Designed by local interior company, Kyoob-id, the customer service center is inspired by the garage of an auto-mechanic and the nature of the client’s business.
1. The design and build project for the insurance company is commissioned to Kyoob-id, a local commercial interior design company based in Singapore. The areas involved include the customer service center/ area, general office, pantry, phone rooms, and meeting rooms. Budget Direct Insurance’s new office is situated at Singapore Shopping Centre on Clemenceau Avenue, the heart of the prime shopping belt in town.
2. Budget Direct Insurance is a car and travel insurance company that is part of the global Budget Insurance Group which provides insurance solutions to millions of policyholders worldwide. The Budget Insurance Group includes one of the largest direct personal lines insurers in South Africa, one of the biggest personal lines insurance intermediaries in the United Kingdom and the Budget Direct brand in Australia.
3. Michelle Goh, Kyoob-id’s Director, says: “We’re pleased to be selected as the designer for this project. The Budget Insurance Group is an established insurance brand with a dynamic presence globally; hence we’ve wanted to create a space that would portray the identity and culture of this global company as well as a place where the staff can feel at one with.”
4. The nature of the business provides much fodder for the inspiration of the new office design. The team at Kyoob-id is inspired by the grungy aesthetics of an auto-mechanic’s working space, which is primarily the garage, and feels that a plan based on this look would create a unique and attractive impression for customers visiting the customer center for the very first time.
5. Kyoob-id’s Designer, Lim Weiling says: “We think that an industrial look for the center would give customers a unique experience as it looks so different from the conventional customer service areas. The casual yet cozy setting would leave an impression on customers.”
6. In line with the industrial-themed center, the office within adopts an open and vibrant workspace with plenty of planters styled between workstations for needed privacy. Also, the pantry area is styled with a fun, cozy, and lively aesthetics, drawing staff to use the areas not just during the break time but for causal, informal meetings and discussions. “I think these areas are fun and lively and fit well with the younger users as well,” adds Weiling.
7. As the office is situated in an older building, there are a few challenges to manage during the design process such as uneven flooring for example. The unit’s proximity to the main road traffic is also a concern for causing noise disruption to the company’s operations. Design Manager, Emily Tan, says that these concerns are raised and factored in during the planning and design stage so that noise disturbance is mitigated to a large extent.
8. At the entrance, woody, earthy tones compound with an eclectic mix of industrial-chic furniture to give a cozy first impression. Unlike conventional customers centers that yield a corporate look, Budget Direct Insurance’s customer service area projects an interesting, grungy vibe that will certainly leave a distinct impression even after one leaf.
9. Walk through the exit of the customer service area, and you’d come to the pantry, a cozy corner styled with cozy, warm comforts. Here, staff can relax over coffee or peruse the daily news before starting the work day.
10. A bar-height, ruggedly-stained table and seats overlook the streets, providing doses of work inspiration. Nearer to the office, a larger table stands beside a cream brick-wall (wall-papered), peppered with colorful chairs for a burst of vibrancy. Phone rooms – liken to tiny reading rooms – with snug lounge seating are created for anyone in need of urgent privacy in this openly-styled office.
11. Adding a dash of color and spirit to the office are lined bright stickers on meeting room glass doors. The stickers provide privacy for the meeting room occupants as well as serve to enhance the positive vibes of the office. The rooms are also planned near the road to give access to window views and to brighten the office with natural light as much as possible.