• 4 min read

Beyond the bench: evolving life sciences workplace design strategies

Discover cutting-edge strategies for elevating life sciences workplace design.

Inside a life sciences workplace design and build project by AIS

In the realm of life sciences workplace design has transcended traditional boundaries, extending far beyond the confines of laboratory benches. Recognising that the workplace and laboratory serve as more than mere physical spaces, they have become dynamic social environments that foster collaboration, shape organisational culture and influence employee relationships.

Post-pandemic shifts have redefined workspace trends, demanding an overhaul that surpasses mere functionality. The contemporary life sciences workplace is under increasing pressure to evolve into the ultimate laboratory setting—a space that not only facilitates scientific endeavors but also actively promotes collaboration, productivity, and socialisation. Moreover, a heightened emphasis on environmental consciousness adds a layer of complexity to this design challenge.

Exploring life sciences workplace design: strategies for success

This article explores key strategies to enhance employee experiences in life sciences organisations through thoughtful laboratory design and build. From incorporating branding elements that reinforce organisational values to creating designated collaborative spaces and introducing social areas within laboratories, each aspect contributes to a holistic approach in shaping a workspace that aligns with the unique needs of the life sciences industry.

Workplace branding

Integrating branding elements into the workplace fosters a sense of unity and belonging among team members. From colour schemes to subtle nods to company values, these design elements serve as constant reminders of why employees enjoy working within the organisation.

While laboratories often face restrictions in terms of decor due to sanitary, health and safety there are many cost-effective ways you can design the space in line with your brand. Allowing you to ultimately embed how you want employees and guests to connect to your brand when in the workplace. Investing in your branding means investing in your culture. Inspiring and boosting the morale of your team reminds them of why your organisation is a great place to work.

Branding inside an office design for DNA Nudge.

Designated space to work collaboratively

Beyond the laboratory setting, providing spaces for collaborative work is crucial. Open plan areas, large meeting rooms, and innovative work cafes offer multifunctional spaces for both work and social interaction, promoting cross-departmental connectivity and team building.

With an expanding number of laboratories are currently exploring the integration of automated devices. This growing interest has led to a heightened demand for collaborative spaces beyond the laboratory, where teams can engage in discussions about their findings and the processing of data is increasingly becoming a sought-after necessity.

Physically connecting departments who may not often work together is another great way to create a sense of social connectivity. You may want to consider your design to ensure your layout allows you to see between the laboratory and an open plan space, for example by using glass separations. This builds a sense of familiarity and team building as well as allowing workers to stay focused.

Social space in laboratories

Recognising the high-pressure nature of laboratory work, creating welcoming and calming social spaces within the office can provide essential relief. Whether through multiple tea points or a central café-style hub, these areas contribute to boosting morale and fostering a positive team culture.

A social hub or town hall style space in the office provides a space for your team to step away from the lab or their desks and socialise, while also helping to bring people together who wouldn’t usually work together. Whether it’s having multiple tea points around the office or one large café style space, these areas are important to break out during the day to boost moods and enhance your team culture and attitude.

Inside the office of DNA Nudge an employee social space is shown with a teapoint and lots of break out furniture for staff to chill out on breaks.

Inspiring colour schemes

Thoughtful use of colours, textures, and materials plays a pivotal role in setting the mood of the workplace. While brand colours are important, the choice must balance aesthetics with the practical considerations of a laboratory environment.

Neutral colours often create a more productive environment. However, it’s important to ensure that whilst remaining neutral the colours are uplifting. Combining neutral tones with muted versions of your brand colours often come together to make an effective workplace colours scheme.

While previously in the laboratory sphere surfaces and finishes were limited to mostly clinical whites and stainless steel, these days more options are available. We work with a wide range of laboratory and workplace furniture suppliers, providing solutions for industrial, medical, tech and pharmaceutical science sectors and can help you access a range of lab products in assorted finishes to assist in creating a bespoke workspace that embodies your company brand and ethos.

As the life sciences industry continues to evolve, so too must the design of its workplaces. By prioritising the employee experience through strategic design choices, organisations can create bespoke workspaces that embody their brand, ethos, and commitment to fostering a positive and collaborative work environment.

To explore how these strategies can enhance your organisation’s employee experience, connect with a member of our team.

Research and Insights