At TOG’s dozens of workspaces across the UK and Germany, history shines in thoughtful, people-centric design.
We sat down (virtually) with Jocelyn Welsh, Head of Meetings and Events at The Office Group (TOG), which has over 50 distinctive, innovative, people-first workspaces across the UK — including London, Leeds and Bristol — as well as Germany.
According to Welsh, TOG’s ideology is driven by a vision for workplaces where people and business thrive — spaces that help reimagine, shape and improve the way work happens.
“The essence of how we design spaces is ‘people-centric,’” Welsh says. “Every consideration is filtered through the lens of our members, the people flowing through each floor, experiencing TOG work spaces first-hand.”
One way this ideology manifests is in TOG’s wellness offerings to members, which include access to programs like fitness and wellbeing classes, workouts, and expert-led workshops on nutrition, mental wellbeing and stress-reduction, as well as access to space like gyms, fitness studios with Peloton bikes, plenty of outdoor space, recharge and meditation rooms.
Beyond these amenities, design is a huge piece of what sets TOG apart, always in some way responding to the history and location of the building or neighborhood around you. Look for elements history and geography coming through in the interior architecture and design, Welsh says. For example, take TOG’s Liberty House in London, which draws inspiration from Liberty London and Carnaby Street — a landmark, Tudor-revival building filled with high-end fashion and luxury homeware vendors, right in the heart of the city — just around the corner.
Channeling these influences, Liberty House is filled with color and texture, with some elements of the palette drawn from archival Liberty textile prints. TOG sourced these with help from award-winning architecture studio SODA, which collaborated with TOG’s in-house design team to restore and design the space.
Likewise, Welsh explains, the artwork visitors will see on the walls throughout the space bear references to Liberty’s roots — from fashion photography to hand-woven textile swatches.
Liberty House also features Liberty Rooms: a separate part of the building dedicated entirely to meeting rooms and suites for collaborative working, Welsh adds with a distinct scheme for meeting room paying creative homage to Carnaby’s past.
One major shift in the way we look at work in the past few years centers on wellness. Increasingly, wellness-related amenities in the workplace aren’t just perks — talent demands them. In some ways, wellness in the workplace has to come from company culture — but it can also be baked into a physical workspace.
Today, Welsh is working from TOG HQ, at 2 Stephen Street near Tottenham Court Road in London — the company’s new head office space, designed by our internal TOG project team over the course of 2021, back when full-time working from home was the norm.
“This gave our interior designers an opportunity to really evaluate the benefits of a company home-base and explore the ways the space can be designed to encourage productivity, and promote collaboration and a sense of TOGetherness amongst the different departments,” Welsh says. But when it comes to getting her best work done, where she chooses to work, she says, really depends on the nature of the job at hand.
“I find our HQ great for meetings, collaboration and team working, and the beauty of the vast TOG platform means if I need to buckle down and focus on solo work, I can escape to another work space nearby,” she says.
One of her favorite alternatives is TOG’s Stanley Building at Kings Cross. It offers a range of different areas to work and focus, from raised platforms in the industrial-inspired lounge, to a rooftop terrace featuring the characterful original chimneys and stunning views over Kings Cross St. Pancras. But Welsh’s favorite aspect is the way the design draws on the building’s rich history. Built in the mid-1860’s as one of five innovative social housing projects for railway workers, the Stanley Building is one of the last remaining examples of Victorian accommodation built for railway workers, she says.
“I love the way TOG has blended old & new to create a really unique work space with a modern industrial aesthetic,” she notes. “I’m a big fan of exposed brick, and the design of this work space has seen TOG preserve the original Stanley Building, building a modern glass wrap extension around it (dubbed the “Stanley Wrap”), to create a modern shell contrasting with the Victorian core.”
Check out the Liberty House, the Stanley Building and other TOG workspaces across London at explore.upflex.com.