Interviews

Ten Eighty: 'Designing innovative tech spaces key for attracting top talent'

  • Photo: Allstate NI office, Belfast

    The Alpha Group specialises in workspace and educational furniture and comprises Ten Eighty, Alpha Scotland and Alpha Office Furniture.

    Ten Eighty has delivered working environments for many of Northern Ireland’s top tech companies in recent years – including AllState and Kainos. The firm said that “inspiring workspaces are a top priority for technology companies” as “around 60,000 people are estimated to work in the sector in Belfast alone.”

    John Roddy, Ten Eighty Design Director spoke to Sync NI on how office facilities can help draw in talent and retain it. 

    He said: “The technology sector is an exciting space to be in, and one which many young people are choosing as a career path. These young people have come through university and experienced innovative, inspiring learning spaces, and they expect the same from their place of work. We talk about creating a ‘seamless transition’ from learning spaces to workspaces for this generation – as it has been shown to help companies attract the brightest and best employees.

    “Our experience shows that there are three magic ingredients for this younger generation of workers – power, Wi-Fi, and coffee. And we shouldn’t underestimate the power of good coffee! There is an increasing demand for wireless charging points, which offer employees more convenience. Technology means that workers are more agile than ever before – and working environments must be responsive to that agility.

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    Kainos office, Belfast

    “Research shows that workplaces which encourage collaborative working experience increased productivity – so shared spaces are taking up a greater portion of today’s office spaces. The AllState project, for example, was one of the most forward thinking and employee centric design schemes we’ve ever worked on. Many areas were specifically designed to facilitate greater staff collaboration and informal meetings in open spaces. The result is more engaged employees who feel at ease and comfortable in their working environment.

    “We have a good understanding of what works and what doesn’t. It’s really interesting to see what tech companies across the globe are doing – and we certainly apply some of that learning to some of our projects here – but there is definitely a need to match the space to the company culture. What works for Google won’t work for everyone! It’s all about having a good understanding of the company and what makes its staff tick – and delivering on that. We are working on some really exciting projects in the tech sector at the minute – it’s a great space to be in.”

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    Visit www.alphaofficefurniture.com/ and www.1080.co.uk to find out more about The Alpha Group.

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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