Building resilience in uncertain times: Verizon Hyderabad’s workplace reboot

Building resilience in uncertain times: Verizon Hyderabad’s workplace reboot

Building resilience in uncertain times: Verizon Hyderabad’s workplace reboot 

Setting up goals and strategy for your workplace requires considerable insight into your company’s long and short-term goals and anticipating upcoming trends. But how do you plan a workplace reboot when none of that information is available to you or anyone for that matter?

Our designers faced just such a challenge last year when they were planning the Verizon Hyderabad office design. Having worked on some of Verizon’s other workspaces in the past, we shared a long-term relationship with the company and understood their needs. However, this time there was a difference – we undertook this project in March 2020: a time when nobody knew what the next month would look like, let alone what the next few years would bring. But together with Verizon’s team, we came through and here’s how we went about it.

Space Matrix’s workplace design for Verizon Hyderabad resulted in employee resilience in uncertain times

Making an informed strategy

The absence of insights to guide us prompted us to carry out our own research and explore what the future of work would look like. This included insights into employee concerns as well as the ‘wants’ – things that they missed while working from home and hoped to get back to. It helped us define the parameters to guide our workplace strategy.

For instance, our survey findings showed there were major concerns over indoor air quality and how sickness protocols would be handled. Factors like hygiene and crowd control, therefore, became one of our top priorities. And the ‘wants’ became the mental compass that drove our design strategy. See how the workplace design shaped up.

The design experts at Space Matrix curated a future-proof office for Verizon Hyderabad

1. A visually aesthetic, experimental space

The urban, chic look and feel of the space is the first thing one would notice upon walking in. With wide open spaces, abundance of natural sunlight, rustic wooden rafters and biophilic elements, it evolved into  almost like stepping into a modern New York loft.

The reason behind this design decision was that much like an urban loft, this was meant to be an experimental space. Keeping in mind the context of the times, Verizon as a company, was trying to understand what would work for them in future. The loft-like flexibility, thus became an important feature in transitional times. Our designers built this flexibility into the very essence of the space, with lightweight, modular furniture, movable walls and highly reconfigurable layouts at every turn.

Another important function of the visually appealing space was to generate excitement among employees. Our survey already showed that people missed face-to-face interaction and the ability to collaborate. When this space was designed and the photos circulated among employees, it created a buzz and they could not wait to return to working from the office again.

A visually aesthetic and experimental space for Verizon Hyderabad office resulted in employee wellbeing

2. A space that offered the best of both worlds to employees

While visual appeal was one way to get people enthusiastic about coming back to the office, we complemented that with the assurance that they would not have to give up the creature comforts they had become used to while working from home. The space thus, was designed to offer the social advantages of an office and the comforts of home.

We achieved this through intelligent zonal design. The arrival zone, with its ambience lighting, the various comfortable seating options and the work cafe, exudes a warm, welcoming atmosphere. This gives way to the connect spaces – the tech-enabled social hubs where employees and visitors can gather in groups of various sizes to interact and collaborate. These in turn, lead to the focus and hyperfocus zones.

Our focus was to meet all kinds of employee requirements. For instance, some people work better in well-lit airy spaces with a buzzing atmosphere; others can focus well in secluded spaces where they can plug in their music. Our designers ensured both sets of people feel equally at home in this new workspace. They created common areas where people would be able to settle down for some quiet, heads-down work. These spaces were made to look aesthetically pleasing with lots of indoor greenery, colourful artwork and comfortable seating with visual partitions that would enable one to create their own bubble of privacy. The glass walled focus rooms offered yet another degree of acoustic privacy, while still keeping users visually connected to the rest of the space.

Verizon Hyderabad’s office promoted a hybrid workplace design showcasing the best of both worlds
The evolved functionalities of technology


As we saw a more hybrid way of work starting to take shape, our designers understood the heightened importance of technology and tech-enabled spaces in keeping different teams connected across locations. But they went beyond this to leverage technology to meet employee concerns about hygiene and safety too.

The connect spaces and meeting rooms, for instance, are not just equipped with tech screens. They also have a layer of technology that powers room booking systems and IoT-driven workstations. This ensures that these spaces are always optimally used, but never over-crowded. Likewise, thermal screening and face recognition technologies at the entrance facilitates monitoring and contact tracing, phone-operated door lockers minimise contact and the cleaning logger apps offer an added dose of reassurance to returning employees.

The result, thus, was a well-designed workspace that offered comfort and functionality to all the employees of Verizon Hyderabad. But most importantly, the outcome was a workspace that was fully future-proofed through flexibility, agility and strategic planning at a time when that seemed nearly impossible. Now, a year and a half down the line and when we have more facts at our disposal, we know that Verizon Hyderabad’s office design strategy fits perfectly with the way workplaces have actually evolved.

Looking to future-proof your office design as well? We can help you!