The challenge

Footprint reduction and the introduction of Agile Working Practices / Culture Change.

BDO were looking to reduce their London office footprint and realise further efficiencies through the integration of more agile working practices. With over 1680 staff based at the Baker Street location, there was a recognition that many roles involved remote activities and changing working practices saw more staff working from home. This created an opportunity to explore what other benefits might be gained form a review of the facilities and the types of spaces required to support a more agile business.

As part of the project it was agreed the existing rather traditional cafe space should to be included in scope as part of the solution, to provide additional alternative space for staff to utilise throughout the day.


what we did

An initial phase of engagement took place with both the key stakeholders and partners as well as a nominated group of 100 staff representatives. This was used to establish the vision for the project and understand the concerns of staff in advance of a move to a more agile solution.

The engagement phase drew out a number of cultural challenges, whilst a physical review of the site highlighted that the fresh air provision for the floors was already at a maximum; and therefore the solution could not involve an increase in the number of workstations on the floors which were to be retained.

Using the key themes and outputs from the engagement, a solution was developed which rationalised the layouts, creating an equality of space for all and much needed additional work settings for teams and individuals to use during peak times of occupancy and for more effective collaboration.

A position of cultural change was agreed in terms of Partners allocated desks and the removal of any hierarchical sentiment which had previously prevailed.


the result

BDO were able to release a 30,000 sq ft floorplate for sub-let as a result of creating a space which was designed to support a variety of more agile working styles. This was done whilst being able to utilise 80% of the existing structural elements and furniture and supplementing with 20% new.

Visual anchor points were created across what were very large bland floorplates, this helped with way-finding and breaking up the large runs of desks. Iconography was implemented to allow staff to see what facilities were available in each space.

The former cafe space was completely re-modelled to create a more relaxed and inviting environment with a variety of spaces to eat and meet throughout the day. Incorporating technology, power and data to increase the versatility of the cafe allowing it to become an extension of the office floors.

The ratio of alternative settings across the office was increased by 35% including both formal and informal meeting spaces.