Mercer is a global consulting leader helping clients around the world to advance the health, wealth and careers of their people. The company has worked with Claremont over a number of locations across the UK to design and deliver new agile workspaces that support Mercer’s smart working ethos. When the turn of the Croydon office came to transition to smart working, Claremont harnessed previous experience working with the company, alongside a robust workplace strategy methodology, to remodel the workspace to better support Mercer and its people.
Mercer’s smart working strategy means a move away from static desk occupation, strict divisions between teams and cellular offices towards open plan, flexible working that enhances collaboration and cooperation between teams. The brief to Claremont was to create a workspace that improves productivity, wellbeing and engagement, while also making smarter use of space to drive unnecessary costs out from the business.
One of the key goals of the project was to move Mercer’s teams from two floors onto a single floorplate within the same building, thereby halving the company’s real estate footprint for the office. This needed to be done without changing the ratio of people to desks, so the Claremont team had to think creatively to successfully fulfill the brief.
Mercer’s new smart workspace at Sunley House is designed to support greater communication and collaboration between teams, with flexibility and activity-based working at its heart. In addition to flexible plug-and-play workstations, the office includes a range of different work settings to enable individuals and small and large groups to work together more easily, with better support for the different types and styles of work Mercer’s people carry out.
The office layout is built around 7 neighbourhoods, supported by a central collaborative spine. The move to smart working includes the introduction of personal lockers and hot boxes, enabling people to easily set up on a desk of their choice within their neighbourhood, and to securely store their documents at the end of each day.
Each workstation in the open plan office includes a universal dock and softphone handset, allowing people to set up and log in wherever they choose. Certain individuals with specific work-setting requirements are designated as ‘anchors’ and have allocated desks within the scheme. In addition, there are a number of touchdown desks which offer a space for visitors and colleagues from other offices to set up and work.
The open plan neighbourhoods are complemented by communal activity-based areas. These spaces include informal meeting rooms and collaboration spaces for team work and brainstorming, focus rooms and quiet pods for concentrated work, as well as larger meeting rooms for more formal meetings, and an AV-integrated client suite that supports videoconferencing as well as official client meetings and presentations.
The fit-out phase of the project was carried out with the client in occupation, which presented a challenge to the team to ensure a smooth delivery with minimal disruption to the client. This was carefully coordinated in phases in order to allow the client to continue day-to-day operations while the team worked on different areas of the space.
In addition to designing and delivering the project for Mercer, Claremont created a suite of internal communications collateral including a workplace guide that supported the client’s teams in making a smooth transition to the new way of working, as well as showing them how to maximise the benefits that smart working brings.
Claremont worked closely with us to bring our smart working vision to life at Mercer’s Sunley House offices. As well as designing and delivering the project seamlessly, the team produced a clear and concise workplace guide that communicated the value of the new space to our people and helped to ensure the project was a resounding success.Karen Hemson
Principal, UK Operations Transformation Team, Mercer