Creating a new, fit-for-purpose workspace at 164 Flinders Lane
Together for good – the client challenge
After 10 years in our Exhibition St office, the time was right for Cube Group to have a fresh start: a contemporary space to meet the needs of our organisation, our team and our clients.
Our new Melbourne office needed to reflect our purpose and values. It would allow for growth but also feel intimate, helping to bring us and our community together. It would provide a home for our business but also challenge us to work in a more agile and client-centred way. It had to be welcoming for our people and clients and accommodate different work styles and meeting requirements, but also respect the 1880s building we were moving into.
Consistent with our values and our B Corporation certification we committed to sustainability and were determined to work with suppliers who understood our need to make business decisions for good.
Bringing the right thinking and people to the table
The brief was simple – find and create a space that is special for our team and clients and takes our responsibilities (to our values and as a B Corp) seriously. But first we had to find the right people to partner with, to help us bring our new home to life.
We were fortunate to have two key partners who bought their experience and skills to the table. Our property guru Anthony Ludeman of Honos Property who took us on a unique journey of Melbourne’s CBD and the fabulous team at IA Design who understood our requests for functional beauty, local suppliers and sustainability.
In addition to finding the right people for us to work with we made sure that we had consulted widely internally and understood how our team used our current office environment. We looked at space utilisation and what the limitations where and formed our Ways of Working employee reference group to enable us to consult and engage our entire team throughout the journey.
The positive change we delivered
This project delivered a new workspace for Cube. However, we see our office – and the process by which we developed it – as much more than simply a place for people to work.
Everything about the new office reflects our values, especially our commitment to sustainability. Our supplier and purchasing choices for the build were driven by the desire we have for sustainable built environments. The ways in which these values were incorporated into the fit-out are numerous, and include:
- choosing local suppliers for furniture, coating and upholstering,
- the use of GreenTag certified products in our wall panels, v groove panels and laminates
- the use of low VOC products for all paints and glues, and
- across all materials and supplies, the highest standards of durability to prevent turnover and waste.
This commitment continued from lighting solutions to recyclable carpet, to the beautiful local ceramics and Fairtrade coffee in our kitchen, and the presence of lots of greenery throughout – not only does this reduce noise and keep the air clean it is also shown to increase productivity and decrease stress.
Insights for inquisitive minds
- The people considerations with this type of change initiative are as important as the physical aspects – listen, legitimise and address concerns, no matter how trivial. Engage the team early and keep them informed along the way. A new channel on Slack along with regular team updates was key to ensuring people felt involved and could physically see what was occurring.
- Sustainable options abound – cleaning products, recycling opportunities – but adopting them may take some time and needs to be balanced with the organisations needs e.g. single use kitchen products aren’t environmentally friendly, but can provide the team with sense of cleanliness and hygiene. Balance the needs, listen, learn and prioritise what’s most important for the organisation. Continue to educate and ensure alternatives are comparable and accessible.