One of our valued clients, Jellis Craig Doncaster, had an exploding business in the Manningham area after an initial high-performance office designed by us, which we then extended again as they continued to grow. They then acquired another business in Ringwood, where they planned to continue and expand on their success trajectory.
The Big Issue
The client said ‘We just want the reception to look amazing. We’re happy to spend big dollars and we want it to be spot on.’
What We Found
We scoped out the site and had a look at the balance of the building as a whole, observing how the teams from this other brand that had just been acquired interacted. We also took note of the setup of their workspaces and the workplace dynamic.
We found the reception did need addressing. It was very unusual and had very poor wayfinding. There was no logical pathway or sense of arrival in reception, and no obvious spaces where a guest could sit and feel right. There was a lot of unresolved Feng Shui that made you feel uneasy and uncomfortable. Out in the back of house, there was three different levels of workstations with three disparate groups of people working. The very cluttered setup with high visual barriers in the workplace was creating opportunity for unprofessional conduct for today’s offices. This raised some alarms for me personally and for our design team.
We went back to the management group and said ‘You’ve taken over this new office and you’re looking to bring some of your high performing team over. But before you do, we recommend the following; let’s hold off spending money on reception. Let’s put the money into the workplace to get the engine room right. This is what you need to resolve.’ I shared a little of what we observed and showed them the way forward with a high-performance workplace that provided acoustic privacy for salespeople, as well as collaboration areas within the space to encourage teamwork. We also allowed for the appropriate filing within each segment for sales & property management to function to their best ability.
We said, ‘we’re more than happy for just to hold off completely for the reception area and do that as Stage Two.’ They were quite surprised. They said, ‘you are really talking yourself out of a job. We just want the reception done.’ We dug in a little bit deeper and showed them the benefits of restarting the back end first, and given that they’d already won multiple awards in their previous offices we had designed for them, they took it on board.
How We Solved It
In reception where there previously was a convoluted entrance, we created a plant and timber wall, offset by a beautiful concrete reception. Up above, to accent the angular ceiling, our design team specified black aluminium slats. This gave us a sense of ceiling, so we had a feeling of wholeness of space when you first come in, logically aligned parallel with the street. Now the reception had a sense of arrival with a waiting area and meeting rooms to the right. We resolved the awkward layout and engineered in space planning and glass to allow for the maximum transfer of light.
At the back of house, we created a separate space for the sales team with high sided workstations, giving them private phone units, which could be used by each sales group. Within the pod of sales, we made space for a long collaboration table where the team could pull together and have 10 minute morning meetings where they could get the message out, including a display screen which gave them the ability to present.
Then we created a another, similar collaborative work zone for the property management professionals. We ended with a high-performance workplace, where the existing teams and the new players coming across from the successful Doncaster office could work together and do their best work.
If you are looking to reconfigure or relocate or expand, we’d love to help you too. Our experience is at your disposal.