‘The Living Rooms’ will only house a small proportion of the bank’s flexible teams but, here on the 3rd floor, there’s a huge amount of activity. We eventually find a seat on the packed, biophilically-rich terrace, adjacent to the buzzing ‘Garden Café’.
‘There are just over 400 work positions in ‘The Living Rooms’, our coworking space here, with a community of 750 members,’ Tim tells us. ‘Part of the flexibility comes from the fact that we don’t tether people to desks with PCs and desktop phones, so every single bit of spare space becomes somewhere to work.
‘We’ve really tried to combine the intensive use of space with great design. We’ve been on this journey for a long time now, I suppose. Following the financial crisis, we looked at how we could consolidate our portfolio, something we continue to do. We looked at how we could have our cake and eat it – how do you create a really efficient bit of space but also have some really thoughtful design, and how do you blend the technology so that the user’s experience is as seamless as possible?
We’ve tried to integrate next-generation technology to make the whole process work and to bring everyone together.
‘As our teams are becoming more distributed, it’s more important to give people a reason to get together. The experience that these guys get here from the WiFi is very similar to what they get at home – the trick here is that they can wander around with their Chromebook and work anywhere.