Plus X aims to create healthiest work space in UK
On average, people in the UK spend over 3,500 days of their life at work, that’s 35 per cent of their total waking hours and yet offices are often uninspiring places that hinder rather than help productivity.
Olga Hopton, Managing Director of Plus X Brighton, aims to change that. Supported by CEOs, Mat Hunter with a background in California-based IDEO and the Design Council and Paul Rostas, ex-investment banker turned entrepreneur, her goal is to create and manage the healthiest work space in the city and indeed the UK.
Plus X Brighton is the shiny new seven-floor innovation hub opening in January in a spectacular new building currently being fitted out as part of the wider U+I Plc regeneration of Preston Barracks on the Lewes Road.
There is more to the building than its world class design by Studio Egret West featuring the happiness colour yellow as the design principle.
Everything about the building’s design and the special features being created for its future members, has health and wellbeing in mind, from its nutritionally balanced and locally sourced café on the ground floor, to its stylish, ergonomic furniture and décor, to its spectacular roof terrace with abundant edible planting.
Olga Hopton moved to Brighton from Birmingham, where she had extensive experience in events and hospitality management prior to working on transforming the Bird’s Custard original factory into a media and creative cluster.
Formerly General Manager of the shared workspace PLATF9RM in Brighton, she moved on to advise developer U+I on work space design, including the £7m Victorian Power Station renovation in West London and the £15m Plus X Brighton.
As MD at Plus X Brighton, she is seeking to achieve the platinum WELL Building Standards Certification, which has the tagline “Buildings and communities that help people thrive”, ensuring that work spaces at Plus X are optimised for wellness, health and resilience.
To that end, everything must be taken into consideration including air quality, materials, light, biophilia – the new buzz word for greening and access to nature, water quality, community engagement and mental health support.
“We quite literally want to make Plus X Brighton the healthiest workspace in the country – a place where the environment aids positivity and productivity and the Plus X team will be fostering a nurturing environment as well as providing resources for members with tips on how to be healthy,” said Olga.
“I believe people react to their environment and it is possible to feel healthy and inspired in the work place. Plus X is there to make it easy so you can focus on what you do best - running your business.”
The Plus X team will regularly monitor air quality in the space, ensuring that it meets WELL standards. Details such as rosemary infused water served in the meeting rooms, proven to help focus and boost immunity, and essential oil blends available to aid positivity and focus, as well as weekly yoga and meditation, will all contribute to getting members’ creative juices flowing.
Biophilia refers to the inherent connection humans have to plants and nature.Studies have proven that when surrounded by plants, people’s happiness, focus and productivity improves, so Plus X has a ‘Biophilia strategy’ incorporating plenty of greenery allowing people to commune with nature both inside and out. Brighton’s first rooftop terrace featuring edible plants and herbs will be opening in spring for private events and members access to break out or enjoy as thinking space. Work spaces will also be flooded with natural light from large windows, as this is believed to support the circadian rhythm, improving people’s sleep-wake cycles.
Continued Olga, “As part of the WELL building standards, we are compiling a WELL Guide which will be available to all members in the space, helping them use the space for optimum wellness and we will also be curating a library of books that encourages and enhances mindfulness and wellness.
“Our extensive events calendar will include a rich variety of wellness focussed events and workshops, with yoga classes at the beginning of each week, so that partners can start their week the right way – focussed and intentional. We will also have classes on a Friday - these will be the perfect way to wind down and enter the weekend feeling refreshed. It is so important to switch off and take time out to recharge and thrive. I have discovered yoga at It’s Yoga Brighton just over a year ago and I can honestly say it has changed my life - Leena, my teacher always reminds me that it is the journey that counts and makes us grow. I think this is important recognition for many of the serial entrepreneurs and inventors that we work with.”
As one of the WELLness initiatives members will also benefit from access to Moment Pebbles, modelled from Brighton beach, encouraging those who hold them to remember to take a moment away from their work and to take a break from screen time.
Plus X has also partnered with Bird and Blend Tea Co to create ProductiviTEA, an exclusive fusion of yerba mate for alertness and productivity, lemon balm for stress reduction and rosehip and ginger for immunity and digestion.
Plus X believes that what is good for people is also good for the planet and Olga is a passionate advocate of all that is green and sustainable. She has partnered with Paper Rounds to provide a zero to landfill waste policy, has sourced a green energy supplier and eco cleaning products, as well as sustainably delivered local milk and Red Roasters direct trade coffee. The team at Plus X will also encourage green and healthy ways of travelling to work, with a new Brighton Bikes station just outside the hub.
Continued Olga, “Many of these ideas are ones that business leaders want to implement, but don’t have the time or knowledge to do so for their growing businesses. The value of situating your business at Plus X is that it’s the easiest way for you to take care of your team. If you are a business leader who is trying to build the best team you can, we believe that moving into Plus X can create a competitive advantage for you.”
Plux X has 53,000 sq ft of work space with room for over 550 people, including 11 studios for 4-20 people and bespoke turn-key solutions for 20+ size businesses. Memberships cost from £100 per month.
Opening January 2020, Plus X is the winning formula for business and social success.