How SYSTEMIQ gained a more flexible workspace with Imago’s office pods

SYSTEMIQ is a global sustainability advisory company that began in 2016. It works with businesses in different countries and fields to help shape policy and business strategy and implement creative solutions to the world’s environmental challenges.

An international team that strives for excellence and innovation, SYSTEMIQ has offices in Amsterdam, Bali, Jakarta, London, Munich and São Paulo.

We spoke to Ben Onyemem, Associate at SYSTEMIQ, about the implementation of office pods in the London office and their impact on the working environment.

The challenge 

In a high-performing environment like SYSTEMIQ’s, there is inevitably a need for flexible working facilities – those that facilitate collaboration and social engagement, combined with zones to promote heads-up and heads-down working. Indeed, with each of SYSTEMIQ’s international offices having previously done so, the London offices were the last of the SYSTEMIQ offices to adopt the use of office pods in their working space. 

Open-plan offices are good for communication and teamwork but not necessarily suitable for small team collaboration or quiet and privacy for those who need seclusion. SYSTEMIQ London needed to implement a flexible working environment that was engaging, flexible and met with stakeholder and staff expectations.

The solution  

Having been associates from the beginning, Imago moved SYSTEMIQ out of its serviced offices in 2017. Imago were commissioned to design and move SYSTEMIQ into their new office, an 8,000 Square Foot space located in High Holborn.

“Imago has been with us since we were a startup. We have a very strong relationship with them. They feel like partners rather than contractors.”

This project presented the perfect opportunity to deliver a working environment that truly reflected the business’s teamwork principles, while providing private space for those who needed it.

“We had a lack of private or collaboration space, so when we worked with Imago on the new office space, they suggested pods for their versatility.”

When Imago suggested the use of office pods; movable, self-contained and soundproof offices, that were both space-effective and could be moved to different premises, as part of the design of the new London space, it was something SYSTEMIQ considered seriously. 

SYSTEMIQ had never used or experienced office pods in the London office before and a few people were quite sceptical. So, when Imago convinced SYSTEMIQ to try them, they started small. 

“We started with just a few, and slowly grew into them, and the sceptics learned to appreciate them.”

The new office pods; six phone booth pods, two 4-person pods and eight 8-person open pods were fitted, each equipped with AV, plug sockets, table, chairs and other features, as part of an 8-week office installation. 

The results

So, how has the London office benefitted from the using office pods in its working space and what has been the biggest benefit?

“They have created just the right balance between collaborative work and private work. They have given the office a flow and a relaxed design feel but also give people both the privacy and the collaborative space they need. The pods have proved very effective and have changed the whole culture.”

Of course, there are many benefits to office pods, not least that they are movable and provide dedicated meeting rooms, but SYSTEMIQ found that they enable individuals and teams to discuss work of a sensitive nature. 

“We do lots of confidential work, and the pods, being very soundproof, work really well.”

And what about the comfort of the pods?

“And they are really very comfortable. You can sit and work in one for hours – they are that comfortable.”

I asked Ben if the office pods were what he expected. 

“They have beyond met our expectations and we’re thinking of more pods in the next phase of the office design, for more collaborative space for teams.”

“It’s a credit to Imago for suggesting them, incorporating them into the design. We quickly saw the benefits of them.”

And what about the process? 

“From the design to the installation to the aftercare, everything has been very good.”

It would appear that Imago’s office pods have made a substantial difference to the working environment at the SYSTEMIQ offices in London…

“We have pods in all our offices across the world. And had incorporated office pods in Munich and Amsterdam before we considered them in the UK. In fact, London was one of the last offices to have office pods. And, they’ve been such a success we will continue to incorporate them into the designs of our offices.” 

Finally, what tips or advice would you give to others considering Imago’s office pods? 

“Have a mix of pods – phone booths, single, double, group pods – it helps with the flexibility in the way people work – then you can experience the full benefit of the pod culture.”

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Let us help you find the perfect meeting pod or phone booth – Read our Ultimate Guide to Designing Your Workspace, view the full range of office pods or request a quote.