Unleashing the Power of Workplace Design: Enhance Employee Retention and Reignite Office Productivity with Dan Boyes
In episode 30 of REDD’s Business and Technology Podcast, host Jackson Barnes and co-host Brad Ferris sit down with Dan Boyes, a visionary in growth workplace design. Dan’s expertise shines as he shares his journey and passion for revolutionising office spaces.
Dan provides some great insights into how you can fitout your office and consider aspects like sounds and acoustics and reveals the secrets behind designing meeting rooms that optimise communication and spark creativity. He highlights the common mistake of cramped breakout rooms, emphasising the importance of shifting mindsets to view these spaces as catalysts for collaboration and a thriving workplace culture.
Technology takes centre stage as Dan explains the need to tech-enable breakout areas, providing versatile workstations and audio-visual capabilities. By integrating these elements, these spaces become dynamic hubs for presentations, casual meetings, and individual work sessions.
The excitement escalates as Dan announces the rebranding of Growth Australia to Growth Workplace Design. This transformation showcases their commitment to aligning with clients’ evolving needs, fostering unity and excitement within the company.
Dan’s passion and dedication shine through as he emphasises the power of exceptional customer service and consistency. He inspires listeners to harmonise the physical environment with technological advancements, creating future-proof work ecosystems.
In conclusion, this captivating episode offers a glimpse into the brilliance of Dan Boyes and the transformative potential of growth workplace design. Dan’s insights encourage listeners to challenge the status quo, reimagine their office spaces, and embrace the possibilities brought by technological innovation. Prepare for an extraordinary journey into the world of Growth Workplace Design as Dan’s expertise captivates your imagination and fuels your vision of the future of work. Get ready to unlock limitless potential and unparalleled growth.
00:00 – Opener
00:20 – Intro
00:45 – Dan’s career history background
01:22 – Why “Growth Australia”?
02:13 – What does Growth Australia do?
03:17 – Consultant on workspace
04:23 – What is Dan’s podcast all about?
05:36 – What does office fitouts look like 10 years ago?
07:01 – How did covid affect the business space?
09:09 – How did covid change the design language of the company?
09:28 – Office as the representation of culture
12:33 – 3 things that actually work to get an employee back to the office
15:50 – What is trending in the office fitout space recently?
18:18 – What does the fitout industry look like in 5-10 years?
20:13 – Redd Office
27:10 – What are some fails from not going through office fitouts?
29:42 – What’s next for Growth Australia?
37:25 – How to reach Dan Boyes
37:39 – Outro
Thanks for watching!
REDD is a Technology Success Partner business headquartered in Brisbane, Australia. The Business and Technology podcast focuses on the commercial application of digital technologies in business. Guests will include industry experts, vendors, customers, business owners and anyone with unique insight to share. We discuss and explore current events, issues and stories relevant to business leaders, entrepreneurs, technologists and everyone in between.
REDD is a leading provider of the following services
- Digital Advisory Consulting
- Managed Technology
- Cloud Computing
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We believe, in the not so distant future, that people will not only deserve, but demand greater access to frictionless tools and systems that enhance and uplift their lives. Technology can create a truly blended lifestyle between work and play that prioritises mental health and wellbeing for our people, while increasing efficiencies and the effectiveness of emerging technologies in the workplace. We believe the future of work is built on perfectly balanced and curated tech stacks that seamlessly interface with the people they are built for. And it’s that future we’re building toward.
(00:37):You both for having me. I’m thrilled to be here. I appreciate
It. No problems, mate. Let’s start with your background. So what’d you do in your professional career before Growth Australia?
Yeah, thank you. So prior to growth, I was a commercial leasing agent at SSLs here in Brisbane, focusing on office leasing in the cbd. So I think that’s really where my passion for Space commercial property started and some good friends of mine started the Growth Australia business, a bit of banter between friends, you know, can sell commercial property, you should sell, fit out, all of that sort of stuff. And that’s sort of where the marriage and my romantic journey with Growth Australia began.
Cool. And you just want to give an overview of Growth Australia, what you do and also why you chose known the name Growth Australia.
