Tuesday 17 Jul 2018
Sally Campbell, Senior Practice Director at BVN, is a member of the team in Sydney which brought SuiteX to life, taking the concept of a new flexible workplace offering from idea to reality. We sat down with Sally to discuss the significance of SuiteX and what she sees as its unique characteristics.
What makes SuiteX unique to the market?
The SuiteX model is designed for ultimate flexibility, reuse and speed to market. It begins by shifting a user’s mindset around how they use space, evolving from an owned to a shared model. This offers ultimate flexibility for organizations to respond to business volatility. Once we have lease flexibility, we can then support and reinforce the idea with internal workplace agility. A modular wall system was developed that offers complete flexibility – intertenancy walls can be removed overnight to increase the size of the suite if required, and additional offices and meeting rooms can be easily inserted into an existing suite over a weekend. Wall panels can be effortlessly interchanged to support the occupier’s preferred way of working. Each suite also has the ability to personalise its own shopfront, enabling businesses to establish their own identity.
Based on your experience, what are forward-thinking businesses looking for from their office space, and where does SuiteX fit?
Organisations today are trading in an unpredictable and rapidly evolving business environment. Forward-thinking businesses we work with recognize traditional models for delivering workspace no longer fit their need, and in many cases can limit business sustainability due to their inherent lack of flexibility. This coincides with many letting go of the idea that a workplace must be a built and bespoke representation of their brand. Organizations are experiencing a shift away from singular focus, consumption and waste, and are now buying into the idea of a shared values that demonstrate stronger social awareness and community building beyond the organization. That is where solutions such as SuiteX come in. Not only does it offer flexibility but it is a vehicle to share, build community and interact with other likeminded partners, should people choose to. This is good for innovation, business and people who are driven by belonging and a sense of purpose.
You have talked a lot about lease flexibility. Is that more important than internal agility when considering the design of the future workplace?
Both are critical to respond to the pace at which work and workplaces are changing. For years we have focused only on creating spaces that were internally flexible because we didn’t feel we had the ability or permission to affect leases. Only recently have providers like Dexus created models that respond to the level of change their tenants are experiencing. So now we have both and I would suggest both are required moving forward. As individuals, we need assistance to alter our workplace to support how we choose to work, and as organisations we need tools like SuiteX to handle the big hurdles the world throws at us. As long as businesses struggle to predict their future requirements, they will need flexible workspace and a high level of service and fluidity. There is no turning back.
How is SuiteX responding to this change?
SuiteX’s design is a completely new model that explores the future of flexible leasing. It is about continual curation and is designed to enable maximum flexibility for evolving suite users with minimum disruption to their business. The flexibility of lease terms appeals to a broad range of businesses – from start-ups through to established businesses and companies looking for project space. It recognises a need for quality workspace which doesn’t need to come with a long-term commitment.
Sustainability was a key part of SuiteX’s design. Can you tell us more about that?
This model of design is all about sustainability. The project arose from a joint ambition between Dexus and BVN to create flexible office space that has a more sustainable footprint. Serviced office suites historically are pre-constructed to predict a variety of different scenarios and aesthetics tenants may be looking for, each one being bespoke for the incoming tenant to adopt entirely as their own. Due to adopting such a specialised product for the particular tenant, often at the end of the lease term suites are completely stripped out and the process starts again. Although most building owners are eager to adopt initiatives to repurpose elements where possible, the majority of the fitout frequently goes to landfill. This level of consumption of resources and waste doesn’t sit well with many organisations today and is why solutions such as SuiteX are so popular. They combat and reject this historical process and offer a modern, sustainable alternative.
Lastly, who else did you work with to bring SuiteX to life?
Aston Consulting, JEB, Living Edge and FDC are all project partners. Together with Dexus and BVN, the team is committed to understanding how the spaces are used and to designing a system of workplace products able to evolve to support user needs. This ongoing partnership and collective expertise is essential to move away from what has often been a siloed and disconnected approach. Each team member has a different perspective of what challenges are on the horizon and what new requirements modern organisations will need.