A Recent Move - Bidfood

Tenant: Bidfood
New home: Building 8, 660-670 Great South Road, Ellerslie
Move date: March 2022
Area: 1,000m² leased
Interview with: Phil Struckmann, Chief Executive Officer

How long did you stay at your previous premises?

16 years.

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

Roughly 15 months prior to the break date in our lease, which was comfortably long enough.

What were the key drivers for your move?

Our existing offices, while large enough in terms of overall footprint, consisted of multiple areas that had been cobbled together over time. We wanted to move to a more modern office layout, with an emphasis on open plan and shared workspaces, as well as better amenities.

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

Looking at other sites definitely helped to shape our thinking as to what would work (or not) for us. In addition, we sought input from staff as to what was important for them, and made sure that this was front and centre of our new design.

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

Absolutely. The open plan layout has allowed us to group teams, while at the same time having everyone in the same office. Introducing breakout areas and focus rooms has also allowed staff to access different types of workspace to work more efficiently and effectively.

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

At this point – yes. The office is large enough to offer this, but we have been clear that as we grow, we will be moving those staff who are not in the office a great deal, to a shared desk situation.

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

Definitely a good move. The office layout allows people to choose between working in teams or working on their own in a manner which has little or no impact on the rest of
the office.

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

Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with the key aspect being that staff have been able to see that their requests have been incorporated into the new layout. The biggest change has been having a much larger and more welcoming space for social interaction, in the form of a modern kitchen and lunchroom, and a large breakout area.

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

Probably a 50/50 split between the height adjustable desks, and the fact that all meeting rooms are now set up for video conferencing.

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

There is definite value in having these facilities, but at this stage, there probably has not been any great change in staff travel habits. In part, that may be due to the fact that the new offices are very close to our previous site, but there is certainly talk of people looking at changing travel habits in time (maybe in summer!!)

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

That is a work-in-progress for us. We used the opportunity of the move to assess what we needed to hold on-site, and have definitely reduced our storage needs significantly. We are still developing this further, with several projects underway to make certain processes paperless.

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

Staff involvement, without a doubt. We surveyed all staff initially to get their feedback and what they wanted out of new offices, and incorporated as much of that feedback as we practically could. Thereafter, the entire fitout process was managed by a small team of staff members, so that staff involvement was maintained all the way through to completion.

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

Try and avoid another lockdown! Working through design issues and making decisions on colour schemes and furniture choices remotely was not ideal, but ultimately unavoidable – and full credit to everyone involved for still delivering a great outcome in spite of these hurdles.

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

Involve your staff throughout – this is their workspace!