New Yves Rocher office – natural and motivating
In spring 2020, the Polish branch of cosmetics company Yves Rocher moved into one of the finished, multifunctional buildings of Varso Place in the city centre of Warsaw. In designing and arranging the new workspace, Yves Rocher was supported by Origameo team of consultants operating within HB Reavis. The result of the cooperation is an office stimulating the employees and supporting the achievement of business goals of Yves Rocher, as well as reflecting the culture and ecological principles of the brand.
Established over 60 years ago in Brittany, Yves Rocher is an expert in plant-based care. The company has been conducting advanced research into plant active ingredients for years, and is also a model example of a brand operating in the spirit of respect for nature. The entire production process is planned to minimize the impact of the company’s operations on the natural environment. Particular care for ecology was expressed in the new office of the Polish branch of the brand. It is over 850 sqm of workspace for almost 70 people, located on the 5th floor of the Varso 1 building – the middle of the three skyscrapers that changed the western section of Chmielna Street. Despite the pandemic, the first employees of Yves Rocher started operating here in safe conditions in August 2020.
“When planning a new office, we had some concerns about leaving our cosy building. We also knew what we wanted to focus on in our new office, namely employee well-being and, most importantly, environmental protection, which is not just an empty buzzword to us. We decided to contact experts from Origameo to help us not only transfer those values to the new workspace but also prepare us for the change”, said Barbara Majchrzak, office manager at Yves Rocher.
Where employees have a say
According to the methodology followed by Origameo, a workspace consultancy team at HB Reavis, the new Yves Rocher office was designed based on consultations with the employees, as well as using new technologies. The first stage involved a workshop with the company management that defined the vision and objectives of the new workspace. Then, the employees were asked to offer their feedback using dedicated questionnaires. More than half reported overall satisfaction with their previous office, although some pointed out its weaknesses: the two-floor layout hampering communication, cramped rooms, limited social area and outdated furnishings. At the same time, dozens of sensors installed in the office were busy collecting data on workstation and conference room usage. Before preparing a workspace strategy, Origameo also interviewed team leaders and so-called change agents, i.e. people involved in the relocation process.
“Understanding the client’s needs, immersing ourselves in the organisation to better understand its needs are at the core of our work. By using various tools in the research process, we can create a detailed brief for the architect responsible for designing the office layout and interior design. That was also the case with Yves Rocher,” said Adam Jaszkowski, Workplace Consultant in Origameo.
“With all the research, the very first space plan presented by the Origameo team was a real eye-opener and in a way turned upside down our initial plan. We were very impressed and felt we were heading in the right direction. The moment the interior design concept was presented, we knew that was what we were looking for,“ said Barbara Majchrzak, office manager at Yves Rocher.
While discussing the future office, some Yves Rocher employees were sceptical about a more open space layout. Consequently, the designers had to seek a compromise and find solutions inspired by the previous office structure.
In harmony with the brand’s DNA
The new Yves Rocher office at Varso Place is divided into two parts. The first part is an everyday work environment, with office desks located closer to the windows and meeting rooms and a collaborative space situated farther at the back. The second part is a unique combination of a reception area, a coffee house and a kitchen, making it a perfect place for both visitors and employees to relax and mingle. It also connects to a large terrace with benches and an impressive amount of greenery: grass, trees and other planting. The interesting thing is that some of the plants that grow here are also used to produce Yves Rocher products. It is a perfectly inspiring place to work and relax outdoors.
The new space is inspired by the philosophy of sustainability and mindfulness. The working area was designed using subdued and simple finishes while giving it a very distinctive look, e.g. by introducing plant openwork dividers. The entire office also features a unique plant grid suspended from the ceiling on which plants can climb. With time, the plants will grow and become lusher and the office will become even greener. The colour scheme used in the workspace is also directly inspired by the brand.
“Despite initial concerns, a more open, tailor-made workspace turned out to be the right solution for us. The new office supports different types of activities, from quiet individual work to collaboration in small and large groups to phone calls. Origameo’s assistance in the whole relocation process proved very valuable, and we have come to appreciate their services more and more,” stated Barbara Majchrzak, Office Manager at Yves Rocher.
In line with Yves Rocher’s motto, “Reconnect people to nature”, locating the new office in Varso Place was not a coincidence – it is one of the most advanced buildings in Poland in terms of ecological solutions. A carefully designed office that supports productivity and wellbeing is another step in reinforcing what the company and its employees stand for.