Explain your current role
I work alongside our dealer partners to identify and win Workplace projects. This is achieved by building relationships with the furniture consultants, listening to their requirements and putting forward the best solution KI can offer.
What attracted to the workplace sector?
I didn’t leave college planning to work in the furniture industry but as we know, once you’re in, it’s addictive! 2007 was when I established a love for the workplace sector.
What are the key issues relevant to your client base at the moment?
Getting people back into the office! Every company is approaching the future with caution, and each with slightly different strategies. Deciding what to do next is a big issue because we are all learning as we go. With our diverse mix of clients, we are in a good position to share anecdotes and case studies of how one organisation is moving forward. It can be quite interesting to see what inspiration gets picked up and reimagined in another scheme.
Of these issues, which do you find most interesting and challenging?
Everyone accepts that offices have to adapt and refurbish to become places people ‘want’ to be in, not ‘have to’ be in. Hybrid working isn’t new, but it is definitely going to be more common. It will, no doubt, result in the shrinking (but not disappearing) of seas of open plan benching. What will rise in its place is going to be really interesting!
What are your thoughts about the role of women in our industry?
When it comes to office design, in particular, women can play a really important role in broadening the conversation. It’s great to see so many women either starting their own practices and businesses or advancing within some of the big names in the industry. Like society, there is a tendency for women to take a majority responsibility for care and this can end up forcing them to compromise or sacrifice their careers. There is a lot that can be done both at company and government policy levels that could help level the playing field.
Suzanne is a member of Women in Office Design