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Happy to be here: an anecdote about design in the workplace

I recently started my job as a copywriter at Interface. One of the first things on my desk was the ‘Biophilic Design in the Workplace’ report. Being introduced to the project at this late stage meant I got to read the report like a ‘normal’ reader – with fresh eyes and interest.

The following paragraph about talent acquisition resonated on a personal level:

“The work environment is already an established part of the expected psychological contract between employer and employee and has even become a differentiator for employer brands. Consider the biggest firms in the technology sector – Facebook, Apple, Google – these are all at the vanguard of providing great working environments, of which many are linked to nature through biophilic design and the campus layout of the main offices.

Google meeting egg

Google waterlounge

With this backdrop of increased awareness amongst employees about leading companies’ approach to designing work environments, it’s possible to envisage biophilic design as a crucial component in ‘the war for talent’ – how companies attract and retain the most skilled, productive workforces with great competition. Although we found over three quarters (77%) of respondents reporting that the design of an office would not affect their decision to work for that company, it is likely that as the awareness of the positive impact of good design grows, we will see a decrease in this figure and more people holding a greater expectation of office design that is stimulating and provokes positive feelings. (emphasis mine)”

The Awarehouse is a real life example of sustainable construction and design.


The Awarehouse is an experience and learning centre made from recycled and sustainable materials.

Awarehouse entrance

Reading this part of the report reminded me of my first interview in Scherpenzeel. I had known about Interface since 2009 and was convinced I would like the sustainability aspect of the company. Whether I would like the design of the workspace never entered my mind. That is, until I was waiting in the lobby and had a good look around. Of course, I first looked at the floor and noticed the good-looking, flamboyant carpet. Next I noticed the use of wood and glass in the building. I was of course far too nervous to have any deep thoughts about the design.

Part of my first meeting was a visit to the Awarehouse. When the recruiter told me this could be my next workplace I got pretty excited. What an inspiring place to work! Needless to say, I got the job, and on my first day, I tweeted a picture with my new view…

I’m still settling in to my new job, and really like being in touch with our products and everything that happens around here. I never thought about workspaces before applying, but after reading the report I realise that visit to the Awarehouse was a real driver in my decision process. So while 77% might say the workspace design does not influence their decision, their subconscious might decide otherwise…

Has office design influenced your job decisions? Let me know in the comments!


  1. Good to hear Marnix. Yes, in my case, the office of Eneco in Rotterdam, Eneco World, for sure had a positive impact on me. Every day I enter the office I still feel happy and excited about working in the great building.

    Roelof Reineman | 3 years ago | Reply

  2. Hi Marnix! Having joined a leader in the CRE industry – JLL not to name it – relatively recently, I have to say that all things being equal the workplace played a role in my decision to join the firm. JLL being a leader in Workplace Strategy, our office design here in Singapore is very innovative and engaging, a big change from the “traditional” workplaces I have experienced in the organizations I have worked for previously. Everything from the non-assigned desk to the lighting make the working experience ‘fresh’ and pleasant every day. Like you I’m learning about this key element in today’s competitive professional ‘jungle’, and it’s very exciting! All the best!

    Christophe | 3 years ago | Reply

    1. Great to hear Christophe! It’s something you don’t notice until you see a great building. Enjoy Singapore!

      Marnix van de Veen | 3 years ago | Reply

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