CAN ACCOUNTANTS EMBRACE ABW (ACTIVITY BASED WORKING)?
Knp Solutions were cosily settled in their 22 year old traditional office space. The fitout was tired, but knp liked the building and the location was perfect for both clients and staff. Then an increase in partners and unexpected eviction notice midway through the lease triggered a need to change location and company direction.
BRM Projects expertise was initially sought to guide knp’s budget, timeline, and property search whilst also providing expert witness evidence to assist the lawyers reach settlement on the eviction claim.
From the outset BRM Projects encouraged knp to embrace the upcoming changes, use the opportunity for rejuvenation and consider introducing Activity Based Working into the new space.
After spatial planning, test-fits and a false start on a property, 1121 High Street in Armadale was identified. The space had potential but the old partition heavy fitout needed to be stripped away and the overly generous foyer yearned to be reclaimed. Fortunately the agent and landlord understood knp’s long term vision and assisted with approvals and incentive contributions covering make good and fitout works.
After securing the premises, BRM Projects switched focus to the design, tender, fitout, relocation then handover of the existing space. Significant time was invested into change management and demonstration of the design with staff including presentations, communication of ABW concepts and office trends, 3D walk-throughs, fitout progress updates, opportunity for feedback, sample boards and showroom visits.
From an ABW and staff perspective, the design incorporated:
· Sit to stand flexibility
· Generous lunch café in the best part of the building
· Quiet rooms for higher levels of focus
· North facing balcony with couches and a bbq
· Whiteboard walls, glassboards and brainstorm zones
· Informal meeting zones
· Formal meetings zones with operable walls for flexibility
· Cloud-based IT and follow-me capability for flexible use of the ABW spaces
But at its core ABW has flexible desking, which is not always suitable or well received by staff. A hybrid ABW approach was adopted where the dedicated workstation was retained to give each staff member a sense of security and home within the company.
The open plan design also considered acoustics, feature storage, natural light and an abundance of plants. Partner offices were shifted to interior with skylights adding natural light, and the reception footprint was expanded to reclaim the building’s overly generous foyer.
…and yes, ABW was embraced including BEAN BAGS!
“We placed our trust in BRM Projects from the outset, and were impressed with the result,” says Andrew Freeman, partner at knp Solutions. “The service was blue ribbon from planning and searching for properties, all the way through to the relocation. Our project had an urgency and BRM Projects calmly guided us through, delivering a new space that we are very proud to occupy and present to our clients. We love the space.”
“The project wasn’t always easy,” adds Norman Same, partner. “Budgets, timelines, co-ordination, a myriad of suppliers and consultants, tough decisions that needed to be made. BRM Projects informed us well, allowing us to make the right decisions, and the result is a testament to their service.”
We appreciated being entrusted with the future look of knp. We especially love returning to the space to see it being used and enjoyed.
BRM Projects wishes knp Solutions every success in their new home.
“The service was blue ribbon from planning and searching for properties, all the way through to the relocation."
Andrew Freeman, Partner.