A recent move - Intellihub

Tenant – Intellihub Limited
New Home – 2-6 Crowhurst Street, Newmarket
Move date – February 2023
Interview with Lindsay Cowley, CEO


How long did you stay at your previous premises?

We were in our previous space from 2015 to early 2023, so close to eight years.

How far out did you start looking for a new office premises? Was it long enough?

We started looking for a new premises about 24 months prior to the end of our existing lease. We considered what our new office requirements were and felt that that was more than enough time. However, we went on to experience challenges with material shortages, skill shortages and supply chain disruptions that meant we moved just as our old lease expired.

What were the key drivers for your move?

Our previous office space had a nice layout, but it wasn’t the right fit for our company needs. It was spread over multiple floors with more space than we required. We found it was having an impact on our culture and teamwork. With these factors in mind, the key drivers for our move was staff engagement and functionality. Attracting employees back to the office after COVID-19 was a top priority for us.

We have now moved into a high quality, single level floor, with 36% less floor space. We have already noticed the difference in our staff and the impact a clean, fresh ‘work home’ they can be proud of has made.

How did you determine what your future office should look like? Did looking at other sites help?

We visited a number of other offices, some that we liked and many that wouldn’t have suited our culture and brand. With the ones we liked, we found out who they had worked with on their fitout – leading us to Platform Consulting Group. Jeff and his team take a highly collaborative design approach, taking the time to understand us and our workplace vision. They were able to bring our ideas and concept to life, both on time and within our budget.

Did the move enable you to change the way you are working?

The new premises has revolutionised how we work. We now have a fully agile environment where you can choose which desk you work from every day. Even as CEO, I aim to move seats every few days. This gives me an opportunity to engage with different team members and build a deeper understanding of their work.

Do you provide all team members with a fixed desk? Why or why not?

As a collective, we decided not to have fixed desks. We opted instead to be 100% agile with ‘neighbourhoods’ for fuctional teams. We have a number of break out spaces, where project teams can easily co-locate whenever they need to collaborate.

Activity Based Working (ABW) - fad or fabulous? Why?

We believe it’s here to stay. Business strategies and structures change, it just makes sense to have an office design that allows you to easily reorganise around priorities and work requirements.

Now that you are occupying the new space, how has the feedback been from your team members? What is the biggest change?

The feedback has been incredibly positive. The team loves the new open plan layout and contemporary fitout. The biggest change has been the adoption of the ‘neighbourhood’ flexible seating with some people still adjusting to the concept that they can move anywhere in the office – especially when they find the CEO is suddenly sitting next to them!

What piece of furniture has made the most impact with team members and how they work?

For us, it was less about a single piece of furniture and more about how we arranged our environment. It was important to us to move away from a traditional lunchroom to a café-style space, where people would feel comfortable working, even with a coffee in hand! We wanted the easy movement and flow and a casual work space for informal interactions, which are an integral part of building our work culture.

In regards to our furniture, we wanted to upcycle as much of our existing furniture that we could. This decision aligned with our ESG framework and also had an added cost-effective benefit. The furniture we kept included our boardroom table and chairs, as well as our existing desks. They are all in great condition and the new space has them looking brand new! We did invest in new monitors and conferencing units, as it’s critical to our business to have high functioning technology.

Are end-of-trip facilities becoming more important? Have team members changed the way they are commuting to work because of this?

We felt that end-of-trip facilities are important to our team, so we made the investment to having them included within our new tenancy. The bathrooms are high quality and reflect what you would find residentially. The end-of-trip facilities are a fantastic amenity for our people and create another reason to be proud of the office environment we have created.

What happened to your on-site storage needs? Have they changed? Are you using less paper?

We have reduced our storage needs and ensured a clear desk policy. Visually, this has made a huge difference in the premises which looks fresh and uncluttered.

What are some of the things you did right with the fitout?

Engaging the right fitout company, who understood our vision and challenged us at the same time to think outside the box. The end result is better than we could have imagined.

What is the one thing you would do differently with the fitout?

We love the new premises and fitout – the only thing we would have changed would be to have made the move sooner!

What is the one piece of advice you would give another company looking to move premises?

Allow enough time, as lease negotiations and fitouts take longer than you expect.