‘Worklife’ panel discussions, Tarkett, May 2019

Photography: Tarkett UK

Photography: Tarkett UK

During Clerkenwell Design Week, Tarkett invited Katie Treggiden to chair two talks exploring a piece of pan-European research they had recently undertaken into the blurring lines between life and work. In the first talk, entitled Rethinking Stereotypes, Katie was joined by editor Elle Decor in the Netherlands ,Evelien Reich; Senior Associate at HASSELL Studio, Catherine van de Heide; and Marc Richard – managing director at contract furniture manufacturer Roger Lewis to expose some of the more surprising findings from the research – such as the fact that staggering 60% of UK workers report negative associations with work, such as feeling ‘like a number’ or ‘relieved to get through the day’ – the worst result in Europe; the UK are most dissatisfied with the look of their office (with men placing higher emphasis on aesthetics than women); less than 10% of UK workers are impressed with the ‘playground’ style offices that Google made famous – instead they want simple, functional, Scandi-style interiors; health and wellbeing matter most to UK workers – with particular concerns over air quality, temperature and noise; younger people are most likely to resent the blurring of boundaries between life and work and want more barriers in place between the two; men are more likely to report struggling with work-life balance than women; and despite most UK employees wanting open plan spaces, only 10% describe their role as collaborative and most prefer to work independently. The second talk was entitled Designing for Worklife and looked at the UK results in particular. For this talk, Katie was joined by Hannah Nardini, workplace consultant and designer at WK.space; Russell Glover: head of design at Peldon Rose, strategy director at FranklinTill, Julian Ellerby; and Measuremen’s Noel Brewster. Both talks were fully attended and broadcast via Instagram Live to an even wider audience.