Determining the New Workplace Strategy



The current head office of a large Australian financial institution was out-dated and cramped. There was a need to update the interior with the intention of creating an environment that would speak of the company brand and values, incentivise the employees and bring the out-dated functionality and image into the future.


In order to find the direction that the new workplace would take the current environment needed to be explored to understand the challenges and understand the opportunities. In this light the psychological, functional and physical requirements of the organisation, it’s employees and customers needed to be considered.


Twenty employees from different departments and management levels were nominated to participate in a co-design/co-create workshop over a two day period. During this time the company and personal employee values, pain points and delights were explored. Through a number of activities that culminated in ‘prototyping’ their new workplace, enough information was collected to create a working brief to form the financial institution’s new workplace strategy.


Methods Used: Research, Storytelling, Experience Pathway

Research Workplace Trends 

Prior research was undertaken into the current workplace trends around the world. Statistics into leasing spaces was also presented as the client lease was coming up for renewal and the property agent wanted the client to renew their lease for another 10 years.


The participants were asked to bring along an object that is personal to them and is something that would represent a part of their character that was not known to others. This was more about ‘who you are and not what you do’. The ‘show and tell’ session worked as an ice breaker as well as a connection between those who will live in this space. The hope was that it would engage members with each other and uncover something about each other that was news to the rest – demonstrating that what we do as workers is only one facet of the multifaceted humans that we are and builds community.

Experience Pathway

We used a framework that focuses your perspective ‘outside-in’. A human centered approach that explores the experiences ‘people’ encounter throughout the day – this activity acted as a way to become aware of the participants and their environment and behaviours in regards to before during and after work. We used the five ‘E’s – Entice, Enter, Engage, Exit and Extend.


Methods Used: Mind-mapping & Brainstorming

We undertook a number of mind-mapping and brainstorming activities to understand the current workplace, it’s pain points and delights, and to imagine the future workplace – extracting the wants, desires and needs of the staff.


Methods Used: Rapid prototyping

The participants were given a prototyping activity in which they had to create their new workplace using art and craft supplies. The activity not only produced many themes, but also reiterated on the ideas that came through in the brainstorming session. This then validated the original thoughts.


Methods Used: Recap Mindmapping

To finish off with the participants we did a quick recap mindmap to validate our findings and solidify any of the ideas and thoughts that the participants had about their future environment.


Methods Used: Affinity Mapping/Observations & Themes

The information collected from the workshops was then analysed and synthesized. Three themes which were based on the participants desires were created from our observations.



The Concept Solution

Final Brief 

The end result addressed the three workplace components – the architecture of the space, the product in the space and the experience from the space. These three elements would combined to give a holistic workplace. Taking the three themes of Community, Theatre and Nature, and matching them with the three components of Architecture, Product and Experience, ideas and suggestions for the space were given in respect to the workshop findings and client employee desires. This was then given as a brief to the client for further review.

  • ROLE Documenter, analysis & synthesis. Part of a 6 person team sharing different roles
  • DURATION Workshop : 2 days, Analysis/Synthesis : 1 week
  • METHODS Storytelling, Brainstorming/Mind Mapping, Experience Pathway, Game Storming, Ideation, Prototyping, Analysis, Synthesis
  • CLIENT Unnamed Australian Bank