AECOM has delivered many successful projects for National Grid—an international electricity and gas company based in the UK—implementing their innovative Smart WorkSpace programme across the company’s real estate portfolio. The Homer Road location houses the National Grid’s Non-Regulated Business (NRB) unit and presented the unique challenge of adapting Smart WorkSpace for a young, fast-changing, and newly-restructured team.
Creating a unique space
A “deconstructed” design language, a robust change management programme, and an integrated communications campaign, helped create a workspace that unites the new team and encourages collaboration while reducing hierarchy and supporting colleagues working together and learning from each other. The space was themed around “the new city”, with individual settings designed to reflect the living room, the theatre, the boutique hotel, and the central atrium as “Central Park”. Exposed pipework, coloured radiators and vibrant light installations draw attention to National Grid’s services and bring the inner structure and workings of the space to the forefront.
Communication and collaboration
The project presented an opportunity to create, not only a new workspace, but also a new, creative, innovative and collaborative culture amongst the users. The redesign was part a wider transformation project that NRB was undertaking. To support this, a strong change and communication programme, running alongside the design work, was essential. Interviews were conducted with leadership, and workshops were held with a team of change agents. Regular communication with these change agents maintained a two-way flow of feedback and input, ensuring buy-in to the new space protocols and culture.
Communications were custom-designed to keep colleagues updated throughout the build progress, introduce them to the new protocols and present information in accessible, positive language. An immersive design exhibition, an eye-catching, unconventional poster campaign, along with a blog to update staff with key messages, competitions, trivia and sustainability achievements helped ensure engagement and acceptance.