Yeah, fantastic. The Growth Australia name is the word Growth was an acronym of the founders surnames. So Gilmore, Russell, and Williams. And they sort of put those letters up on the board and they had Taylor at that time as well sort of muddled them around and came up with the word growth. Quite a strong positive word, three Englishmen. It’s part of the recruitment policy at Growth Australia to be English. So Right three Englishmen started it and they tried to get the domain name growth wasn’t available and they thought it’d be pretty cool to have the word Australia since we’ve all moved here in the name. But I’ve got a bit of news at the end of the podcast of the What’s next for Growth Australia. Okay. Drum. Yeah, stay tune for that
Here first kind of thing. All right.
Yeah, exactly. Off the press. Exactly. Yeah, sign a waiver before you release this podcast please.
And so what does Growth Australia do?
So we design and deliver office workplaces for our clients. Anything from commercial office interiors all the way through to medical suites, laboratories, daycare facilities, all those types of things. We had a pretty pivotal shift in what we did about three years ago. Brad and I were just having a bit of a chat off air. Oh, sounds cool to say that. Doesn’t it Off air and talking how we pivoted. We were probably a more traditional builder three years ago where we would partner with external architects, which was great. Got to work with some brilliant firms and saw some really inspirational designs and we would do the costing and the delivery element of that process. Since then, through Covid we saw an opportunity to pivot and bring design. So now we cover everything from the first brushstroke down on the piece of paper all the way through to handing the keys over to our clients upon completion.
Okay. So what does that look like practically? So you’ve got fit out, so you do the organized construction also interior designers, and that’s, is that the difference is between a traditional kind of fit out company?
Yeah, absolutely. So there’s sort of a design and construct model, which is quite common. What we’ve done with it is we really try and focus in on solving an issue or working with our clients to really get to the bottom of what’s the need, what’s driving this office relocation or this office refurbishment. And then we’re using our interior design and workplace strategy expertise to offer them a solution of how the physical space can solve that issue. And then what’s been really interesting is working with companies like yourselves is then that technologically overlay to see the physical space and the footprint marry up with the tech to really bring those spaces to life. So we’re more consultants on workspace and then we carry it all the way through to the delivery as well. But a lot of our value is now front ended in that workplace consultancy piece.
Okay, awesome. We’ll unpack that a little bit later in terms of what’s involved there in the consultancy approach. So I appreciate that’s probably similar to what we do here to be honest with you, with technology. So that’s good. Also, you host a podcast as well. I did. Let’s talk about that really quick before we jump into the in bones of the fit out corner space. I
Yeah. What’s that about?
So it’s called Let’s Talk Growth, and I think it was probably born from a similar place as yourselves with your podcast where we wanted to offer content and ideas and provoke thinking with our clients and really be seen as people that are bringing people together, sharing ideas and sort of trying to stimulate that conversation. So we cover a wide range of topics, but the keys really are things that are going to drive business, things that business owners or key decision makers, senior leaders in businesses would like to know about and can discuss. So everything from the war on talent through to wellness, mental health and all of those things in the workplace as well.
Cool. How many episodes are out views, that kind
Of stuff? I’ve done eight, so I’m not quite as experienced as you two gentlemen,
Veterans. Brad just got to start and it keeps going. Yeah, it
Shows as well. Very, very relaxed. I feel very relaxed as a guest, so
That’s good. Thank you. That’s good. Alright, let’s get into the meat and bones in terms of the fit out industry so we can spend insights for listeners who might be business owners or in charge of fitting out the new office or might have an office move planned the next 12 months, three years, five years, that kind of thing. But let’s roll it back to Office. Fitouts 10 years ago, what did it look like traditionally before you started?
I think traditionally office Fitouts 10 years ago were really driven by people as in number of people and it was kind of cookie cutter and it was very segmented for the industry as well. So for example, I’m a legal business owner, I need offices, I’m an engineer, I need big workstations because that’s the work we do. Whereas now we’ve really seen it a little bit more and it’s more around giving people purpose and that’s one of the big attractions of them coming back into the workplace. Flexibility, future-proofing the office space as well. So that look what it looks like today, it might not be in two or three years time and that’s okay. Again, technology paying a really big part in that. So the biggest change has been I think the definition of what the office space is and how people engage with it. And that’s been a really interesting landscape for us to navigate even over the last two or three years, let alone the last 10.
We definitely see that from a technology perspective. It was I think five to 10 years ago everyone was going to those knuck, little tiny PC things and behind every screen that was the future of technology, but then changed rapidly when Covid hit actually it was like, no, what are we doing with these boxes in the office? People need to work from home and remote and so on. When Covid happened in 2020, I imagine it would’ve shaken up your industry a fair amount. Do you want to take the US through that process? What happened when Covid hit and everyone was like, do we need offices anymore? Let’s go work from home completely or half on Hot Desk and that kind of thing. Were what happened in your space?
