The Birmingham office of Avison Young was formally opened on 16th May 2019. The exercise allowed Avison Young to consolidate from 40,000 Sq Ft, down to 25,500 Sq Ft and reduce the spread of 380 staff across 3.5 floors, down to 2. The scheme is the result of a comprehensive review of how the business should be using its own space. The key to this approach was the importance for the new environment to facilitate and catalyse the move to new, more agile working methods. The workplace now supports a 60% agility ratio and is spread across a number of alternative settings that include assigned workstations, transient spaces and sit / stand principles of working. The two floors are zoned by neighbourhood and the control of how they are utilised has been devolved to the teams that are assigned them. This association offers members a sense of belonging to a community and ties in the human needs throughout the day and a stronger connection with the building.
Embracing these Biophilic characteristics of a modern workplace are further endorsed by the generous use of space for rest and relaxation areas. These afford a variety of settings, offering users substantial choice in how to use them and this fundamental approach to building design will go a long way to ensuring that the staff are not disconnected with colleagues. But aside from the informal aspect of this workplace, Avison Young were keen that the whole office was a showcase for what they do and what they advise their clients. The central feature is the client front of house hub that has been designed to be incredibly versatile to support a variety of events; Formal one-2-one or large meetings, seminars, informal presentations or for staff to simply carry out their daily activities but away from their usual place of work. The approach to work and how it is delivered is a million miles away from any usual pre-set notion of what the workplace should be about. The experience starts with the reception, which itself is not the traditional meet and greet but a more fluid welcoming experience that embodies the very nature of what Avison Young are about and how they want the world to view them.