01785 817114

NFU York

In 2019 Planned Office Interiors was contracted by NFU Mutual to renovate and modernise their office facilities in York. As a regular and loyal client of ours, we were delighted to work on another great office fit-out project for them.

Related: How to find the right fit-out for your business

The client

NFU Mutual is the UK’s largest rural insurance provider. After a period of growth, the company needed to rethink its York-office facilities. This led them to decide on a redesign and refurbishment to modernise certain office spaces – both inside and out. NFU had an ultimate goal of creating a healthier, happier and more productive workspace.

The brief

New reception & draft lobby

Firstly, the brief was to complete a fit-out of a new reception and construction of a new draft lobby. From efficiency to security, we had to consider multiple design requirements – which meant this was an advanced reception and lobby fit-out.

Complete washroom refurb

Secondly, we were instructed to complete a washroom refurbishment across 2 floors. Again, this was more advanced than a simple washroom – with particular attention to employee health and wellbeing.

Exterior works

We were also asked to enhance the exterior office property. From carparks to pedestrian paths, our brief was to create a safe and efficient outside space.

Fire safety

Finally, we were instructed to replace all fire doors across the site – to meet the latest health & safety regulations.

The challenges

When embarking on a large redesign and refit project there are several challenges that we must identify to ensure we offer the best solution to our clients.

To do this, we always recommend a site survey of the client’s workspaces. By carrying this out, we could understand exactly what we needed to do to improve the office facilities.

For each area, we asked the following questions:

Reception & draft lobby

How could we improve functionality in the reception & lobby area?

Security

With a large number of employees, NFU needed a solution that gave a greater level of autonomy to employees when signing in and out – while maintaining high levels of building security.

Flow

As a high-traffic zone, the flow of people through this area is a priority – meaning NFU needed a space where both employees and guests can pass through efficiently. We needed to minimise any bottlenecking.

Guests

Furthermore, any guests needed to be dealt with in a secure and professional manner. Therefore, NFU required both a comfortable and secure solution.

Reception employees

For those employed in the reception and lobby zone, they would need an ergonomic workspace – to maximise their health, wellbeing and productivity.

Washroom

How could we improve the washroom facilities for employees?

Washrooms are also high-traffic areas, which raises the risk of hygiene issues. We needed to consider this for the fit-out – and ensure the highest level of sanitation for employees using the washrooms.

How could we maximise health & wellbeing values through the washrooms?

Recognising the value and importance of a mentally and physically healthy workforce, we needed to source features that would promote a healthy working lifestyle at NFU.

Exterior works

How could we ensure the highest levels of health & safety for pedestrians and drivers using the exterior facilities?

Health & safety risks heighten when pedestrians and drivers have to share a space. We needed to carefully design a space and source features that would minimise any risks for those on-foot and those behind the wheel.

How could we improve efficiency in the carpark?

Much like the reception and lobby area, the flow must be maintained to ensure ‘business as usual’ for all employees – however on a larger scale for drivers. Any feature we implemented would need to bear this in mind at all times.

How could we maximise exterior security?

Employees and guests must feel secure when using the external facilities – so we needed to ensure appropriate measures were put in place.

The journey

Following the survey, we presented a number of schemes to NFU for their consideration.

Each proposal was costed to consider layout, fixtures & fittings, furniture, decoration, colours, technology, lighting and other office fit-out features.

The solutions

We completed the project to solve the internal and external building challenges – and to create functional, safe and secure spaces.

Here’s what we did:

Reception fit-out & lobby creation

Creation & installation of a bespoke reception counter

To encourage a more comfortable working environment for NFU reception employees, we installed an ergonomically-enhanced reception desk. These desks promote good posture, avoid repetitive strain and maximise overall comfort. Overall this would promote good employee health and therefore enhance levels of productivity.

New feature lighting

The benefit of feature lighting is twofold. Firstly, from an interior design perspective, the lighting works as part of a welcoming and professional reception area – important for NFU’s reputation, which can be highly influenced by visitors’ first impressions. Secondly, comfort can be greatly improved by the way you light up your spaces. This specific lighting improved working conditions for NFU reception & lobby staff.

High-performance carpet

To minimise wear and tear in a high-traffic area, we sourced and installed durable high-performance carpet.

Decoration

Along with using brand colour schemes, we included potted plants as part of the decorative style. Biophilic design is a way of creating a connection between employees and the natural environment through the use of direct nature, indirect nature, and space and place conditions.

Related: Learn about biophilic design & its benefits in commercial spaces

Installed speed gates

Allowing staff to enter and exit the building using a fob has greatly improved the reception area flow – while also improving security for the building.

Draft lobby

A draft lobby ensures there is a comfortable place where guests can wait – reducing any congestion.

Revolving doors

We installed revolving doors to improve the comfort of employees and guests in the lobby and reception area. This also reduces heat loss, maximising NFU’s energy efficiency.

Washroom refurbishment

  • Contactless taps

Contactless taps with aerated water maximise efficiency – and reduce the need to touch facilities, therefore improving hygiene levels in a washroom area.

  • New radiators

Newly installed, these radiators maximise heat energy efficiency in the washroom areas.

  • New sanitary wear

These maximise sanitation and improve hygiene for all employees.

  • New feature lighting

Lighting can really enhance a space – even improving employee mood. The washrooms were a good opportunity to capitalise on this – and also maximised the functionality in there.

  • New showers & drying area

As part of NFU’s healthy employee drive, we created a shower and drying area so employees can use workplace facilities to refresh after daily exercise.

  • Changing rooms & secure lockers

Furthermore, as part of NFU’s support of healthy employees, we created changing facilities and secure lockers – so employees have options to integrate exercise and their working days.

  • New feature electrics

We installed hairdryers to complement shower and changing facilities – and sourced efficient hand dryers to reduce washroom flow.

Exterior works

  • Installation of new security fences

To maximise security for all employees, we installed safety barriers .

  • New pedestrian paths

Using non-slip materials, we designed and created pedestrian paths to keep all employees on-foot safe when walking around the outside perimeters of the building.

  • New pedestrian lighting

We outlined all pedestrian paths with lighting – again, to enhance health & safety around the exterior parts of the office.

  • New car parking spaces created

To meet growing employee demands, we created more car parking spaces.

  • Relaid car park line markings

To ensure efficient parking, we redrew all carpark linings – making it easier for employees to park.

Ask us a question on 01785 817114

If you’re a business that is growing out of your space, or perhaps you feel your space could work better for your staff, get in touch today with Callum

After the refurb and refit, we are thrilled to have improved key areas of NFU Mutual’s internal and external office building in York. From a focus on healthy working lifestyles in washrooms to an autonomous & secure employee check-in system, the modernised office facilities promote a positive and productive working culture.

See the ‘Before’  images below

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01785 817114
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1 Forge Farm Offices
Stafford Road
Aston-by-Stone
Staffordshire
ST15 0BH
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