Event partners at the Summit Smith Partnership and Three Hundred and Sixty Degrees gave delegates an insight into how to turn an unloved space into a modern office fit for the future.
Speaking to Summit host Declan Curry as the event’s Headline Partner, business development partner at Derby law firm Smith Partnership, Claire Twells, explained the journey the company had been on in looking for a new home for its 120 Derby-based staff and the reasons behind its decision to stay in the heart of the city.
The firm has recently moved into its new premises at Norman House, Friar Gate in the Cathedral Quarter which Ms Twells described as “a diamond in the rough” at the start of the process.
Having worked with office design and refurbishment specialists Three Hundred and Sixty Degrees to transform the space, the two companies joined forces again to deliver a dedicated breakout session looking in more depth at how to unlock hidden office space in cities, with an opening presentation by partner and head of commercial property at Smith Partnership, Jason Wood.
Howard Barnes, managing director, Three Hundred and Sixty Degrees explained the importance of understanding a client’s business when designing a new office space, challenging their thinking and asking about their future needs. Examples of the company’s work for clients showed how repurposed space could help change office culture and workflow.
Through Smith Partnership’s case study, delegates heard about the importance of the look and feel of space on the projection of a company’s brand, the recruitment and retention of staff and client attraction.
Claire Twells said “Over the past five or six years, Smith Partnership has taken a step change in its presence within the city. We wanted an office which was a good visual representation of who we are now as a firm.”
Participants in the session took the opportunity to ask for tips and lessons learnt along the way, including how best to engage staff in the decision-making process and the impact of the move on the productivity of the business.