Home' HR Monthly : June 2015 Contents June 2015 HRMonthly 29
MINGLING – flexible work
stations for different activities,
no fixed offices or desks, one big
cafe, central plaza, collaboration
rooms and tables.
HEALTH – stand-up desks,
bike ramps and indoor storage,
sports court, yoga, high-quality
food, internal staircases.
MIND – meditation spaces,
quiet zones such as libraries or
sound proofed cubicles.
– glass roof, central atrium.
OUTDOOR SPACES –
balcony, roof terrace.
FUN – table tennis, pinball
machines, games consoles,
REST – lounges, hammock s,
TECHNOLOGY – ever yone
on mobiles and laptops,
no fixed telephones or
datapoints, wireless mobile
phone charging points.
AIR QUALITY – real indoor
FEATURE: WORKPLACE DESIGN
improve performance. But the article also warns that
organisations require much more data before making design
decisions, and they must be clear about what they are trying to
achieve, whether it be higher productivity, greater creativity or
cultural change. Mirvac, for example, put heat sensors under
desks in its present office to record how often a person was
“My seat is used less than 10 per cent of the time. I thrive on
run ning around,” says Rolls. “But everyone works differently –
designers, marketers, accountants, project managers.”
The company is now designing its new space around two work
models based on people spending two -thirds or one-third of their
time at the desk.
It’s this type of evidence-based research – facilitated by HR –
that can avoid disappointments such as the emerging backlash
against the design darling of the past few years: activity-based
working (ABW). The theory is that workers choose different
places to work, depending on what they are doing that day.
The problem, according to Tony Armstrong, associate director
of global commercial real estate company CBRE , is that some
companies have introduced a “fake” version, with no quiet zones.
“Some corporates have created great ABW spaces,” he told
the WorkTech15 conference in Melbourne. Examples included
Commonwealth Bank’s Darling Quarter premises in Sydney,
software provider Intuit’s custom-designed headquarters in
Sydney and ANZ’s head office in Melbourne’s Docklands.
“Others have said they’re doing ABW, but really it’s a cost-cutting
exercise, packing people in elbow-to-elbow and saying this
encourages collaboration. People also need private space.”
Armstrong noted that CBRE’s Tokyo office has an alcove
of soundproof cubicles, and dedicated team tables where up to
six people can collaborate at short notice. It’s part of CBRE’s
alternate workplace program, Workplace 360 that is being
rolled out in 20 sites around the globe. One of the benefits, says
Armstrong, is to have increased communication and collaboration
across business lines. When they surveyed their Singapore office,
for example, 92 per cent of staff said their ability to work as small
teams had improved.
Armstrong also presented the fi ndings of CBRE’s global survey
late last year on the future of work and the workplace. A key
finding was the expectation from younger workers that their work
space would help their health and wellbeing.
“ We’ve gone past work/life balance now. It’s more like work/
life integration,” he said. “Our research shows that Gen Y wants
an exciting job but they expect a healthy environ ment, too.”
Armstrong cited the new global Well Building Standard, »
“THERE IS NO ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL . YOU
MUST INCORPORATE THE DNA AND THE CULTURE
OF THE ORGANISATION INTO THE DESIGN.”
DAVID ROLLS, GROUP EXECUTIVE, COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT, MIRVAC
On track: Bicycle
ramp leading into
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25/05/15 4:13 PM
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