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The GSK Workspace Performance Hub : Promoting productivity and wellbeing through office design
Reflecting employees’ needs in the physical workspace should form a key part of a company’s ethos. As a major global healthcare company with a large real estate portfolio, GSK identified an opportunity to explore the impact of the work environment on employee experience and performance in the face of the growing attraction of co-working spaces. GSK’s Worldwide Real Estate and Facilities (WREF) team, alongside leaders in innovation, strategy and science, designed and developed the Workspace Performance Hub (WPH) as a way to measure and quantify this impact. The WPH facilitated the testing of a number of environmental variables on the occupants’ physiology, wellbeing and productivity. The WREF team and their partners, EY Seren and ART Health Solutions, designed a rigorous scientific approach to safely explore the impact of workplace design and environmental factors, such as temperature and biophilia, on 70 GSK employees (50 in the WPH and 20 in a control group) across a six-month period. The study showed that physical environment has a considerable impact on employee health, wellbeing and performance. Participants experienced an increase in cognitive performance after their residency of the WPH, while also reporting a reduction in stress. In addition, occupants saw a rise of 17 per cent in innovation cycles during their stay. The greater variety of workstations, circadian lighting and biophilia also meant that the WPH residents were more active and had a lower resting heart rate than their control group counterparts. While further research is required on a larger scale and across a variety of personas representing different working styles and cultures, this pilot study demonstrates that by creating better, tailored human experiences, organisations can create environments that bring value to the business and their employees.
The full article is available to institutions that have subscribed to the journal.
Patrick Marsh is a Director in the Worldwide Real Estate and Facilities Function at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) focusing on their Consumer Healthcare business. He joined GSK in 2015 with accountability for real estate across the EMEA portfolio. Patrick has brought a passion and focus on the design of neurodivergent and human-centric workplaces and how buildings can enable health, performance and experience beyond simply financial returns. Patrick has previously held posts at Bank of America, Accenture, Agilent Technologies and CBRE. Patrick graduated with a BSc in Building Surveying from the University of Greenwich and is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (MRICS).
Simon French is accountable for design and change management for GlaxoSmithKline’s global portfolio. Since joining in 2014, Simon has been instrumental in the evolution of GSK’s workplace environment to focus on user-centric design and the frictionless workplace, including building GSK’s new Asia HQ in Singapore. Simon has considerable experience of all aspects of design, construction and delivery and has provided client leadership to multiple award-winning schemes, such as the GSK Tokyo HQ. Simon graduated with BA (Hons) in 3D Design from Trent Polytechnic, including Royal Society of Arts Bursary for Healthcare Design, with subsequent professional accreditation for Project and Change Management.
CitationMarsh, Patrick and French, Simon (2020, June 1). The GSK Workspace Performance Hub : Promoting productivity and wellbeing through office design. In the Corporate Real Estate Journal, Volume 9, Issue 4.