As digital transformation continues to make a significant impact on business and workstyles, the world’s forward-thinking organisations are moving towards Workplace as a Service (WaaS) models.
Workplaces are harnassing technology and the IoT as instruments for improving business performance and user experience. WaaS are purpose-designed, activity-based environments that give employees more freedom to choose how they work and where. They support workers to be more creative, more collaborative and to excel at what they do best.
As a global leader in innovative engineering services, Aurecon set out to explore a new way of working in its Brisbane office – one that would inspire its people, promote wellness and increase workplace productivity.
Haworth was thrilled to take part in Aurecon’s exciting new journey into the future of workplace, working alongside the organisation over an extended 2-year period as a project, strategy and support partner.
Aurecon's vision was to create an agile workplace that encouraged greater communication, engaging user experiences and modular agility. Included in its plans was a front-of-house client experience area (Level 1) that could also be used as part of an employee wellness initiative.
Using the theme, “There’s no place like home,” Aurecon's brief was to create a new space in which employees could feel proud of what they do. Level 1 would be somewhere they could feel comfortable inviting friends and family; where they could feel shamelessly themselves.
Haworth helped curate an experience that would illustrate Aurecon’s concept in a physical way. Significantly, behind the Workplace as a Service model is the concept of an iterative workplace. This wasn’t going to be a ‘set and forget’ project – the solution had to remain flexible, measurable and modular to grow with the organisation and its future transformations.
Workshopping a solution.
For the workplace to be a service, it’s imperative workplace planning starts by understanding the nature of work and the different roles within the organisation. To that end,
we worked closely with Aurecon and interior design firm, Woods Bagot, to deliver a diverse range of services, including furniture consultancy, spatial strategy, CX, project management and ideation services.
We began by holding extensive discovery sessions, workshops and mapping exercises to map how we could bring Aurecon's vision to life within its budget. Across multiple design studio sessions and spatial strategy consultations, we assessed how workers used the space and furniture then pivoted the floorplate to support how they really worked.
Haworth's Organic Spaces philosophy argues agile spaces should be defined, measured and then re-defined to ensure maximum organisational flexibility. We analysed multiple touchpoints to give Aurecon the data it needs to re-evaluate the space's relevance, usage and adaptability when required.
An iterative workplace requires flexible furniture choices. Haworth procured furniture for the 6500 square metre project that incorporated real-time measurement capabilities, so Aurecon could track future engagement and adjust furniture
on a needs basis.
Sensors compile data on space usage, delivering actionable information on work patterns and behaviours to help further optimise the space. Furniture procurement included:
- 435 Very task chairs and stools
- 435 Intuity sitting, standing and HAT workstations
- IQ Commercial return focus pods
- Modular loose furniture solutions (Riverbend)
- Custom co-cr8 moveable storage/ dividers and lounges
- Cappellini products
- Custom meeting tables.
To accommodate Aurecon’s budget, we also workshopped existing fixed joinery pieces, slicing them up and transforming them into Haworth-designed custom shelving units.
Smart furniture concepts further replicate functional ideas with added flexibility, such as the custom modular-curved Riverbend that works as a banquette seat, but in a more modular, agile form. Future floorplates can now be aligned and adapted in ‘real-time' to reflect how the organisation actually operates.
Finally, accommodating change in the workplace can be challenging. To help Aurecon’s change management process, we held workplace strategy workshops to help staff and management optimise their new space and organisational culture. We also created client experience journey maps to introduce employees to the new workplace.
The first live WaaS pilot of its kind in the world.
Aurecon’s Level 1 is now a showcase for how to design 21st Century spaces for collaboration, co-creation, innovation and growth. It leads the way for global workplace innovation with enriched spaces that promote wellness and support its people’s best work.
Designated verandas create zones for casual collaboration. ‘Homezones’ offer extended areas for entire teams to meet, ideate and work together. Hospitality areas feature retail partnerships to deliver café-style menus straight to the lounge floor. A full-time barista means staff no longer need to head out of the office for casual meetings.
The space is alive with analytics. We’ve instituted a rolling, three-year study that delivers real-time data on how each setting performs. This gives Aurecon the power to evolve its environments when it feels need to expand, contract or pivot.
Forging a partnership with a like-minded innovative company has given us an opportunity to explore new ways of perceiving space within organisations and deliver a genuine WaaS environment for a dramatically evolving industry leader.
Aurecon's new workspaces support each other to deliver an experience unrivalled anywhere in the world so far. And we're proud to have played an integral part in its developmental journey.