When Amicus decided to change the way we work to Activity Based Working it was to take advantage of both cultural workplace change and a new address that was more aligned with the company. In turn we were also able to secure some amazing financial savings. ABW might not be for everyone, it is different from the traditional office. There are few who have been to an Amicus office who haven't thought out loud or under their breath, 'this looks like a great place to work'. Activity Based Working brings with it more than no set seating, there is certainly more to gain than to say goodbye to. It brings lower overheads and lower square metres, more employee flexibility and faster adoption of new tech that keeps the team connected when mobile. If your staff are in meetings or out of the office, why have a desk sitting idle? For SMEs no set seating does wonders for default collaboration across disciplines.
With half of Amicus staff mobile, at worksites or in national roles that has them travelling part of the week, great IT is integral to ABW. For us that's Microsoft Office...and of course, loads of video conferencing. To allow for positive use of ABW there also needs to be a company culture of trust and that is built from the top down and starts with hiring people you know you can trust. The ABW style of work is about agility and facilitates work happening where it's best to get the job done. At home, a construction site, a hotel when interstate travelling, or on the plane. An organic example of ABW in action is most small businesses, who make the most of the spaces available to them like local cafes or even their car.
Tenant Advocate (and Business Advisor, Strategist and all round oracle of useful information) Angus Harvey Ross made a critical point atour 2017 Brisbane property market breakfast.
Forget about the lease expiry date, forget about vacancy rates and incentives, these things are just external factors that are there to try to distract you from the important task of running your business.
What companies should be considering in these times of fast growth and decline is;
Does this property add something to my business?
Does this company asset help to retain talent?
Does this office improve productivity?
Does the office you are in right now inspire your employees and clients?
Mr. Harvey Ross says that even something as low cost as providing a sit stand desk for your staff shows that you value them and improves their productivity as a result. Your property and office play a huge role in retaining staff and that adds up when you consider how long it takes and how much it costs to replace staff.
Angus Harvey Ross added that businesses should really only be planning for 12 months in advance. The market place is so turbulent, how many of us knew where we would be today a year ago? Anything more than a very vague 5 year plan is almost ridiculous.
Sean Johnson, Co-Founder and Director of Brisbane based recruitment firm TrooCoo, said it meant a lot to his team to graduate from co-working to their own space. To walk in and see our own company branding on the walls gave all employees a mental lift and a sense of ownership and inspiration. Sean’s team started off in co-working and it certainly played an important role in making connections for the business, however, maturing to their own space was an important part of the growth and the journey of the business and their big plans. Sean also commented that there is a lot of vacancy in Brisbane but these spaces were not necessarily suitable for the businesses in need, describing some as soulless.
Amanda Newbery, Founder & MD at Articulous, said what was important for her in securing a new office included landlord incentives so that she could make sure that the fitout helped to attract the best of the best talent and be a place that would unleash creativity while providing quiet places to hide for more in-depth work. Amanda says that the process of finding a space was time consuming and overwhelming, especially in the Brisbane market where there is a flood of available vacant space of the under 500sqm variety. Amanda wanted to make sure she used her head and not her heart in such a big decision for the future of the company so decided to call in the big guns and chose to work with Angus Harvey Ross to secure her perfect new business home. With the dream fitout designs now underway, we can’t wait to see the finished product.