So the biggest thing was uncertainty, which I think is the same for everyone. Whether it was your family life, your personal life, your work life. There was just that air of uncertainty and everything we did. I think in many ways the office space almost became the beacon of light and the one thing commonality that everyone every colleague had was the office space. We saw a lot of leaders go to weekly teams, sorry, daily teams meetings, whether we were talking about updates with the company, whether it was touch wood, furloughed staff or government incentives, the communication almost doubled in a lot of these businesses. So what we actually saw play out was a little bit of uncertainty where people think that we might retract our footprint. We were quite lucky in Brisbane, particularly Queensland as opposed to our southern friends down south, where relative to them our lockdowns weren’t as sort of stringent and as elongated.
So I think we were, business confidence remained a lot higher in Brisbane than it would’ve done in Sydney and Melbourne. I dunno if you guys saw the same, but we certainly noticed that. So when those lockdowns did sort of dilute a little bit, there was almost a pent up demand to connect people and that’s where we actually saw the opposite, where people were thinking, look, we’re going to reduce our footprints to, well look, maybe we could take less space, but why don’t we just keep the same footprint, work differently, try and keep even more connected than we were and let’s pivot, let’s be nimble. So it was actually a great opportunity for us in that construction design and construction industry to help these businesses navigate how they might come back to the office. And I remember you guys might have been in the same, we thought office space would change forever, where’d be screens everywhere and social distancing and that kind of has eroded slightly.
Did the design style change pre and post at the start of the show, people come to you with a problem that they’re trying to solve. Did those problems shift and did the design language design style change? Were you seeing different requests come through from companies?
Yeah, definitely. Absolutely. I think the key drivers now more than ever are attracting and retaining talent is a big one and that really drives a lot of decisions around the office space because a lot of leaders are looking to their physical footprint as almost a sales tool and a representation of culture. Like I’ve walked in your office today and immediately I’ve got a fantastic sense of what type of company you were. Yeah, it was transparent. There was energy. I met the happiness champion Emma, I think it’s her birthday. Yeah, chief happiness. Yeah, yeah, chief of happiness. Sorry, sorry Emma. Apologies. And there’s music, it’s visual, it’s audio visual. So I get a sense as soon as I walk into your space, what type of business you are that builds transparency and trust. So for you to bring clients into your space, I imagine you’re very proud of your space here.
Yeah, we are. And it really becomes almost like a sales tool for one of a better word. But what it also does is it connects your team so everyone that comes into your workplace feels like they’re connected and moving in the right direction because the physical space aligns with what everyone’s trying to achieve day to day. So that was one of the most powerful things. So how does that play out in the physical layout? What we saw was leaders coming to us with how can we keep our teams engaged. We are not mandating that they come back to the office, but we would like them, we’d like to encourage them to see the office as a magnet, not a mandate. And one of the biggest things we saw was the definition of a workstation completely changed. So before covid, most workers in the CBD would spend their days, they’d commute in 30, 40 minutes, 20 minutes, whatever it was, you’d plop your laptop into your workstation and you could be there for three hours at a time, have a lunch break back to your workstation, emails, do what you need to do, few phone calls either side of that, that’s kind of your workday.
I think the work from home completely flip that because if people just want to work like that now they’re better off doing that from home. Whereas what we’re seeing is you might plug into your workstation for half an hour to scan through your emails, put out any fires, what meetings have I got today? Then you’re off. Jackson and I are collaborating at the high table or Brad and I are doing a podcast, then we’re having a coffee downstairs with a prospective client. Then I’m going to come back to the beanbag area and have a chat with Emma and we’re going to talk about what we’ve got on the agenda for tomorrow. You’re only then getting back to your workstation in the afternoon to just follow up on all the meetings you’ve had. So the biggest key is to make sure that we are building those areas for people to succeed and to work all the different ways that they need to around the open plan workstation area. So more collaboration areas, more quiet rooms, all of those types of things. What that then does is remove any friction points that people might have of, should I come in, I come in, well actually if I do come into the office, I’m going to have all these people that I can engage with the vibe and the atmosphere is fantastic, I’m aligned with my team and I’m going to be able to get everything I need to do done in the day.
