Workspace Design Show

26 – 27 February 2025 | Business Design Centre, London

Enhancing Workspaces: James Saunders of Arcadis on Focus Spaces and Hotelification in Office Design

The upcoming Workspace Design Show in London, scheduled for 27 – 28 February, will be packed with insights and innovations on workplace interiors. Among the many speakers scheduled to attend is James Saunders, Global Projects Director, Arcadis Consulting (UK) Limited. This article will explore Saunders’ vision for the modern office, focusing on innovative solutions for focus spaces and the transformative concept of ‘hotelification’ in the workplace.

How do you see offices providing focus spaces, spaces that allow for reduced distraction and high concentration?

Focus spaces are one of the most sought-after space types across our portfolio. We have become very used to being on our own in an enclosed space at home that when in the office on a busy day, we become hyper-sensitive to those speaking around us. There is definitely a benefit of built focus rooms with layout space and monitors for focus work but we are also encouraging single and 2 person pods as a loose furniture solution. As we enter a world of shorter lease terms, it makes more sense financially to opt towards a loose furniture solution as you can depreciate the asset over a longer term. It also means we can become much more flexible with our office as our workplace needs constantly evolve.

How can hotelification have a meaningful impact on the employee experience?

We need to consider how hotels make us feel. For many, they are a destination. We cannot wait to explore all their hidden parts. Manifest that to the workplace and you are curating an experience that draws people in. Numerous different spaces and cozy corners that defines a workplace as not just somewhere we come to work but somewhere to socialise, collaborate and energise. For hotelification to have a meaningful impact on the user experience, it is not just about the interior design but also the technology interfaces along that user journey, the ‘five star’ facilities management and the amenities on offer.