Following initial introductions from the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, we were appointed by Groupe Renault to carry out a strategic study, design, and refurbishment of its existing office in Hertfordshire in readiness for employee return, post-Covid lockdown.
This project was born out of the need to address two areas: staff engagement and excess space. Lucy Jones, HR Director for Renault, commented: “Our staff were telling us they wanted a different space, a space to collaborate in. The space on the ground floor also became vacant as we outsourced a service to a different location. So, in order to restructure everything and sublet the ground floor of our building, we thought we would refurbish the other two floors for the employees that were still going to work in this location.”
Our Smarter Workspace methodology allowed for an in-depth strategic analysis surrounding the usage of the existing space which identified many potential areas for improvement and efficiencies around collaboration, socialization and flexibility. During the course of the project, the pandemic highlighted adjustments to working patterns, therefore, reinforcing their need for an agile space that embraced new ways of working. This strategic piece allowed our design team to create a space that now promotes agile working through breakout and collaboration zones, and reflects the history of the brand.
A destination workspace
Through the refurbishment of the first and second floors, we delivered the social heart of the office. A space that promotes collaboration and social interaction. The director’s offices were repurposed into bookable meeting spaces and acoustic pods were introduced for video conferencing and quiet work tasks to take place. Desk sharing has been introduced which in turn reduces the desk per person ratio by 50%. The creation of these zones along with the implementation of bespoke fixtures and reinforced brand identity has transformed the existing 24,500 sq ft space into a ‘destination’. An inviting space for employees to use as they wish tailored to agile work patterns; a space that promotes wellbeing and productivity.
Darren Cooper, Project Director for Woodhouse commented “It’s been a very enjoyable project to take the Renault team through this transformational change; from the initial inception of an idea all the way through to delivering the final result. We’re looking forward to the feedback as to how they get on, as they reoccupy and then helping them to fine-tune it to really work for them.”
The refurbishment also provides Renault with the opportunity to make significant real estate cost savings through the consolidation of its space which now allows them to sub-let the ground floor.
Undertaking the strategic route highlighted the need for space that allowed for collaboration and socialisation; a ‘destination’ for our employees. We’ve shared photos of the refurbished space with our staff and so far the response has been overwhelmingly positive. All in all, a great project and a fantastic example of a great collaboration. I would highly recommend any business who is thinking about refurbishing its building to engage with Woodhouse to share options and considerations around office design and people engagement.