I’m put you on the spot here a little bit. Dan, name three things that actually work to get employees back into the office. Pinball machines, is it events on a Friday afternoon? What are the top three things you see? Cause you’re really in a really good spot. You speak a lot of people that say we want these things and you know, probably see what actually works. I dunno if you any stats on that, but name three things that actually work to get people back in the office.
Mate, I’m going to flip it. None of them, right? Honestly. Okay, so if we look at what culture is, the pimball machines, the table tennis tables all superficial. The real key to it is Brad and Nigel as leaders filtering down that transparency of communication and showing people how to engage with the space, showing people how to engage with clients, how we want to work as a team. That is the only thing that creates real change. The pool table, the table tennis table, it’s a fad. It can be a fad if it’s not paired with substance. So the fact that you guys have married the two up, it accentuates how fun those activities are, but if you put those in there and they were just a bandaid solution, then it’s insincere so it loses its sincerity and it doesn’t play out how you want.
So basically when I get on the decks and I make that remix song about you, when I sample you, I’ve sampled his voice and I’ve redid that Barbara Streisand duck sauce
It’s Jackson Barnes instead of Barbara Streisand. So that’s what the team engages with.
Nice. It’s not the decks, it’s a song. Exactly.
It’s of both. It’s the leadership and the meaning behind the song. It’s the lyrics
Jackson. Yeah, yeah, no, I get it. I but want to go, so I don’t want to go there. Hey, so Dan challenging that then why
Should so mate no ping pong table. No, I’m only joking.
I love pong table. Yeah, that’s what I’m going Is this right? Why should a business spend a hundred grand on a fit out when they could spend 50 if it’s all about down from leadership and deploying that kind of culture?
Yeah, absolutely. I think going back to the first point, there’s a certain level that businesses should aspire for their office spaces to get to and one of the key drivers that we do a mid-project survey and then we go in after we’ve built our client spaces three months after they’ve moved in and we say, Hey look, what would you have changed? What has this fit out tangibly done for your business? So not just anecdotally, everyone feels great, what are the tangible benefits you’ve seen from having a new office space? One of the biggest ones is that pride of bringing people into your space and that has unlocked new levers of clients. It’s binded people together a little bit more. So there are some tangible benefits to building the office space, but just going to open plan, just going to hot desking and agile based working doesn’t mean that your culture’s going to boost. So it’s all of those things combined. But one of the biggest things we find, as I said, is that people move spaces when they feel like they no longer represent their brand or the way that they want to work or how their clients work as well. So if there’s a misalignment in your branding image or image of yourselves as a business and your physical space, that misalignment, you need to close that gap to make sure that they’re working for you, not against
You. That’s good insights for why grow so successful in that space. You know, have a consultation to learn about their business and their culture and then you design an office around it more so than just the ah, this is how we do hot desks and this is your breakout rooms. It depends on the kind of business they are and the kind of culture they’re trying to put down on everyone else. What is trending, Dan in the office, fitout space recently, is there anything new coming in that space that’s interesting to you that you were getting a lot of demand for recently?
Yeah, the biggest thing, so 78% of our clients are now, their breakout spaces are being designed and built in conjunction with their reception spaces, which is really interesting. So if you think back even five, 10 years ago, your kitchen breakout was sort of at the back of the floor hidden away. You didn’t want those smells and those sight to be seen. But I think it goes back to that point we made earlier where you’re really inviting people into your culture. The other thing it does is the traditional boardroom is gone where you’ve got four walls. This is only a boardroom and that’s the only thing it’s used for with the advancements in workplace technology. And you guys will be better placed to talk about this. We want to be able to use that boardroom in a multitude of ways. So we want it to have an opera operable wall so we can also open it up and offer training. We want it to spill out into the breakout. So when we’re hosting events with clients, we can start and do a presentation and then we can use it as a golf simulator. We’ve got a golf simulator.
I’ve seen your golf simulator, I
Know, I know this. And then I’m going back on what I said there about lead, but we’ve got good leadership as well. So using the boardroom in a multitude of ways, those, the purposes of those spaces is really key. But again, one of the biggest things, people happy to have their kitchen breakout visible to clients when they come in. Almost like a cafe style welcome experience. So
I’m curious actually, there was these things I think when Covid hit certain vendors were trying to push you out and obviously that space, there were a box for people going to make a phone call with one person
Did that actually take off? Was that a thing? Did people buy those?
