On October 23, 2013, Technical Director Steve Bernstein of Faithful+Gould’s Philadelphia office will take part in a presentation on GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK’s) pioneering SMART Working program at CoreNet’s 2013 Global Summit in Las Vegas.
SMART Working describes an open office environment that features an open floor plan and shared workstations for all employees, without physical barriers such as dedicated office space or cubicle partitioning. For the past ten years, Faithful+Gould has helped GSK adopt this environment at locations throughout the United Kingdom; North, Central and South America; Africa; and Asia.
Using GSK’s recent move to a new building at the Philadelphia Navy Yard as an example, the presenters will help attendees understand the importance of a multidisciplinary, human-centered approach in creating enabled and engaged employees. Steve and John recently worked together on the Navy Yard project, which helped relocate 1,300 GSK employees to the a new building while reducing its overall office space by approximately 600,000 square feet.
Offices that have made this change consistently report improved collaboration and teamwork, greater productivity and faster decision-making. The challenge is to achieve buy-in from employees, many of whom have been in a traditional office environment for their entire working lives.
The most obvious benefit of SMART Working is the reduction in square footage and therefore operating expenses, but this program is not all about dollars and cents. Offices that have made this change consistently report improved collaboration and teamwork, greater productivity and faster decision-making. The challenge is to achieve buy-in from employees, many of whom have been in a traditional office environment for their entire working lives.
Steve says the Navy Yard project represented a huge coordinated effort between project managers Faithful+Gould, the design team, and a wide variety of consultants and GSK stakeholders. "We spent a huge amount of time together throughout this project, developing relationships and building consensus around our common goals. Our partnerships on this project were absolutely critical to building support and enthusiasm among GSK employees for the change."