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Trend Talks: Workspace Flooring edition

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Earlier this month our head of design Kevin caught up with the UK’s FX Magazine to talk all things flooring design for their May/June edition. Here’s a snapshot of their Q&A…

Q: Which flooring materials do you particularly like working with and why? 

A: I’m keen on incorporating products that have a high recycled content. There are some plastics in their products, which is a fantastic form of innovation that I hope is the future of flooring materials. We all know we need to be more mindful of the workplace’s environmental footprint, and flooring materials have a role to play in this – both in terms of products that have been recycled and are recyclable. 

Q: How do you keep up to date with the latest flooring products on the market? Is there scope for using some of the very latest material technology in projects, or do clients tend to have a preference for more traditional solutions? 

A: We work with a range of flooring companies who we consult with regularly, and they do a great job at keeping us in the loop with the latest products. We regularly keep up to date with industry publications where we get a lot of our intel.

The short answer is yes, clients do often prefer traditional solutions. They look at the situation from their experience rather than the opportunity for creativity – but there’s a good reason for this, as experience tells them what works and what doesn’t, balancing aesthetics with practicality. So, this is completely understandable and we work with them to discuss the potential options and how we can make newer options work for them. 

We completed a project last year for tech giant Ideagen, during which the client was willing to let us flex our creative muscles, incorporating new material technology throughout the 30,000 sq ft space. This was a great opportunity, and has created a really inspiring space as a result.

Q: If budget was no object, what kinds of flooring materials would you love to use on projects?

A: With such a focus on wellness and bringing the outside in, I’m keen to incorporate more sustainable, up cycled materials into all of our designs. And if budget was no option, I’d create a whole new product that would make the truly natural flooring materials suitable for indoors. I’d create a product that would give the look and feel of real grass, chalk or bark – but without the maintenance headache of the real thing.

Q: How can designers look to exploit the potential of creative flooring – both in terms of design ideas and material choices – in a range of different applications?

A: LVT (luxury vinyl tile) has a huge range of colours and patterns that are interchangeable, and so gives us space to get creative. The range of finishes meant there are a numbers of applications, and it can be used in a variety of environments to create a totally different look and feel every time.

It also carries a lot of recycled material, which is great. A lot of the products we’re using now are recycled as standard – this should be the norm – and there are now an interesting number of options that enable designers to make environmentally-conscious decisions for clients, without them even knowing it. We have the opportunity to create not only a stylish environment but one with substance behind it as well.

Want to chat to our design team about your workspace? Click here to get in touch today!

Chameleon behind the transformation of McCain HQ

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We are delighted to be working with McCain, the UK’s number one frozen potato manufacturer, to redesign and upgrade their Eastfield Head Office in Scarborough, UK!

The new 34,000 sq ft workspace will provide McCain with a cutting-edge facility designed to attract and retain the best new talent. The redesign responds to the effect the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the workplace and supports a new hybrid model of working from both home and the office, with the health and safety of McCain employees at the heart of the upgrade. The new office will implement the latest technology allowing employees to connect to the office from home and feature spaces designed to maximise social distancing meaning employees can work safely and securely from the office should they choose to.

Our design for the new space will focus on sustainability, ensuring that the upgrade has sustainable practices integrated throughout. This includes energy efficient lighting, carbon neutral flooring products and recycled furniture.

Since McCain opened the site in 1968 it has grown to become one of the area’s largest private employers with over 700 employees, and is heavily involved in partnerships with many suppliers and community organisations helping to boost local economy and employment. This latest office upgrade comes shortly after a significant investment into the production facility on site in order to meet increased customer demand.

Howard Snape, GB President, McCain Foods said: “Scarborough has been our home for over 50 years, and we are dedicated to investing into the community and our business to ensure the best for our employees both through our recent factory upgrade and this new redesign to our head office. The new design will ensure we are ready to accommodate new ways of working going forward whilst also being able to deliver broader sustainability benefits. We look forward to welcoming our employees back to the office so they can experience the redesign in person.”

Robert Goodwill, MP for Scarborough and Whitby said: “McCain is an iconic Scarborough business and has contributed a huge amount to the local area over the years, whether that’s through job creation or community initiatives, so it’s great to see this new investment into the Eastfield site.”

Michael Greene, CEO, Scarborough Council: “As we adapt into a new normal with hybrid working models it’s great to see that McCain are strengthening their commitment to the Scarborough area and its employees through the new redesign. We look forward to seeing the new design when it reopens at the end of the year.”

The redesign remains subject to planning permission but if approved phase one of the redesign will start at the end of May with the full redesign to be completed by the end of the year.

Is your workspace ready to attract and retain the top talent in your industry?

By | Chameleon, Uncategorised

Flexible working is becoming a major consideration for professionals seeking a new role post pandemic…

New research has shown that more than half of business professionals consider flexibility of hours or location to be more significant when seeking a new role than it was before the pandemic, whilst 38% thought that workplace culture would play a greater role!

