What the World of Work Looks Like in 2014: Interviews with 3 London Professionals

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Photography, Ashley Jouhar

Photography, Ashley Jouhar

What does the world of work look like in 2014? We visited an office building in Farringdon, London, home to Creative and Marketing folk to explore the space and see how people use it

As Image Source photographers begin shooting their business briefing, Creative Director Ashley  Jouhar had a peek round some workspaces in East London. It’s always interesting to see how people edit in their own way, the space created by architects and designers.

Take the image above, the epic photo along the wall featuring a fit, ambitious body heading off to the future, while lying on the desk the 2 packets of crisps tell a different story. These offices, are not wholly representative of every workspace in 2014 but do flag up key themes of how we see work, what we expect from work, and how ‘work’ is always more than how it is accounted for in spreadsheets or planning.

Samantha, Personal Assistant

Have you any work rituals to start the day?

Turn the computer on and then make some breakfast and grab a glass of water to have while checking my emails.

How does this space compare to your previous work space?

This is a much more modern minimalist space than my last office which was in Soho.  My previous office had more of a corporate feel where this definitely feels like a more creative space.  My desk space however was larger than it is now but you adapt quite quickly to the change in space.  Also I now have two screens to work from rather than one.

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Photographer Ashley Jouhar

For working, how does it compare to your space at home?

At home I tend to work on the dining room table on a laptop.

What kind of beverages do you have in the office? Do you go elsewhere?

We have on offer in the kitchen tea and instant coffee and water.  Downstairs we have a café so can pick up cappuccinos, lattes etc as well as juices and cans of soft drinks.

What kinds of interaction do you have with other people in the space?

Quite a lot!  Being the office PA I have lots of visitors to my desk for various reasons.  They can sometimes pull up a chair and sit with me.

Best thing/Worst thing about the space?

The worst thing is lack of storage under the desk for shoes.

Image Source

Photographer Ashley Jouhar

Kevin, Financial Controller

Have you any work rituals to start the day?

Check emails / make Tea/coffee for the pod.

How does this space compare to previous/your first work space?

Much brighter/lighter working conditions to previous. Last place had no windows.

Photographer, Ashley Jouhar

Photographer, Ashley Jouhar

For working, how does it compare to your space at home?

Better results at work than at home / more productive due to the at work facilities (Desk/Workstation) / Less distraction.

What kind of beverages do you have in the office? Do you go elsewhere?

Coffee / Water / Beer on Friday afternoons –  Rarely go elsewhere.

What kinds of interaction do you have with other people in the space?

Friendly Banter / laid back atmosphere.

Best thing/Worst thing about the space?

Best : Relaxed/fun atmosphere.

Worst : Being constantly mocked for travelling through Charlton 2 days a week.

 

Photographer, Ashley Jouhar

Photographer, Ashley Jouhar

Jody, Graphic Designer

Have you any work rituals to start the day?

I turn my computer on, feed the fish in the tank on my desk, make a microwave porridge for breakfast (in the winter) or a bowl of cereal (in the summer), have a little chat with whoever is in the kitchen, then eat at my desk while checking emails.

Photographer Ashley Jouhar

Photographer Ashley Jouhar

How does this space compare to previous/your first work space?

This is by far the nicest office I have ever worked at. We used to sit downstairs in the same building and it always just felt really dark and oppressive, even though the floorplan was similar. I think it’s just how light it is up here. So many people comment on how nice and light it feels as they come up to our floor. I work really long hours anyway, so having daylight at my desk makes a massive difference – otherwise you feel like you never see it!

For working, how does it compare to your space at home?

I much prefer working at work rather than at home. We live in a basement flat (so not much natural light) and I’d end up crouched over my laptop on the dining table, getting distracted by the TV or the fridge! If I have to work on the weekend, I’ll come in for sure. It’s also nice and quiet then so you get loads done.

What kind of beverages do you have in the office? Do you go elsewhere?

Filtered water, instant coffee and tea. We have a multifunction hot/cold water dispenser, a milk dispenser and a kettle in the kitchen. People bring in their own herbal teas etc as well (I have a stash of green tea in my desk drawer). I might sometimes get a takeaway coffee or a carton of juice from outside. If you’re in a meeting there will often be big bottles of still and sparkling water on the table, and sometimes a jug of juice.

What kinds of interaction do you have with other people in the space?

In my job, I work with people from lots of different departments and divisions, so there is a lot of face to face contact. There is a spare chair next to my desk for people to sit on when they come up to chat, brief or make amends to stuff. I am lazy though – I do email and call people who sit literally metres away. The people that sit on my bank of desks are very chatty, so we’re always talking over our monitors. Occasionally, I will also Skype international offices from my desk.

Photographer, Ashley Jouhar

Photographer, Ashley Jouhar

Best thing/Worst thing about the space?

Best – We have windows all the way around, so it’s the light. I love having so much light around during the day. Having nice décor/furniture is also a bonus (eg: even the wooden floorboards) because you feel like you work somewhere creative rather than, say, in an accountancy firm.

Worst – Zero storage. This is the problem with a ‘minimalist’ approach is that there is nowhere to put stuff. As a result, people end up with stacks of things on their desks so it sort of defeats the purpose!

Photographer, Ashley Jouhar

Photographer, Ashley Jouhar

Tom, Graphic Designer

Have you any work rituals to start the day?

I start the morning looking at my twitter news feed with a coffee.  For me Twitter is essentially a customised news feed so can catch up on headlines & design news to find inspiration before the day starts.

How does this space compare to previous/your first work space?

The current office environment is a lovely bright space with sun/daylight flooding in from all angles. This makes a big difference in the mornings. Much better than our old space in a dark corner in a darker stuffier floor below. However my desk space is smaller but it’s a small price to pay (also means i’m limited to how much crap I can have on my desk until I throw things away).

Photographer, Ashley Jouhar

Photographer, Ashley Jouhar

For working, how does it compare to your space at home?

I get more work done in the office as I can concentrate better.  At home I have a desk by the window looking into my back garden but my office desk is a more comfortable space to work  which I think is important.

What kind of beverages do you have in the office? Do you go elsewhere?

Coffee & water from the kitchen on our floor. The occasional fizzy drink from the café bar on the ground floor.

What kinds of interaction do you have with other people in the space?

We have good atmosphere & office banter in our pod of desks with a relaxed chatty atmosphere. This feeling is the same with most pods in our office creating a fun atmosphere throughout the floor.

Photographer, Ashley Jouhar

Photographer, Ashley Jouhar

Best thing/Worst thing about the space?

Best thing about our space is the openness of the floor. There is a sense of space even though people site quite closely together. This helps with the mood/feeling of the agency.

Worst thing is the lack of storage.  Storage is terrible & things are constantly being moved or thrown out to create space for something new. Some of our equipment is kept on different floors as we don’t have the room here. Floor would be greatly improved by some genius storage solutions!

 

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