Future proofed

An innovative workplace model heralds a new era in office design. WorkSmart by Jones Lang LaSalle has been trialled to great success at the firm's own office

Seating area for meetings. chair, furniture, office, passenger, white, blue
Seating area for meetings.

A leading corporate real estate company is walking the talk when it comes to office design, launching a new workplace standard in its own Sydney headquarters.

WorkSmart@420 George Street, along with WorkSmart@121 Marcus Clarke Street in Canberra are the first fit-outs of the new Jones Lang LaSalle WorkSmart proprietary activity-based working programme. Regional director corporate solutions Rajiv Nagrath says the new office environment reflects the changing way business is conducted today and the need for increased productivity.

"Economic uncertainty, continued cost pressure balanced against growth agenda, talent shortages and an increasingly competitive environment are among the many challenges facing companies today. Never before has there been such pressure on businesses to perform."

Nagrath says that to thrive, companies must have the flexibility to respond to an ever-evolving business climate.

"Workplace strategy can play a significant role in helping organisations meet short- and long-term business objectives. More importantly, it can help to rapidly address changing market conditions and priorities by providing a workplace with the ability to accommodate changes of scale."

Kevin Hastings, Jones Lang LaSalle regional director project and development services Australasia, says the company's own specialists were responsible for creating the workplace strategy, negotiating the lease, fitting out the space and the ongoing management of the facility.

Worksmart desking. classroom, conference hall, institution, meeting, office, seminar, training, brown
Worksmart desking.

"The firm has invested heavily in the office fit-out to create a healthy and high-quality work environment that connects our staff," Hastings says. "Each floor has one single hub, or breakout space, that helps to create a sense of place and belonging. This is located near the stairs so that vertical and horizontal communication can be embraced.

"The programme provides a combination of non-traditional work practices, non-territorial activity settings and multiple work locations. This supports the enhanced mobility of teams and individuals and more effectively utilises the workspace. There are non-assigned desks, but each team has a designated area within the workplace. We have also provided hush rooms and discussion pods.

"We have incorporated views and vistas right through the interior, which means both sides of the building are connected via pathways. Sightlines are kept clear and different business teams are more connected, no matter where they are."

Technology features of the WorkSmart office include a wireless guest network, enhanced audiovisual and digital collaboration tools, a sophisticated meeting room management system, VOIP telephony and improved data management. Improved technology infrastructure also means less reliance on paper records Jones Lang LaSalle has reduced its paper storage by 60%.

Sustainability was a key driver for the design. The building itself is five-star Green Star-rated and was designed to maximise floorplate efficiency.

"Our own tenancy at 420 George Street was designed to achieve a five-star Green Star Office Interiors rating," says Nagrath. "Sustainability features include maximum natural light penetration and air ventilation to all work areas; energy-efficient lighting and movement sensors; central waste recycling facilities; workstations and furniture certified to Good Environmental Choice Australia standards; indoor plants; and facilities for cyclists, including showers."

Casual office seating area. architecture, ceiling, interior design, room, black, gray
Casual office seating area.

Nagrath says the company has noted increased collaboration between teams that had not previously worked together, and higher staff satisfaction.

"There is widespread adoption of the new ways of working. Productivity and client service have improved. The space is also future proofed. We have increased flexibility and can add staff without taking additional floor space. The new environment will help to attract and retain top talent, minimise our staff turnover and drive improvements in our people management strategy."

The company has launched a WorkSmart@420 smart-phone app, which is exclusive to staff. This contains information about the new office, activity-based working and helpful functionality.

Nagrath says the WorkSmart activity-based programme sets a new benchmark one that can be applied to almost any business.

For more details, contact Jones Lang LaSalle; Rajiv Nagrath, phone (02) 9220 8321 or Kevin Hastings, phone (02) 9220 8655. Or email: rajiv.nagrath@ap.jll.com and kevin.hastings@ap.jll.com. Website: www.joneslanglasalle.com.au.

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