It’s often said that the spaces we occupy are spaces that define us. Much like how we present and represent our homes, hometowns, schools and organizations wherever we are. It’s a reflection – an identity – we carry with us. This extends to our workplaces.

A well-designed workspace is crucial to companies to reinforce their identities, which then empowers them to create better working conditions and engagement for their employees and their communities. A well-designed workplace is also crucial to keeping employees engaged and their morale high.

The workplace is where we spend more than a third of our daily lives in, and if the environment is uninspiring, it’s unlikely that employees – or guests, for that matter – would have stayed any longer than necessary. That’s what most forward-thinking companies are realizing these days. In fact, they see it as the future.

“There are smarter ways to use your space to encourage work, collaboration, and productivity,” said Joe Bantiling, Founder and CEO of Trends and Concepts Total Interior Solutions, Inc. “As human capital enablers, we have to ask ourselves, “Are our offices just there for business transactions, or are we a business that also aims to make our people’s lives better?”

As a pioneer in the design and build industry, Trends and Concepts has been a wonderful model of corporate culture, community, and team work across their projects. The company prides itself at making office spaces not just inviting, but exciting for people.

“You have to look out for your people’s health and wellness, and treat them as your priority. A well designed and healthy work environment helps motivate employees to their best work. You want your workforce and your guests – anybody who sets foot in your office, really – to see that energy,” he added.

Bantiling explains the synergies in today’s office setup, especially since workplaces are now hosting a diversified pool of talents that ranges across generations, orientations and beliefs. What Trends and Concepts is doing is more than just beautifying the workplace.

“It’s also more than just getting people to come to work. It’s more about taking care of your people, your clients, and your community by giving them the best possible place and condition to thrive,” said Bantiling.

The Office is a Social Place

For companies reinventing themselves, “dusting off” their workspaces is the way to go to reinforce their new vision and ideals. Taking note from the steady rise of co-working offices these days, human resource departments look to infuse this model of adaptive environment with a sense of community and company culture to encourage employees to show up and then show off their companies.

However, the proliferation of employees setting up meetings with clients in restaurants, cafés, or someplace else is still as strong as ever.

As Bantiling puts it, “The workplace is a gathering place for many people. What’s sad is the sense of belonging and pride that comes from knowing your company is doing its part to incorporate elements in its design that helps encourage people to linger, hold meetings, collaborate, or even eat, have fun, or take a breather is something that’s not given in workplaces today.”

Apart from providing employees their own stations for work, setting up meeting rooms, huddle spots, soundproofed phone booths, and breakout spaces are some ideas companies can look into that can make their workplaces flexible and dynamic.

Bantiling is quick to point out that extra thought should also go into spaces that allow people to de-stress, have fun, or simply attend to their needs as individuals with families. These includes recreational spaces such as gyms, spas, meditation areas, game rooms, entertainment rooms, day cares, and lactation areas.

“You have to design spaces that allow your people to feel better about themselves,” said Bantiling.

Thinking Forward

Bantiling believes that human capital is the very soul and essence of why a business works. To him, even though advances in technology has changed how offices are used, nothing replaces the human touch when it comes to building and maintaining relationships. However, he’s quick to point out that taking advantage of technologies to empower people to keep up and get ahead can only mean good things for businesses.

A workplace is always about the welfare of the workforce. At Trends and Concepts, Bantiling leads a team of architects, interior designers, and builders and encourages them to explore ways technology can applied to enhance their projects in relation to their client’s vision and demands, as well as the users – employees – needs.

As Bantiling said, “The traditional function of the office has transformed as we adapt to different work setups. Now, you can work online from anywhere in the world, but even then, more and more people are encouraged to go to spaces where they feel most relaxed, creative and inspired. It’s the experiences whenever you’re in these spaces that are irreplaceable by the conveniences of modern technology.”

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