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Look out Reading International Business Park, Symantec is shaking things up with their latest office design and fit out! This global cybersecurity firm wanted a brand-proud office which supports activity-based working, complete with all the security bells and whistles, and that’s exactly what they got.

An international office design

Symantec knows how important a good office is. It’s international network of workplaces are all intentionally designed as hubs for innovation. Right from the start, we wanted to understand what they’d set out as their global standard and their ambitions for the Reading office. Our brief was to make Symantec’s brand the hero of the office, all while reflecting the personality of the local team.

Working with a team in California to design and build this office meant communication had to be spot on. The design development process was fast and intense, and at times we had as many as 45 people on a conference call making decisions about the new space! It was an incredible effort and the flawless end result shows the cohesion of everyone involved.

Safe and secure

Not surprisingly Symantec’s office is full of the latest technology. Security is the epicentre of the business so a major focus was how to create the best possible security hub, or Security Operations Centre. Our design and fit out included some pretty unusual elements, including an access control vestibule which notifies staff when someone is approaching by switching the colour of the floor lights to blue. If necessary, with this forewarning, employees have plenty of time to turn off their screens to ensure confidentiality.

The Security Operations Centre presentation room also has state-of-the-art privacy glass and doors; a stunning feature in itself which curves around the entire length of the room. This allows uninterrupted views of the large AV screens, or at the flick of a switch frosts to create a completely private room.

Meet at the pub

Inspired by an activity-based working model, one of Symantec’s requirements was to support their tried and tested flexible working culture. This was music to our ears! We used the fit out as an opportunity to create scrum areas, huddle spots, focus rooms and breakout areas, all of which are linked to power and data for flexible working.

One of designer Karl’s favourite breakout areas is the central social area, right at the centre of the office’s three separate ‘wings’. This fun area resembles a typical British pub and is a place to unwind or work informally. It features a pool table - loser makes the next tea round! - and a variety of seating areas, including booths with pub posters, a TV lounge with comfy sofas and a kitchenette.

All in the detail

There’s no mistaking where you are when you visit the Symantec office. Our design uses the brand’s colour palette proudly throughout the space, as well as graphics - and not just the obvious ones. Geometric patterns inspired by the Symantec logo, icons of padlocks and keys, security reminders like ‘Think before you click’ and graphics of their unique working process; these all come together to create a sense of connection with the brand and it’s purpose.

A collaborative focus

The office also encourages connection between colleagues, not just in its provision of informal gathering areas but in its approach to wellbeing. Symantec wanted to inspire movement around the office to discourage overly sedentary behaviours and help employees mingle while keeping active. We incorporated a simple walking circuit through the office as a tactic for achieving this, complemented by schoolyard favourites - hula hoops and skipping ropes!

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