• Transform magazine
  • July 03, 2022


Ogilvy UK launches new hybrid working space The Yolk

Jackdaw Studio Ogilvy2

Ogilvy UK, part of the Ogilvy creative network, reimagined the workplace for the future with the launch of a new ‘programmable’ office, The Yolk. Its aim is to challenge the concept of the office being just a container of space, creating an environment that can be programmed for multiple uses.

Housed within Ogilvy UK’s Sea Containers HQ, The Yolk is a flexible space designed for hybrid working and creative collaboration between remote and present colleagues. The Yolk can serve as a quiet thinking space, a brainstorming hub, a client workshop setting or a presentation theatre. It was named ‘The Yolk’ because of its yellow colour scheme and because it’s where Ogilvy believes great ideas will be hatched.

The space aims to foster collaboration, interaction, and sociability and create the  space to counter the ‘lockdown deficits’ of pandemic working, which include creative workshops, skills transfer, culture building and social aspects.

Jules Chalkley, chief executive creative director at Ogilvy UK ,describes The Yolk as a place for "collaboration, interaction and sociability, the ‘glue’ that holds a creative business together and enables it to move forward.”

“Unexpected magic happens when people are together and sharing a diversity of opinion. People rarely have their best ideas sitting behind a desk – liberating them from their desks will lead to even greater creativity,” Chalkley says.

Ogilvy UK designers worked with Jackdaw Studios to shift from the traditional workspace or open-plan office. The custom-designed space is an office within an office than can evolve in response to user interactions, with every aspect moveable into a variety of configurations that facilitate different kinds of collaborative work. Even the walls, designed as ten-foot-wide magnetic boards mounted on ceiling track, can be moved with one hand for instant display or space division, giving people flexibility and autonomy.

The design was informed by an ethnographic study of what people had missed from their usual routines and what they had enjoyed about working from home. Retaining autonomy over how and when they worked, more time to spend with families and communities, and less time commuting all ranked highly. The ideal office would provide environments for different styles of collaboration spaces and easy access to technology to prevent those not in the office from feeling detached from the action.

“Rather than insisting that the workplace returns to ‘normal’ or is abandoned altogether, Ogilvy is committed to exploring the best way back, incorporating elements of the personal autonomy that was one of the more attractive aspects of working from home, and reinventing the office as an empowering space for collaboration. This puts us at the forefront of the workplace revolution, taking a fresh and innovative approach not only to the solutions we create for clients, but to the way we work as a company ourselves,” says Victoria Day, managing director at Ogilvy Advertising UK.