How do you create a workplace that smiles?

How do you create a workplace that smiles?

  • JT International JT International
  • Size

    16,000 sq ft

  • Services Involved

    Strategy & Design
    Design & Build
    Activation & Engagement
    Activity Based Working

  • Recognition

    Leesman+ accreditation, ranked in the top 6 workplaces of 971 measured globally 2018

    SKA Gold rating – the highest class of the RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) environmental assessment and benchmark

    JT Awards Top 5 Ranking, Top Employers Institute United Kingdom certification 2017 & 2018

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It’s about working together – from consultation and initial concept, to design and build – to create a place that brings out the best in people.

How do you create a workplace that smiles?

Having the freedom to work openly and autonomously sits at the heart of JTI’s enterprising culture. It’s how inspiration strikes, and people work at their best. It’s what sparked their desire for a workplace ‘that smiles at you’ the whole time.

We worked from a place of trust, respect and understanding to enhance this powerful vision. And by bringing skilled, experienced and passionate people together, we brought it to life. From start to finish, we collaborated on everything from strategy, design, and activation through to the final build.

For the transformation to work, the design had to be inspirational as well as functional – promoting the sort of belonging, connectedness and wellness that makes people more productive. It was about creating a place that fills people with pride, even before they walk through the door.

Collaborative quiet spaces are placed around the workplace

Engaging people turned challenges into incredible solutions

From leadership interviews, extensive team consultations to company wide showcasing events, we engaged people throughout the entire project. We listened intently, challenged, and enhanced their thinking – which allowed us to solve issues previously experienced in their old space, and transform people’s hesitation to excitement.

Design brought performance and aesthetic together

Design brought performance and aesthetic together

We gave JTI an office that looks incredible and works hard for every employee. Now, every single one of the 200+ people has a place they love to work, which adapts to their personality, mood, workload and way of working.

The auditorium is a great example of this, changing the way JTI communicates with large audiences, while separate collaboration nooks are ready for team scrums – complete with acoustic privacy, plug & play tech and wipe down surfaces. Meanwhile, individual spaces offer a sense of security for thinking, helping people be their best by creating perfect working conditions and space for relaxation.

Creating connection to place was key

Paolo Lopes, General Manager of JTI Manchester, wanted to create an office that enhances openness, autonomy and enterprise, and supports people to work freely, responsibly and be their best. He wanted to create an office that embraces everybody. So that’s exactly what we did.

We created a workplace with belonging, connectedness, wellness at its core. And in the process, one that enhances people’s productivity to support growth.

We use a CoCreation process, because we know it works

We use a CoCreation process, because we know it works

While our process aligned everyone to same powerful vision, specialists collaborated across disciplines, with visual sightlines allowing for open and constant communication.

The level of detail in the delivered workplace was thanks to the strength of our own teams – interior designers, planners, SKA sustainability assessors, quantity surveyors, project managers, site managers, and 3D visualisers – all working with daily interaction in harmony to make JTI’s vision come to life.

"Our new workplace has been an all-encompassing cultural change. This whole office is the result of that."

Paulo Lopes, General Manager JTI Manchester
52 %

improvement in sense of pride

36 %

increase in sense of community

Pride and belonging at work

We wanted to help JTI to deliver a workplace that promotes the sort of openness, autonomy and enterprise that allows people to be their best. And we did.

Today, JTI isn’t just an office. It’s a place built around people’s wellbeing, health, and happiness. It’s a workplace that inspires pride, and fosters real connections between people and place.

The end result has been recognised and supported JTI in achieving a number of awards. But more than that, it’s won the hearts and minds of people. Our lead designer Jayne Crampton-Walker said, “I knew we accomplished what we set out to achieve when people weren’t just talking about showing their kids where they worked, they were eagerly doing it.”

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