AGL is an Australian leader in renewable energy. The new 19,000 sqm office for the Energy company’s Victorian headquarters is located in Mirvac Group’s 6 star green star rated building at 699 Bourke Street.
Consolidating 1500 employees from several locations across Melbourne to a tower in the heart of the Docklands precinct, AGL’s state-of-the-art activity based working facilities gives the group the flexibilty to organise, connect and adapt teams to deliver a great customer service experience now and in the future.
AGL commissioned HASSELL, Built and Montlaur Project Services to ensure the design and layout of the workplace improves the productivity and collaboration of AGL’s employees to meet the changing needs of their customers. CSM National Business Development Manager, Victoria Harris talks to HASSELL Snr Interior Designers, Robert Ryan and Jacqui Low about the aspirations and specifications for the project.
AGL’s new headquarters consolidated several accommodations to one location. What design challenges were amplified by merging a large number of staff and multiple business units together?
A critical element with any change, especially a business going from a traditional fixed desk environment to a flexible or agile environment, is to ensure that all parts of the business are involved in the process. Staff at all levels need to feel that they own the change. For AGL we needed to make sure that the various business units were considered and that the design reflected their needs. The challenge was ensuring that there was a balance between providing specific needs of the business units, but flexible enough to cater for future change if/when that business unit moves or no longer exists.
Was there a pilot space for this project, and if so what level of engagement did AGL’s employees have during the design process?
Yes there was a pilot space for the project. Teams were rotated through the pilot and asked to give feedback on their experience and work setting, which was taken into the design of the fitout.
Efficiency and creativity are key ingredients to a successful business. While much emphasis is placed on how these factors affect a business product, companies are also seeking ways to improve their internal operations. How does the Smarter Working model support these needs?
The old AGL workplace was a fixed desk environment, where there was very little collaboration or ‘collisions’ between people or business units. Smarter working was created to change the way staff interacted with each other and to increase knowledge sharing by creating a dynamic workplace that enabled the AGL workforce to be a more efficient and creative business.
Reducing paper consumption can improve efficiency and reduce costs. Has paper reduction been a consideration for the environmentally conscious energy provider?
Yes this was key to the project. It also fed into the Greenstar requirement of the project.
In terms of storage requirements, how did this affect the specification of storage?
Storage was heavily reduced, in the ABW environment no one has a fixed position and so storage was centrally located in a neighbourhood for team storage access. Storage was reduced from 1.3LM per person to .25 LM per person. Rolling Storage units were allocated for each level allowing high density storage that doesn’t consume a lot of floor space.
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