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The challenge

As economies continue to bounce back, companies have begun re-opening, and employees have started to return to offices. However, the pandemic changed how we work and have prompted businesses to rethink their ways of working and redefine the purpose of a physical workplace. As a response to the changing times, our client, a global financial services organization, decided to move toward a hybrid work mode. This move is part of its global initiative to provide more flexibility for its employees, improve their wellbeing and decrease their office footprint worldwide. The work for the client’s Manila office involved cutting down one floor and re-stacking three levels, which meant a hard deadline for those involved in the project.

The solution

The client originally occupied four floors in a building in Manila. As the leases are up for renewal, the client approached Arcadis to be its Managed Delivery Partner for the consolidation project which will release the sixth floor from the current lease and restack the ground, fourth and fifth floors. With one of the floors not renewed, the permanent areas on lower levels must be functional prior to the agreed handover date of the sixth floor to its landlord. The team at Arcadis took on the challenge and provided project management and cost management services, working with various consultants to meet the bank’s time, cost and quality targets.

As project managers, one of our tasks was to help the client in stakeholder interviews and business process alignment to enable an effective translation for future change. It helped identify opportunities for the project, reduce and reallocate costs, improve employee engagement, and make faster and more informed decisions. We also provided support during the feasibility stage to define the workplace strategy, allowing for a more specific requirement on site selection in terms of size and space provisions.

During project delivery, a redesign had to be undertaken to support the company’s vision to shift into hybrid working which added pressure to the timeline. Arcadis, with project stakeholders, managed this change proactively through close collaboration and clear communication. And as a result, the redesign was implemented successfully without any impact on the target completion date.

The impact

The 11-month consolidation project resulted in a vibrant, fit-for-purpose modern working environment. Some renovation highlights include the conversion of the office ground floor to a training/town hall area and the addition of a functional space for people to work and collaborate due to the outdoor area's refurbishment. Cost savings were achieved by the business by handing the sixth floor back to the landlord, thus saving on rent. In addition, assets, such as VC room equipment, media wall, and workstation tables and chairs, were re-used and incorporated.

With this transformed office, employees can now enjoy a space that promotes collaboration, supports work flexibility and encourages them to be at their best to enable even better services to their clients.

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