Case: Grant Thornton

THE CONTEXT

Following an acquisition, Grant Thornton had two offices in Brussels: one in Wemmel and one in Haren. The company wanted to integrate the two offices, so that everyone could work together. As this was not possible, it opted to rent a new office space in Vilvoorde (Brussels). The office requirements for the two existing offices were different, as they have different activities. So Grant Thornton started looking for a completely new way of working and decided it would no longer allocate pre-defined workspaces. With this new concept, Grant Thornton wanted to offer its employees an attractive and modern working environment.

For this assignment, Grant Thornton consulted Colliers International, which was delighted to take up the challenge.

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THE PROJECT

Grant Thornton consulted four potential partners for this project. Colliers International was the one that best met the company’s expectations. In November 2018, Grant Thornton asked Colliers International to design a modern office solution for its new office site in Vilvoorde.

All the furnishing work took place between December 2018 and March 2019, which is a very short period.

After a briefing with Grant Thornton, Colliers quickly grasped the company’s needs and Colliers’ experts knew how they would approach this project. The biggest challenge in this project was the building’s long and narrow spaces. Colliers found a neat and suitable solution for this.

The space had to be adapted mainly to these requirements:

  1. A ‘clean desk’ policy, with a personal locker for each employee;
  2. Different zones in specific colours, depending on the working methods: an open space without fixed workplaces, separate meeting rooms, and separate booth spaces to make calls and for short internal meetings;
  3. All spaces are fully digital, to reduce paper consumption and to enable a modern way of working;
  4. Everything is coloured to match Grant Thornton International’s corporate identity.

During the project, Colliers also offered advice on 'change management', in order to facilitate the change process for Grant Thornton’s employees. For example, Colliers proposed ‘role-playing on their workplace’, to help employees settle more quickly into the new environment. It also produced a short film presenting the future office’s layout, so that all Grant Thornton employees would know just where and how they would work in future. This was important for the company, because it was introducing a completely new way of working.

In the meantime, Grant Thornton also called on Colliers for another project, in its Ghent office.

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THE SOLUTION

Thanks to Colliers International, Grant Thornton’s employees can now make the most of their refurbished office space. Today they receive more visits from their colleagues based at other offices, as they are eager to see what it’s like to work in the Brussels offices for a day.

Grant Thornton said: “The collaboration with Colliers went very smoothly. All its employees are extremely professional. But what surprised us most of all was the creativity of its interior designers. They immediately understood what we wanted and were able to turn our requirements into concrete plans. We highly recommend Colliers for projects like this.”

ADDED BUSINESS VALUE

  • Flexible and modern way of working, thanks to the 'clean desk' policy;
  • More efficient working, thanks to a new office featuring adapted spaces;
  • Facilities to work in a completely digital way;
  • Safe storage of personal belongings in appropriate lockers;
  • A more pleasant working environment that fully matches Grant Thornton’s corporate identity.

TECHNICAL SHEET

  • 904 m² GLA;
  • Total project of 3 months, so tight timing;
  • 80 employees in total today, with a long-term growth goal;
  • Occupancy of 60% on average;
  • Different services offered by Colliers:
    • Design of new office space;
    • Project management: on site on a daily basis;
    • Proactive help with the choice of materials and furniture;
    • Close monitoring of the renovation work;
    • Systematic monitoring of suppliers (schedules, orders, etc.);
    • Internal communication on the change: helping employees to settle into the new workspace, including the use of role-playing. Colliers also made a film to show employees what the office would look like (https://youtu.be904/PPg25GFdO3w);
    • Organisation of the relocation.