In September we moved into our new office, an environmentally friendly hub for our employees that allows a more self-sufficient and sustainable work space.
Our team really love our new office that is bursting with small touches that add up to make a big difference, not to mention express something of our personality and purpose. So what makes it so special and how did we achieve it?
The brief from the team was for our new office to be as eco-friendly as possible, to work with sustainable suppliers, have a bright working environment and to rethink how we use, reuse and recycle.
To manage the office move, which was no small feat, we created a small project team to oversee ‘Project Exodus’ with eight staff responsible for the various areas including IT and telecoms, transport, inventories, design, signage, quality, risks and environment, facilities management, physical move and communications.
What at first appeared to be a big challenge was actually straight forward to organise, as our team really engaged with the challenge. So what did we achieve, beyond a new view from our window?
Reused and upcycled
We have reused, upcycled and recycled wherever possible to create a unique working environment. This includes all our office and meeting room furniture, a cable-drum table that we commissioned from Bristol Wood Recycling Project and a refurbished football table purchased from eBay.
Trendy light features made by Ben, our Communications Specialist, using upcycled wine bottles hang above the cable drum table. New LED lights have also been fitted that come on when you enter a room to create a brighter and more energy efficient working environment and our toilets boast energy efficient Dyson air-blade hand-dryers.
Our new meeting rooms are also named after our environmental heroes, so if you visit you may well be meeting us in either the Sir David Attenborough, Dame Ellen MacArthur, Wangari Maathai, Al Gore or Elon Musk room. Sir David Attenborough is most certainly our favorite, with a green grass coloured carpet and locally sourced, pure wool fluffy clouds hanging from the ceiling that help to improve the acoustics!
It's worth noting that our office is just a short walk from the lovely greenery and lake of Aztec West business park, so often one-to-one meetings are held outside whilst strolling around. Fresh air and fresh ideas!
Space to take a break
Back inside our main office a huge cork board wall allows the team not only pin up our favorite photos, but also nominate colleagues for work well done who will then get entered into a monthly competition, whilst a funky break-out room allows everyone to relax, chat, eat lunch together and play table football.
Our kitchen boasts a microwave, dishwasher, coffee machine, toaster and a hot cup hot water dispenser - no inefficient kettle here thank you. Birthdays are now celebrated not only with cake, but occasionally homemade curry for all! Funnily enough the microwave was one of the most eagerly anticipated features of our new office, as we were not allowed to make hot meals in our previous, serviced office.
To encourage sustainable commuting and business travel an electric car charger has been installed and there is a shower and bike shed for our cyclists – we now have a good number of staff who regularly cycle to work instead of driving.
A key learn
So now we have settled in and are enjoying the benefits of our new office, what have we learnt?
A key learn was how important it is to carry out a staff survey at the start of the project to get buy in across the company, with plenty of ideas and feedback. Communicating ideas and progress to all staff on a regular basis and listening to feedback was certainly key to the success of our move. In this manner any concerns over the quality of the working environment and our environmental impact were flagged up, researched and appropriate solutions implemented. It helped that all of our team really care, which ensured we maintained a high standard!
I think what we have achieved goes well beyond our expectations - a change for good that is more sustainable, allowing us to manage our own facilities, energy usage, waste recycling and reduce our carbon emissions, all within a collaborative and inspirational working environment. What more could you want?
We'd love to show you round, have a chat and make you a cup a tea with our eco hot water dispenser, so why not drop in to see us sometime?
Karen joined the team at the beginning of 2016 and supports both the compliance and marketing teams, helping to co-ordinate member interactions through the provision of administrative support.
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