As employers continue to grapple with new ways of working post-pandemic, Dan Murphy’s parent company Endeavour Group has redesigned its office spaces to be worthy of a commute. The company’s new Adelaide office opened up for employees in early September followed by the new Melbourne office in late October. Endeavour Group offers a fully flexible, hybrid working arrangement that sees team members able to work from wherever suits them, but it hopes that the new workplaces in Adelaide and Melbo
Melbourne will see more staff members choosing to work in the office. A unique space for a unique organisation Endeavour Group describes the new offices as being “designed for us by us.” “When we say ‘designed for us and by us’ we take an approach of human-centred design. So really empathising with our team members,” explained Devorah Carrasco, innovation and format development manager at Endeavour Group. With no mandate to force employees to work in the office for any minimum number of days, Endeavor Group has instead used human-centred design to create spaces that enable creative productivity in one of three ways. The design focuses on three principles; concentration, community and collaboration. Concentration areas are spaces designed for deep-focussed work, community areas are spaces designed for both deliberate and incidental social gatherings and collaboration areas are spaces designed for working and learning. For Endeavour Group, adopting a human-centred design approach meant the plans revolved around a series of interviews, surveys and workshops to understand what drives its employees to work in the office post-pandemic. “What’s important to us in terms of creating a more sociable future together, right? That’s our mantra of the company, but how do we manifest that as a brand in the space?” Carrasco asked. Now all of Endeavour’s sub-brands, including bottleshops Dan Murphy and BWS, and hospitality operator ALH Hotels, will call a single office home, allowing for cross-pollination to naturally occur in the spaces. “We’ve never done one Endeavor office, we’ve always had a green office for Dan’s or an orange office for BWS,” admitted Lisa Cleggett, head of design at Endeavour Group, referring to the brands’ respective colour palettes. “We had to create the [Endeavour] brand almost from scratch in a physical environment,” she added. With a company and culture built around socialising, it was important the office design reflected that. To make the vision a reality, Endeavour worked with a number of external partners, including employee experience specialist State of Work, creative agency The General Store and Amicus for the design and fit out. “We actually ended up partnering with an agency that was not necessarily workplace specialists, but a specialist across all sectors and quite dominant in the retail and hospitality space,” said Cleggett. Leading with incentive instead of regulation While Endeavor Group remains committed to supporting flexible working arrangements, it is hoping the new workspaces will be enough to lure employees out of their home offices. “How do I attract people back, but not just for presenteeism, but actually for real value in delivery? What is actually going to make people more productive, more connected? And that’s going to be very different for each individual,” Meg Liston expressed, State of Work’s workplace project lead. “So we have to think about it from a project perspective across not just design but the technology, the operations, the services, and then the change management in actually inducting people into the office,” she added. Endeavour Group’s research discovered the major drawcard for getting employees into the physical office was events and extracurricular activities that would take place around employees’ day jobs. This meant they needed a workplace that could cater to and facilitate group socialisation. The Adelaide office is equipped for 50 employees while the Melbourne office is set up for 500 employees. The renovated Endeavour Group offices might be of different scales but the guiding principles of concentration, community and collaboration are the same across both states. While Endeavour Group is not measuring the success of the renovations based on attendance, the Adelaide and Melbourne offices are reaching 65 per cent capacity on a weekly average. “The challenge for us is how do you do what we’ve set up as a principle and apply it to all the different sites and different teams, different psychologies of different states, but they all kind of operate quite differently,” said Cleggett. Endeavour Group will be observing the new Melbourne and Adelaide offices to replicate and further innovate the human-centred hybrid office model for its Sydney site next.