People did. And I think it’s again they, they’re claustrophobic. They are a bit gimmicky. Yeah. There’s other ways that you can create good acoustics in the office space without enclosing people into little small boxes. Yeah,
I couldn’t believe it when I saw those things and I saw it in one office, I was like, wow, the people actually buy it. And they’re expensive too.
They are, yeah. Very expensive. Yeah, quite quiet rooms have gone. So offices have reduced by about 80%. So I can’t speak for Brad. Brad’s probably got a big, big shiny office in the corner, but he has, he’s nodding. Yeah, this is awkward. The,
I’ve also got a desk,
Are seeing a lot of leaders move out of offices and go into the open plan and those office offices are becoming quiet rooms, teams enabled rooms, focus areas, those types of things as well.
Okay, cool. What’s the future of the fit industry going to look like? Say roll forward five, 10 years? What? What’s going to change?
I think artificial intelligence is a really interesting one and I’m yet to see how that plays out. But it’s, when we talk about automation, technology, where that can go, how that changes your physical footprint, can that AI replace mundane tasks that the team do year in, year out, day in, day out? And how’s that going to play out in the physical space? I don’t have an opinion on that yet, but that’s something I’m excited to see. And that’s on our radar. We want to be early adopters of that so we can advise our clients on look, hey, this is how you could potentially embrace this technology. You know, you’re telling us you need 5,000 square meters, you’ve got 400 staff. If you were to embrace this sort of way of working, this way of technology, could that be 3000 square meters? What would that look like and how would you change the physical space to align with that? So
Are you envisioning, so we didn’t have a receptionist at the front, right? We’ve just got essentially a phone with a screen there. Yeah. And you dial through the person you want, they come grab you. Are you envisioning there’s going to be a big screen there with an AI when you walk in welcoming you saying who you
Hologram? Hologram out there front? No, that’s
Good. But if you
A good idea,
Yeah, if you look singing the song, singing
The song, maybe Emma will step people away if it’s me out there.
But if you look at that’s not a waste of space, but you are, that’s a chunk of space up there that you are chunk paying rent on that you’re probably not utilizing. You’ve got the big reception desk, the hero welcome and then there’s no one there to greet you. Yeah, yeah. So it’s not a poor entry experience, but I think things like that will evolve as
Well. We were thinking of, you saw the club red sign, we were thinking of Red Lounge.
Oh nice. I like that.
Up the top there and then there you go.
Having a repurposed space. There
Used to be a turntable out there with records so people could put on a record and play, but the guy stole it. That’s out the back now. Yeah.
Oh, there you go.
So Dan, let’s about you. Any other questions?
Oh no, I’m just happy to free flip freestyle here.
Critique our office, mate, you’ve done the tour. What are we doing wrong? What are we doing right?
He’s put me on the spot again, isn’t he? Yeah, he
I can’t use transparency and leadership on this one, can I? No, it is, it’s brilliant. I mean, I can already tell that our businesses are quite aligned. I mean, we’ve got a golf simulator that doubles up in the
Yeah, just Lucas, you didn’t hear that.
Definitely. It’s got a bit of a slice on it though, unfortunately. Must be. Oh, doesn’t, nah, it must be broken. But yeah, no it, it’s fantastic. So there’s nothing I would change per se because how we look at office spaces and the design team are different. They come through with a different lens where they’re looking at how people feel in the space and the color palette. So if you’re walking into a light space, and one thing I would say is there’s quite some quite dark finishes throughout, so maybe some more lighter areas on the floor because we really want to tap into as well, make it tangible, but understand when people are working in different environments, acoustically, visually, the light, archaic rhythm, all of that stuff. How that affects their mood, their productivity and all of those types of things. So that’s one lens that we look at it.