While the majority (68%) said flexibility about work location had improved during the pandemic, and more than half (57%) said flexibility of hours had got better, attitudes towards workplace culture were less positive – only a third of respondents said the quality of their company’s culture had improved in the pandemic, with 20% saying it had declined.

Workspaces now have to adapt to suit the changing needs of their users, including introducing technology to make flexible working more accessible for everyone.

Find out more about how we can transform your workspace into a flexible hub that encourages collaboration and inspires team culture here!

 

Say hello to David, our new Senior Project Manager!

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This week we welcome David Creek to team Chameleon as part of our latest recruitment drive in the UK. David joins us as our Senior Project Manager working alongside Richard and Harry to ensure the smooth running of our sites up and down the country.

We caught up with David to ask him a few questions about himself and his new position:

Tel us about your new role! I will be working on the management of multiple projects across the UK. This will see me getting involved in the planning, organising of our sites and also directing the completion of specific projects, ensuring they are completed on time and we leave the client excited.

What are you looking forward to most about working for team Chameleon? I am really looking forward to the new challenges and learning more about the company’s culture and values. The team seem great and I am excited to be part of it as we continue to grow!

Tell me a fun fact about yourself! I enjoy long romantic walks to the beer fridge!

We wish David the best of luck in his new role and are delighted to welcome him to the team!

 

Chameleon expands it’s team with three new hires

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We are growing our UK team again with the appointment of three new hires!

In case you missed their intros earlier in the month here’s a quick recap for you. Tom joins us as our estimator, Sarah as business development manager for the Midlands and Phoebe is setting out on her career, joining us as part of an advanced apprenticeship.

Shaun Watts, chairman, said: “We’ve had a really good 12 months at Chameleon, securing projects across the UK and Canada for prestigious clients across a range of sectors. There have been pandemic-related challenges, of course, but we’ve continued to build on our reputation of great results to deliver even more fantastic projects.

“As a consequence, the business continues to expand, and I know Tom, Sarah and Phoebe will bring yet more knowledge to the team. I’m particularly delighted that we were able to welcome Phoebe on board, allowing us to support the next generation of industry professionals through a specialist apprenticeship.

“The next 12 months are looking even better – so much so that our recruitment continues and we’re now looking for another interior designer and a buyer to join the team. It’s an exciting time to join the business and I wish Tom, Sarah and Phoebe the best of luck in their new roles.”

Phoebe Barbour, our new apprentice, added: ‘I’m most looking forward to seeing Chameleon’s projects through from start to completion. As part of my apprenticeship, I’ll be learning how the business works and runs effectively, including a focus on admin, finance and sales. The team have been so welcoming, and whilst the majority of my time will be based out of the Hull office, I am really looking forward to getting out to some site visits across the country.”

Thomas Wormleighton, estimator, commented: “I’m joining Chameleon with over 15 years experience in the construction industry. It was Chameleon’s vision and track record for delivering excellent quality projects that really attracted me to the role.

“I’m confident my experience in estimating and project managing will be a valuable addition to the team as they continue to land and deliver some really inspiring clients. I’ll be focussed on increasing the number of estimations we can deliver and using my background in IT to streamline a number of processes. It’s a pleasure to be working with a team whose focus rests so heavily on people.”

Sarah Lister, who will be looking after our growing presence in the Midlands and East of England, added: “After just over five years working with and for manufacturers, I was well aware of Chameleon as a leader in the interiors space. I’m delighted to be joining the team and in my role as business development manager, I’ll be focusing predominantly on securing larger scale projects and clients in the Midlands and East of England.”

 

From redundant factory space to fun and functional workspace

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Work has now completed at Groupe Atlantic’s new office space at its Ideal Heating premises on National Avenue in Hull, UK.

Our team provided the design, fit-out and furniture services, transforming a storage space of the factory into a fun, flexible and inspiring work environment for their operations team. Here’s what our interior designer, Fiona had to say:

“I am so pleased with the result of this project! We chose a range of light colours and materials to keep it looking as bright and vibrant as possible. By adding the mezzanine floor we have given the team some much needed space for meeting and training, whilst also providing the perfect view into the factory where they manufacture over 3,000 boilers per day.

“It was really important for us to work closely with the team at Groupe Atlantic to understand what was missing from their current space. We incorporated two modern kitchen facilities into the design that also double up as a socialisation and break out area for their team.

“Originally they were working in separate spaces that had become crowded overtime. We are so pleased we have been able to provide them with a space that will bring the team back together again, especially after many of them have been working remotely for a number of months.”

Kris Spivey, industrial engineer at Groupe Atlantic added: “Chameleon has created a space that will really bring our teams together again. Chameleon paid careful attention to our brief, delivering a space that not only looks fantastic but gives our team everything they asked for. We couldn’t be happier with the way the space has turned out and how their team managed the restrictions imposed by working so closely to our manufacturing line. We can’t wait to get the team back in to enjoy it!”

You can check out the completed project here: Ideal Heating

Why your workspace needs to change post pandemic

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Our homes have had to work extra hard to support us over the last year, providing us not only with comfort, space to relax and refresh but also to work. It’s time for our workspaces to step up and do the same. With around 1/3 of our lives spent working it’s important to make sure our workspace is the perfect environment to support our team, inspire them and help them grow.

