Creating an environment supportive of the business’s values and mission to be distinctive.

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The challenge

Driving value through Agile, changing demands through North Sourcing

With a pending lease break opportunity and teams spread across two buildings in Leeds, Walker Morris wanted to explore the options available to either refurbish in situ or relocate. Working in a very traditional cellular way for the most part, Walker Morris needed to consider how this lease event could also be a catalyst for change in an extremely competitive market.

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what we did

It was evident that Walker Morris needed to embark on a change journey as part of their ability to move forward and create a more efficient footprint. Embedded traditional behaviours and cultures generated the need for a significant period of engagement over almost a year. Online questionnaires, face to face meetings and utilisation surveys were carried out in an evidence based study, to help stakeholders understand the options available and the wider benefits of a more agile workplace where staff feel empowered and engaged.

A comprehensive phase of engagement helped Partners to accept that change was needed and that the success of the project was predicated on their ability to champion new ways of working. Having carried out audits and assessing the spatial requirements based on all of the data gathered, Strive were able to recommend an optimum footprint and assist with building searches.

Feasibility studies were undertaken for several locations including the existing sites, supported by a pro’s and con’s matrix for each Walker Morris were able to shortlist and arrive at a preferred location (33 Wellington Street), which was about to undergo a significant strip out and refurbishment programme.

Following a storage audit of a law firm we observed 4413 linear meters of filing being retained on site, this equates to a physical footprint of 6,000 sq ft but in reality to access that storage the impact is more like 12,000 sq ft. The cost of 12,000 sq ft per year in the current two buildings equates to £400,000. In addition to this there is an annual cost of £167,000 for off site archive storage. A total equivalent of £567,000 a year just to retain paper on and off site.

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the result

The relocation would see Walker Morris go from occupying 85,000 sq ft of inefficient space across two buildings, to one building of 60,000 sq ft, with a significant increase in shared meeting space and areas for teams to collaborate.

The design of the new space requiring a shift from a 1:1 desk ratio in a predominantly cellular environment to a 10:7 ratio all situated in open plan. Other features include a new client suite and business lounge, staff cafe space and an exclusive outdoor space in the heart of the city.

A reduction of 70% of hard copy filing across the working floors formed part of the huge cultural change needed to realise this move and create a more sustainable future proofed solution.