But as far as the elements that you’ve got, how I felt through the space, people were engaged, everyone looked friendly and you’ve got a good multitude of a good mixture of work points as well where it doesn’t feel like a core center. There’s different heights, you’ve got the sit to stand workstation, so that’s always important as well. Yep. I think the meeting rooms make sense. They’re on the perimeter, so a lot of people are now bringing sort of offices and that into the center of the core. So yeah, again, that natural light element probably comes through to the tech guys, but it’s not one fit for all. There’s not the perfect office space. There’s so many elements to consider. And I suppose that’s where that consultancy and that upfront stage one work we do with clients, it’s so important to understand what is essential to red to achieve with this office space and what are you going through as a business and how can we marry the two when
People come to you prior to finding a space. So with this, I’ll just use current example. So we kind of inherited the layout here and we had what we had to work with physically, if you like. We’d knocked down a few walls, those officers continued down where the pool table and the video games. So we knocked down some walls and we could do a bit, but obviously we had to kind of work with what we had. But obviously if you really had a vision and you wanted to execute that vision, you’d probably want, and you were going to work with a consultant all the way, I would imagine if I’m wrong, potentially from selecting the right location, the right building, the right space. If you really want to get that execute on that vision, would you guys be engaged if you like, or pre-building selection?
Yeah, absolutely. Definitely. That’s a great point. What our consultancy focuses on is getting you the right solution and safeguarding you throughout that process as well. So there’s a couple of things we need to consider and we don’t want to be hemmed in. We don’t want the property to lead the decision. We want the need, the needs analysis and the need of the business to drive the process, not the other way around, ie. We like this building, make us fit into this building. We can absolutely do that. But ideally what we would do is sit down and do an hours design workshop. And again, we make it tangible so it’s not hypothetical thinking, it’s getting to the core of how are you currently using your space now? What’s working, what’s not? Challenge your thinking around how much space you need and how your teams are going to engage with that space. We then build out what we call a ghost test fit. So that’s an idyllic floor plate. It can be on a rectangle or a hexagonal core can do a central core. Where central core essentially is, if you can walk all
Around like a physical model,
No, we do it in three, we can do it in 3d, but we typically just do it on 2D to start with. And what we’re trying to demonstrate there is in a utopian environment, how would the sales team engage with the IT tech team? How would HR and accounts work together? What proximity would everyone have to shared services? So once you’ve got that utopian floor plate, then when we go and shortlist properties, we can advise you and say, guys, we think you need to go to market for five to 600 square meters. Yep. Based on that natural light, central core. Yep. Five star neighbors rating because that ties in with your ESG model, whatever you’re doing. Yep. We would recommend this. We then can either put you in touch with a property professional or support you as you go on those inspections if you go in direct with agents and the landlord. And then we overlay that lens that we’ve all agreed on is success and what winning looks like. So then when you’re looking at the different floor plates, the different agendas, the different terms, you’ve got that true north to refer back to. Okay, we can show you the gap analysis on each floor plate.
So how often do you get that kind of greenfield situation or would more of your clients come, I mean obviously that’s a preferred way to do it. Yeah, that’s probably the recommended way to do it. Yeah, definitely. Do you find people, are you more having to fit people into what they’ve already got or do people, do you get people coming to you right from the start? We
Do and it, it’s often we are going to them, you know what it, it’s like it. And I suppose because that’s what we are searching for and what we’re trying to represent and the language we’re using when we’re talking to people, we’re naturally gravitating towards those opportunities. If we come in too late in the piece i e, hey, we’ve got these buildings, we’re going out to three, can you put your cheapest price in and cost this plan? That’s just not the way we add value and we just don’t want to play in that space if we don’t, as I said, we’re skilled across all the disciplines, but the passion of the team and with our skillset and where we are geared is to really safeguard our clients at the front end. Because then what we do once we’ve got that utopian environment, we’re also looking at building services, air conditioning requirements, loading all those things and advising our clients before they sign their heads of agreement on any hairs that could potentially be with this asset that they should negotiate with the landlord or that they should consider that might cost them more in fitting out this floor as opposed to the other one because of item A, B, and C.
