Making the shift
You may have heard that The Office (capital T capital O) is dying.
Turns out the reports have been greatly exaggerated.
If anything, The Office has taken on a new lease of life. It may be smaller than it once was, but it’s never been more important.
And that doesn’t just go for large corporations. A great office is an essential part of the business and cultural toolkit for young, dynamic, creative firms too. For firms that create great experiences for clients and employees. For firms that know how to create and maintain exceptional cultures.
Firms like Shift.
Fast moving. People-centric.
Shift is one of the most innovative and fast-moving creative agencies in Slovenia. It is people focussed and understands the importance of getting working culture right.
So, it was in a great position to adapt as the whole world shifted in response to the measures taken to tackle covid.
Challenging accepted ideas and the old ways of doing things are essential parts of the Shift DNA. It is why it is so attractive to its growing roster of clients. It is how it attracts and retains some of the best creative minds in Europe.
And it’s also why it seized the opportunity presented by a rapidly changing world to rethink itself and the experiences it offers to staff and clients.
An open conversation
In 2021, Shift talked to Kragelj about what these changes might mean for the firm’s physical spaces. The management team led by the agency’s founders Špela Žorž and Sabina Luskovnik had a clear vision of how they wanted the agency to evolve.
This meant creating an office that reflected the firm’s values. To make each day spent in the office enjoyable, fun, productive and creative. To focus on people, their needs and relationships with each other.
The shift to digital
As one of the most cutting-edge marketing and advertising agencies in Slovenia, Shift knows all about the changing dynamic between the physical and digital domains. It’s one of the foundations of its business after all.
So, Špela and Sabina understood instinctively that the rapid adoption of digital workplaces in response to the pandemic was an opportunity to explore new ideas.
Crucially, that didn’t mean choosing between an office and working remotely, but looking at ways to do things better.
This was an unmissable opportunity to offer people more choices. To create a new ecosystem of work. To create a better office. More than that. The best office that it could be.
A new home
The opportunity to do things differently arose at exactly the right time. Špela and Sabina had previously led global creative agency Grey Worldwide’s Slovenian operation. The decision by Grey to withdraw from Slovenia, coupled with the effects of the pandemic gave them a unique opportunity to strike out in a bold new direction.
One of the first jobs was to find a new home, one that reflected the new realities of working life and which offered the firm a match for its ‘creative soul’.
The search was on and by the Spring a decision was taken to move to an office in Tomšičeva Street, Ljubljana, to be at the city’s creative heart.
Having chosen the right spot, the conversation with Kragelj about the form the new office would take began in earnest.
The right place at the right time
The new location offered some in-built advantages. It is light and open, with architecture that focuses on the needs of people for fresh air, daylight, natural materials and a human scale. All features that we now know are essential for physical health and wellbeing. It is the right place at the right time.
The role of the design team at Kragelj was to apply its in-depth knowledge of the evolving workplace and the specific needs of creative agencies to create something special. Something that would enhance the daily experience of the people who work at shift and nurture their wellbeing. A space to attract clients. A space to set a new benchmark for creative design.
This mean not only applying its knowledge of the needs of creative agencies and wider workplace trends but also listening to the needs of the people who would use the space. An engaging workplace can only emerge from a process of engagement.
Creating the space
As in all it does, Shift wanted to move fast to create the new space. It wanted to use as much of the existing furniture from Grey as possible. Not only to keep costs down and speed up the project, but also because its is great for the environment.
Even with existing furniture, the space had to reflect both the firm’s new identity and its changing approach to work. The space needed to be reimagined while using around half of its existing elements.
The right choice
The space itself is based on the creation a range of settings that allow people to find exactly the right place to work for whatever task is at hand. It brings people together to collaborate and innovate as teams. It offers individuals space for quiet work, study and relaxation. It addresses the needs of different personality types and creates a space that is welcoming for employees and clients alike.
It is a thoroughly contemporary approach and it does all this as part of a wider workplace ecosystem that embraces people’s homes, the heart of the city and the many places they might choose to work.
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