The winner of the inaugural Office Breakout of the Year competition – an undertaking that seeks to reveal the most inspirational office-based breakout space the UK has to offer – has been revealed.
SLG Brands, the Cheltenham based creator of some of the UK’s most fashionable high street beauty brands, emerged victorious following an online public vote.
With state of the art £3 million offices specifically designed to maximise creative inspiration amongst its staff, the offices are located in the town’s Brewery Quarter, having been transformed from a stark and brutalist concrete shell into a vibrant, paradise themed workspace incorporating biophilic design, standout furniture and dedicated styles.
Essentially divided into two clear zones, a working area and a social space, the office integrates multiple breakout areas covering a mix of themes. One, for instance, has a no shoes policy, bean bags, mood lighting and a Bose sound system allowing for a different kind of meeting, while there’s also a bleacher stand to form a mini events area, an American diner, and even a graffiti fresco ceilinged boardroom to enhance the element of creative differentiation.
Andy Beresford, MD of HomeLeisureDirect.com, the company behind Office Breakout of the Year, said of the win:
“The SLG offices are an absolutely outstanding example of office breakout culture and they’re very worthy winners. Having been fortunate enough to visit the offices for a winner’s presentation I was astounded by how good they are. The dedication to creating such a fantastic working environment is genuinely superb. We couldn’t have hoped for a better winner or one more true to the spirit of what the competition was setting out to find.”
Miles Dunkley, owner of SLG, talking about the inspiration behind the office space, said:
“It was probably the most uncompromising project I’ve ever been involved with. We stuck doggedly to the detail and to the big ideas.”
“We referred to it as ‘Project Paradise’ and, in the end, it became a design template for us, where we wanted to create a paradise experience with exotic planting, exquisite furniture and unexpected visual moments in a bid to try and make people feel that, perhaps, they’re not actually at work. We’re looking to blur the lines between work and leisure.”
On the office’s setup, Miles said:
“We call the social area the bar, the diner and the pavilion, but essentially the office is a simple concept. We wanted a social zone of the office and a work zone, with people encouraged to socialise with one another. At lunchtime in particular, we prefer people not to eat at their desks, but prefer to encourage everyone into that social space – something we see as hugely important in fostering successful working relationships.”
The competition, which received an influx of outstanding entries, was whittled down to a shortlist of ten finalists determined by an in-house panel of judges at HomeLeisureDirect.com. From there the final decision was left open to the public vote, which saw SLG emerge victorious following a hotly contested finish.
Runner up was Digital 22, a marketing and design agency from Clitheroe, Lancashire, while Zest Digital, a digital marketing agency from Oxford finished in third.
The competition came off the back of research by HomeLeisureDirect.com, which revealed, amongst other stats, that two in three workers (65%) would consider switching employers for a better working environment.
Andy Beresford concluded:
“We’ve been privy to some excellent office spaces during the course of the competition, but SLG is a magnificent and deserved winner. Given the results of our initial research that suggests top talent can be seriously tempted to jump ship for a better workspace, it’s fair to say that SLG is wielding some serious clout in the recruitment stakes!”
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