So really before they sign their agreement, what they get from us is full transparency on what their space, what their fitout could cost. So how they can then apportion their incentive to work out what rent they’re going to be paying in year 1, 2, 3, et cetera. What the fit out costs are going to be, what the fit out timeline’s going to be, and anything that we see as potential hurdles that could cost them money down the track, package that up before they make their financial decision and safeguard them. And then stage two for us is carrying through to the build, which believe it or not, it is the easy part. A lot of the work’s done in that procurement and the front end imagine
It would be, to be honest. What are some fails you’ve seen from people that go and do a fit out and maybe will even after and say, probably should have consulted you first, but we’ve gone done this. What are some fails you’ve seen? Yeah,
So it’s brilliant. It’s the bad tattoos isn’t it? It’s hard,
Similar sort of thing. Should do it for offerer spaces now look it, and again it soundproofing and acoustics is a massive one. So that’s one of the things in cost plans that people take out the most is it gets optioned out all the time because it, it’s essentially baffled that you don’t see sometimes it can sit on the wall. You’ve got here that acoustic treatment, it’s not cheap to install and it’s baffled that goes above the ceiling and in between the petitions as well that really improves the acoustic properties and meeting rooms. But people don’t tangibly put a value to it because they just assume if it’s an enclosed room it should be fully soundproof and it’s not the case. So when we do that post survey with our clients, one of the biggest things that they wish they’d done was create more collaboration space and also really take the acoustic properties and the baffle a little bit more seriously. So we’re going in and retrofitting those areas after the fact. So no major horrors, people sort of have lended too much room to reception spaces, but that’s starting to change size of breakout spaces being too small, that type of thing. But I certainly haven’t seen meeting rooms coming out of ceilings and that sort of stuff. So
Real, real horror shows.
Didn’t expect that. But that’s the some good insight, people listening around the sound and acoustics for meeting rooms, that kind of stuff. And I envision what you touched on there around the breakout rooms being too small, is that because they try and get less square meterage and try and fit all the people in, they’re not and not focused so much on the breakout spaces.
I think it’s just a little bit of a change of thinking as well for a lot of business owners typically, particularly in the legal fraternity, they don’t want, if you’re not at your desk billing you’re, you’re what? You’re not being productive. So lunch rooms were kept quite small and weren’t seen as third spaces where people could collaborate or have a casual meeting or do a presentation or do a town hall. That’s completely changed. The breakout now is being seen as a foundation to bring different teams together for a bump meeting or try and encourage that collaboration which fosters the culture. So it’s a shift in mindset, but one of the good ways to do that is to tech enable the breakouts as well. So they are multipurpose. You do have AV that you can present on, you can plug your laptop in and do some work there if you need to or have a casual meeting. Those types of things.
Good insights for Growth Australia.
Well this is the mic drop moment for 10. I won’t drop the mic.
Yeah, yeah, it’s stationed but it
It’s is, if it wasn’t I would’ve dropped it. So we are rebranding. Cool. And I think it’s it, I won’t say the name. Oh
Hey, there’s no mic drop if don’t even tell us a name
Or mind dropping the mic. So I will. It’s going from Growth Australia, Australia’s gone when our growth workplace design.
Cool. And I think it again ties to what we’ve spoken about today that when we were thinking about the rebrand and investing the money and having a new logo, new colors and having our brand guidelines and we thought, are we just trying to make ourselves feel good? The business is going well, surely we just keep trying to repeat what we’re doing. And then we thought, well no, we feel misaligned to our clients and the work we do and we feel that the brand we’ve got at the moment, I mean this was a $7 logo that the guys Wow. And it is been great and it’s been going for five years and I don’t think we’ve ever lost anything from our brand, but we really wanted to create that sense of comradery and that there was something exciting that we’re all moving towards. And that previously, I don’t think if you’d asked and we did, we asked the Growth Heights and 30 of them what do growth do? And there’s 25 different answers. None of them wrong. But we wanted a succinct message because I think if you create that unity that comes across in everything you do and you’re holding yourselves the same way you’re, you’re dealing with clients the same way. We wanted that consistency of customer service, a customer service business. So that was important to us to align that with what our clientele were doing.
Yeah, no, that’s too much for probably a good move. When I first started Growth to Australia, I thought it was a marketing company, I was kind of like, oh Growth Australia. And then I realized it was fit outs and I was like oh cool. Okay, interesting. So that make complete sense. There
You go. Validated that it’s been validated.
Good. I didn’t know it was acronyms for the owners of the business actually certain story. So there you go. Yeah, great story. But I guess from the outside before that I was, our growth is a marketing kind of company so that makes perfect sense. Rebranding and that’s exciting news.
And what’s the red, where was that?
It’s reimagine everything done digitally.
Okay. Yeah, it was
Kind of cutesy name. Yeah.
What did you think we did before you walked in?