Prior to the pandemic offices typically consisted of…

• Fixed desks
• Focus on maximising capacity
• A small amount of circulation space
• Support for in-office workers

Workspaces now have to work harder to support their occupants, who over the past 12 months have become accustomed to working flexibly from home. A workspace for the future now needs…

• Flexible desking
• Focus on employee wellbeing
• Remote working technology
• Socialisation areas
• More circulation space

We spoke to our design team to hear their thoughts on the post pandemic office, here’s what they had to say:

“The pandemic has reminded us of the benefits of coming into an office: the opportunity for collaboration, socialising and idea-sharing. But our workspaces now need to give employees the freedom to work in a way that’s productive but also flexible.

“With many of us spending so much of our time at home this year, I definitely expect to see a shift in commercial interiors towards a more domestic feel, becoming commonly referred to as ‘resi-mercial’. We’ll be looking to designate a larger amount of floor space to breakout and collaboration areas, ‘pods’ and zones, as well as high benches to allow for standing desks, hot desking opportunities and further integration of technology.” Interior Designer, Fiona Thornham.

“It’s been a tough year for everyone. I think a lot of us have really seen the value in protecting our mental health and I believe that workspace design will really take this new appreciation on board. A lot of our recent designs have looked to bring the outside in with planting, exposed natural finishes and muted tones. This approach creates a space that inspires higher levels of concentration and lower levels of stress.” Head of design, Kevin McIntosh.

Get in touch to arrange a consultation with one of our local specialists

 

Welcome to the team, Phoebe

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Today we welcome Phoebe to team Chameleon as our assistant administrator.

Phoebe will be working under our business support manager Sam to ensure our projects are delivered on time and will be based at our HQ on Hull Marina, UK. Alongside her new role in the team, Phoebe will also be completing her Business Administration Apprenticeship in partnership with Hull College.

“I’m really excited to be starting my career at Chameleon and working with Sam to assist our design team and project delivery team with the delivery of our projects. As well as supporting Sam I will be attending training at Hull College to achieve my Level 3 Business Administration qualification. I can’t wait to get started!”

As always when we introduce new members to our team at Chameleon, we asked Phoebe for a few fun facts about herself. She said: “In my spare time I like to watch lots of Netflix. I am a huge comedy fan and love to binge-watch a good TV show – a couple of my favourites are Friends, Modern Family and Brooklyn 99. I am also a big Harry Potter fan and a proud Hufflepuff supporter. When I’m not relaxing in front of the TV you can usually find me online shopping, I can’t resist a good sale!”

Welcome to the team, Phoebe!

 

Congratulations Sam, our new Business Support Manager

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2020 was a fantastic year of growth at Chameleon, something that is continuing in 2021.

Sam has been working super hard behind the scenes for over 4 years to ensure that our projects are delivered on time and we think that deserves some kind of recognition.

We are delighted to announce that Sam has been promoted to our Business Support Manager. During her time at Chameleon she has completed a range of training in order to further her skills including a degree in Business Management and has become an integral part of our team. Her new role will see her take on the management of other team members, something we know she will be great at!

Congratulations Sam! Here’s what she had to say about her new role:

“I am really looking forward to the challenges that my new role will bring. Not only do I love what I do and the projects I get to work on but I honestly couldn’t ask for a nicer bunch of people to do it with, the team behind Chameleon really is great – here’s to the future!”

Why your workspace is an important tool for supporting employee wellbeing

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Wellbeing in the workplace is something that has been raising its head for some time now, however, the pandemic has raised concerns about people’s health and wellbeing to the top of everyone’s business agenda.

Employers play a vital role in not only protecting employees from the risk of COVID-19 infection, but also their mental wellbeing. As well as worries about becoming ill, many employees are isolated, others face income or job loss, while working parents have to juggle caring responsibilities and work. Ultimately, our workspaces will have to work harder than ever to support those working in them after the lockdown ends.

Studies have shown that light and room acoustics have an undeniable impact on productivity, human interaction, and wellbeing.  Washington State University found people working indoors with plants in their view complete tasks 12% faster, have improved memory retention by up to 20% and are better able to concentrate than those without.

After spending so much time indoors many of us are craving human connection and socialisation – something that the workplace usually provides for people on a daily basis. Giving your employees space to do this is a great way to not only boost morale, but encourage friendships.

When it comes to creating a space for your team to thrive, it is important to consider how that design will affect their wellbeing, including elements such as:

  • Colour
  • Privacy
  • Biophillic Design
  • Fabrics
  • Zoning
  • Agile working

We’ve spent the past 22 years working with businesses to understand exactly what their employees need from their space. By conducting employee surveys we are able to understand exactly how your team work and what tools they need to thrive, always putting employee wellbeing, flexibility and collaboration at the heart of our designs.

Is your workspace ready to step up and support your team post lockdown? Or has time stood still whilst you’ve been working from home?

Click here to get in touch with our team