Accommodation Strategy For OzChild South & East Melbourne
BRM’s extensive experience collaborating with not-for-profit and child-centric organisations has been reflected in a fantastic outcome for the accommodation strategy of OzChild, whose South-East operations were facing significant growth. Just this week, OzChild, under the guidance of BRM Real Estate, signed a long term lease at the former ATO building in Mason St Dandenong for what will become its first major office hub, in Victoria’s south east and the blueprint for future national offices. This is the first step in executing an accommodation strategy that BRM Projects has been involved in from late 2016. We are excited to move forward in implementing the next stages of the strategy, together with OzChild, in establishing the most effective workplace solutions for its expansion.
OzChild works with over 6,000 children and young people with the aim of providing them a better future. OzChild’s approach is comprehensive; where multiple services address the often numerous issues in the lives of children and their families. Programs range from foster care for children aged 0 – 18 who can no longer live with their natural parents; services for children with disabilities; health and welfare support such as counselling in schools and for families
experiencing difficulties; respite for families whose children often have complex needs; education, scholarships, mentorship and development programs for disengaged and underprivileged youth.
With OzChild operating from 5 premises across Melbourne’s South East, BRM Projects was appointed to investigate the premises and make recommendations for a strategy that focused on the future required size, locations and office resources. Upon investigating, we recommended a ‘Hub and Spoke’ approach, whereby OzChild would condense its footprint to have hubs in Dandenong and Frankston only, rather than expanding its five sites to include a sixth. While the current sites are each 300-400sqm, the new hub will be over 1200sqm, offering provisions for growth and greater efficiency in operation.
Many factors were taken into consideration when working with OzChild on this approach. Such factors included: Location, with strong focus placed on the close proximity between clients and carers, staff feedback and considerations relating to requirements and opportunities for improvements and efficiencies, and the layout and functionality of the premises.
Why the ‘Hub and Spoke’ Approach works
A ‘Hub and Spoke’ approach is where the central office is home to managers and decision makers, with smaller spokes of service delivery which connect back in to the hub allowing flexibility to respond. For OzChild’s operation in south east Victoria, Frankston and Dandenong have been identified as key hubs and the client site visit would be a spoke.
While the office will be the key location for team support, retreat and development, adopting an agile working approach would also allow working from home, external meetings, cafes and other offices to also be seen as spokes.
what are the key benefits?
• A large number of hubs was reducing efficiency for OzChild, mainly due to location and travel time. Centralising these hubs would mean that staff would be closer to clients and experience an decrease in travel time.
• The new site in Dandenong is not only convenient in terms of its proximity to the other OzChild offices, but its size also allows for future growth.
• Reducing the number of hubs and creating co-located environments allows for more
resources (training rooms, interview meeting rooms, engaging staff lunch areas, outdoor space) and a greater efficiency of space.
Reflective of the Work:
• In general, the new spaces would be child-centric, with a balance of professionalism and playfulness. Each location would include a warm and welcoming reception and waiting area, a combination of formal meeting spaces, as well as playful informal spaces, a flexible training facility, a mix offices and open plan work areas, an engaging and communal lunch area, as well as outdoor space.
• The design would be sympathetic, understanding and refined, speaking to staff, child, parent and corporate. It should be warm, inspiring and safe. It should also be flexible and dynamic, allowing OzChild to grow, develop and evolve within it.
BRM Projects, and its sister company BRM Real Estate are thrilled to reach this stage of the Accommodation Strategy with OzChild and we look forward to the following stages of the project.
BRM Projects works with countless Not-For-Profit Organisations across Australia to deliver end to end commercial property, staff engagement and office fit-out solutions.
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