I thought it was a dj. I thought it was an indoor club mate. An indoor, indoor IHA sort of vibe. I was expecting the VR goggles to come out and whoa, we
Do have VR
Goggles. I’m not surprised. No, I knew it was, it was digital. But I think the way you guys engage with your clients and the amount of services you offer, is that similar? Is there some synergies there? Do you find that you are more consultants than just hey we need
Definitely. So all we are is really the consulting piece and support that’s around technology that’s all really is. Right. And started as that pure digital advisory business before you went on to the support side. So a advice is basically a large portion of what we do around technology. And as you probably know within technology being so broad, there’s a lot of gaps in knowledge for business owners and CFOs and so on. So that’s kind of where we feel we have
The same problem though quite often people will come and they have a tech stack and they’ll say make that work. Whereas our preferences will actually, this is the better solution, but it’s always give and take and cost involved and moving and changing. And
Do people often underestimate or overestimate what changing that stack or getting a better solution would be?
I definitely, it’s choose my words here. It can be quite thankless at times in the sense that I don’t think the average customer has any idea how much that goes on behind the scenes to deliver the outcome that they ultimately are looking to achieve. Yeah,
Look the hard part for us is, I got off tangent on tangent here, but you walk around office and if you got broken desks and you got nowhere to have meetings, you’re in a bad state. With technology it’s kind of hidden you, unless you there’s a hit with obviously something cyber threat wise or a breach, it’s a problem. But before then, just little niggly things, the underlying is a problem. So people don’t therefore see a lot of value in it or know otherwise because they’ve had that kind of same kind of IT environment for quite some times that know it’s a problem and technology changes so much. What is awesome five years ago is very bad right now. Yeah, absolutely. So it’s quite different in our
Space and I’m interested to get your guys thoughts cause when we think about technology, we really overlay it as early as we can in the piece because we understand that again, the physical and that they have to marry up. And if we want that boardroom to have a multitude of purposes, we need to understand what needs to be done. Do you guys ever walk through layouts or your client’s office spaces and think, look, this is just not, if this was designed differently, it would. Yeah, so
Similar. So connectivity is probably, well connectivity and things like meeting room systems, et cetera are really important. So again, it would be nice to be brought in probably when you are doing your sure assessment because can’t connect to the wifi or else or WiFi’s not working is one of the biggest issues that we get. But you sometimes constrained by, you either have to run cables through brick walls or places where cables really can’t be run retrospectively or you have to put in more devices. It would be ideal if yes you’re involved at the design stage. Yeah, sure. Especially around connectivity, which
We do sometimes for current businesses or clients, they’ll send us a floor plan and say where are we putting rack for example? Where are we putting firewalls and access points and that kind of stuff. So sure we do kind of get involved a little bit in that. And obviously in the meeting tech space, which gets bolt on later most of the time, to be honest with you, not from the outset. It would be probably ideal if you weren’t engaged early on the meeting room site. But it’s more about the core kind of IT services. I’d say people need it to provide wifi and a network secure network, that kind of stuff is where we kind of usually get involved.
Yeah, fantastic. And I like the support element that you guys provide as well. We’re very similar in a sense that that consultancy is important and I think post covid with all the uncertainty, it goes back to you’re so right, it’s that clear advice from a trusted provider that people rely on, but then they also rely on the support. Everyone’s so busy now doing their day-to-day and I feel like everyone you speak to is 120 to 140% capacity. I never remember people being like that before Covid. So I don’t know if what kind of the psychology is before that, but when was the last time you spoke to someone and said, yeah, no, look, we’re doing okay, it’s all going well. Everyone you speak to is absolutely hammering. Yep. So I think then service providers that can really offer that level of service and that we’re a safe pair of hands mentality are really cutting, having great success and longevity
And definitely what we do is obviously more ongoing on the sport piece, but also in terms of when, if you set up a network or a 365 environment for someone, you know have to be continuously improving that if you turn it on and leave it there, like I said before, a year, two years later, you’re behind. Yeah, sure. Things to do there. Make me have to come on your show to explain more. No,
Well we’ll have to do a return match. We can spotlight
In our studio maybe. We’ll see. Yeah. Alright, Dan, man, thanks Ken. Really appreciate your time. You just shared some good insights around future fit out space and what’s happening and that kind of how it helps culture and get people back in the office. So I do appreciate what you’ve shared today. If someone wants to get in touch with you or we’ll find out more, how can they reach you? Yeah,
Just send a comms growth australia.com au. Find us on the website while there’s a new website coming. So I might share the link to that when it launches. 1st of July will be the launch, it’ll be cool. Growth workplace designed. So yeah. Awesome. Yeah, find me on LinkedIn and yeah, we’d love to chat.
Thanks Dan. Thanks for coming
In. Thanks Jen.