird Group, for instance, a ground-breaking, unique interior design company that challenges the norms of office design and works closely with clients, including Bruntwood customers, to create an interesting experience that users can engage with and cherish.

Sheila Bird Group specialises in interior office refits and new developments and, according to owner Atul Bansal, the interior design experts are starting to see much more of what he calls ‘anti-trend’.

“The place for the interior designer in the way that we know it has disappeared,” says Atul. “People used to follow trends, such as a certain colour but I think that’s all gone now. I think the role of the designer is something much more interesting than it ever was.”

We are seeing more and more, that office space is now more about the people and their needs. “Businesses are starting to understand you have to cater for individuality, if you want to stand out among your peers in terms of business,” says Atul.

Bruntwood’s Adam Tillis, Head of Building and Construction has witnessed the same phenomenon. “Modern office buildings have to account for much more than just workspace, to accommodate the changing ways of working,” he says. “Whereas ten years ago, a building would consist of multiple offices, those buildings now may need to include coworking desks, breakout areas, lounge spaces and retail offerings; all to making the working lives of the people within those buildings that much easier. Work and home life are merging and it is key we design in all home comforts and experiences into the space people work in.

“A building can’t cater for just one trend, it has to have different layers and to create a successful interior design, you have to create flexibility.”

It’s an approach that, together, Sheila Bird and Bruntwood have successfully applied for a range of customers- to stunning effect. These include several leading digital and creative businesses in the North West, such as social media marketing agency Social Chain – whose space at Bruntwood’s West Village in Manchester were recently featured in ITV drama Cold Feet. Atul was also instrumental in the design of the spaces at Bruntwood’s Bright Building at Manchester Science Park, which challenge traditional design concepts by focussing on community centric design that works across organisational and functional boundaries.

                                                                                          Image: Social Chain                                                                                 Image: Bright Building

Excitingly, Sheila Bird is now set to inject its renowned brand of creativity into the commercial buildings at Bruntwood’s Circle Square, Manchester’s newest city centre neighbourhood.

In every instance, Atul and the Bruntwood team, place people at the heart of office space design. And this applies to the personal, bespoke way that design consultations take place with customers. At the same time, it’s important to make sure, when designing spaces, that the companies they are working with are making design decisions for the right reasons. “Sometimes spaces can be designed too much,” says Atul. “After talking to businesses we’ll soon find they’re making trend-based observations.” Atul and his team aim to combat this by questioning their reasoning. And finally, Atul helps his customers to continue developing their space by never finishing the interior they start. “You must empower the company to carry on developing the space after you leave.”

So, Sheila Bird’s experts and Bruntwood are doing a pretty good job when it comes to defying office space convention, and the places they’re creating are all the better for it. To sum it all up, Adam Tillis says, “Atul and the Sheila Bird team deliver extraordinary and engaging spaces which are all about community - they design in a way that celebrates what is unique about people and place, something that Bruntwood is extremely passionate about.”

Atul from Sheila Bird will be speaking alongside Bruntwood representatives at Bisnow’s upcoming Manchester Office Mania event on 8th November.

                                                                                                     Image: Sheila Bird Group

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