Designed by Snöhetta and iArk

DELOITTE HQ

Oslo, Norway

THE ACTIVITY-BASED OFFICE ENVIRONMENT

When Deloitte moved into their new headquarters in December 2013, a unique building in Oslo’s Bjørvika district, designed by the world-famous architects Snöhetta, the intention was to go from a traditionally divided office environment to a 100% activity-based environment. Out was the small, individual offices, the fixed seating, stationary computers and all the paperwork. But how is this done? We sat down with Louise Lojdquist, who works as a consultant in Deloitte, and was part of the project group responsible for implementing the transformation.
We understand, that you have moved into new headquarters in Oslo and with it, gone from a more traditional office environment to a new working culture. How has this come about?
”We wanted to exploit a pre-existing move as the catalyst for change and business development. The vision for our new building has been to create a ”new standard for interaction” and to create a work day and a workplace, that will survive long into the future. For us, the solution was an activity-based office environment".

"We wanted to establish both formal and informal meeting areas. As a supplier of many different professional services, it is important for us to ensure we can work together collaboratively, with closer dialogue across all of our areas of expertise. The new Deloitte house forms the foundation for a more dynamic way of task solving and enables us to better handle complex and complicated problems on behalf of our customers“.

Where did the idea come from?

”We took a great deal of inspiration from Jonas Hurtigh Grabe from Veldhoen + Company AB, a well-known
advocate of the activity-based office (future office), but we have done it in our own way. We have also taken inspiration from other companies that have recently relocated and have been willing to share their experience, both good and bad, with us. Throughout it all, however, we have been interested in finding solutions that exactly match our work tasks as consultants, accountants and solicitors. For us, it has been crucial to ensure a smooth flow of knowledge sharing, discussions and collaboration within the individual projects, across all areas of expertise, and we had a close collaboration with the interior design team, iArk on creating the optimal planning and in finding furniture that satisfied our needs across the different zones in the building“.

How were the employees involved?

”We have used our in-house expertise throughout the entire relocation process. We have ensured a broad level of involvement from the very start, and we have used considerable internal resources. We are now seeing the full pay-off of this involvement.

Representatives from all work areas and support functions have helped to influence how our new headquarters is to be used. The project group has been in close dialogue with the individual business areas regarding their needs and demands for furniture, decoration and technical solutions. This was important, because the different working areas demand different solutions. We have ensured however, that the house as a whole supports our shared vision of a new standard for collaboration“.
How are the employees enjoying their new office environment?
”There is a new energy throughout the entire company“.

What are the advantages, and are there any disadvantages?

”Worth mentioning among the advantages are an increased sharing of expertise, far less paper, more physical movement and a greater interaction with colleagues. On the flip side, some of our employees have had difficulties finding people while others have found the greater level of visibility and accessibility stressful“.

What do the customers say about i
t?
”Our experience is that the Deloitte house helps raise Deloitte’s position as a future-oriented company“.

What have the management got to say?
”Throughout the entire project, the management has had a vision of creating a new standard for interaction and for promoting innovative solutions. A well-anchored management is a critical success factor in a strategic change process such as we have been through. We say: If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got“.

Can you measure the results of the transformation? And if you can, how?
”The goal was that none of the project’s phases would negatively influence the production. We have succeeded in that goal. In addition, there is now a better flow between employees and management. A better flow of communication and information. An increase in knowledge sharing. Shorter distances and speedier response times. More pride in the organization. And then it is nicer, cleaner and paperless“.

You have chosen among other furniture from Republic of Fritz Hansen, the Ro™ chair. What is the reason behind? 
”In the activity-based office environment, it is important to ensure that there is space both to work individually and for interaction with others. We fell head over heels for the Ro™ chair because it is perfect both for those, who want peace and quiet as well as for those who want to discuss a problem over a cup of coffee“.

Project completed: 2014
Architects / Interior architects: Snöhetta / iArk
Areas: Break out areas, Lounges, Reception
Products: Ro™, Little Friend™, Space™, Space™ table