Built on Purpose: how values shaped Davidson's award winning design

Uncategorized Sep 22, 2021

In case you didn't know, the other part of my day job is designing spaces where people can thrive. My passion is to help clients create workplaces where their people feel at home, to ensure they reach their full potential.

My team at COMUNiTI and I were recently recognised by the Design Institute of Australia for  a workplace we completed for the team at Davidson. It allowed us to take stock and understand why this workplace was such a success. We realised that it goes right to the heart of how this came about; how the purpose, values and behaviours of this organisation informed the process. What Davidson required the design of the space to achieve, informing the employee experience and providing cues for behaviour, encouraging top talent and cultural alignment.

Here’s how we transformed a brief for a functional workplace into an award-winning space ideal for collaboration, connection and experience.

THE TASK

For the first time in their 30-year...

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How a humble pottery mug changed two women's lives

The most remarkable things happen when you least expect them. 

In January of this year, I shared my process for setting my year up for success, a workshop called Live a Life by Design; centred around finding your purpose, creating a vision of the life that is authentic to you and setting the goals to make it happen. 

It was such a beautiful workshop, and l loved sharing how I lay the foundation to living the life of my dreams, every year.  The feedback I received was amazing and participants immediately saw a shift in themselves.

And then in May, I heard how transformational that workshop truly was, and how it had changed the life of someone I’ve never met.

One of the gorgeous women who did my program, Nik, decided that her life wasn’t ticking all the boxes she desired. Her work and personal life were going fabulously, however on reflection it wasn’t quite measuring up in the area of personal fulfilment; hobbies and joy.  Deciding it...

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Who to hire and when?

Uncategorized Feb 04, 2021

Creating a new workplace for your business is a team effort.  You will need to enlist the expertise and know-how of a wide variety of people to ensure that you invest your time, energy and money in an outcome that will work for your business. 

Often clients can get swept up in the excitement and want to dive right, on, in, or feel that by going the DIY version they’re going to save themselves a few dollars.  In my experience, this is not going to end well.  There are reasons why these professions exist and depending on the scale and size of your business, you may not require their entire suite of services, but their advice is likely to see you create an outcome that you couldn’t, had you gone it alone.

You are going to require different people along this journey, each with their own specialties, and super powers, all adding value to the end product, a workplace that performs.  These people may be within your own organization or the same set of...

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Workplace Trends Beyond 2020

Uncategorized Jun 01, 2020

There has been a lot of focus recently on the shorter term, more immediate changes that workplaces have needed to put in place to start to return their employees to the workplace.

We can’t predict how much of an impact the pandemic may have longer-term, but nearly all signs are leading to an acceleration of the “future” workplace. With this in mind, and looking beyond the more immediate changes that have been implemented, we can start to consider other aspects of the future workplace that businesses can start planning for.

Here are some of the areas that will have a significant change and require a fair investment to bring workplaces into the future.   

Expect more from our buildings

Creating Healthy buildings will be a focus. Think biometric hardware sensor-operated temperature scanners, more gesture responsive hardware and building management systems for monitoring ventilation and air quality requirements. We also predict we’ll see a return to...

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More than bricks and mortar – optimising your workplace dynamics

Uncategorized May 18, 2020

No longer are our workplaces the place that we must go to “work”.  Within the first quarter of 2020, the corporate world was forced to demonstrate that we can, in fact, work from anywhere in the masses. This has posed the question for many organisations, “what is the true purpose of our work environment?”.

We spend more time at work than anywhere else so it makes sense that this space should accommodate a variety of our social needs and provide us with a sense of community.  It should be a space to facilitate professional social connection, to enable us to connect with our colleagues and our organisations, to collaborate, brainstorm, innovate and problem-solve, together. 

So what is it about these communities that give us a collective sense of meaning, pride and belonging, and ultimately drive loyalty? It’s the shared values, experiences and stories, and more so, it’s the environments that facilitate these connections.

Before we...

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How to build a new workplace culture that sets your business up for any future

Uncategorized May 13, 2020

We’ve been talking about the future of work for years, and just like that, within weeks, this future of work has now become reality. Businesses have been forced into a pressure cooker and the whole foundations of how they have traditionally been operating is being tested.

It’s not just the ability to produce work that has been put in the spotlight, the true culture of our organisations is coming through in how our teams are coming together to adapt to the change and stay connected. No one knows what the new operating norm will look like, but what we do know is that there is no “going back to normal”, there has been a fundamental shift in how work happens. Businesses have been given a great opportunity to really evaluate the workplace cultures and see how it has truly “stood up” with a different way of operating.

So what should businesses be reviewing in to set their workplace up for the future in regards to culture? To be honest, it’s...

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From the eyes of a designer - How to elevate your Work From Home experience

Uncategorized May 12, 2020

There’s been a lot of content flooding our feeds about how challenging working from home is in the current environment, how exhausted and unmotivated we all are – the general theme is that, well frankly, we’re all over it.

Our environments play a significant role in how we feel and how we perform. This goes hand in hand with the fact that research has shown that employees rank their physical workplaces as the fourth most important aspect of their employee experience. Yet in recent years, the corporate environment has shifted to depersonalising workspaces – moving to the likes of hot-desking, agile workspaces and clean desk policies.

 So do you want to know what we think is the best part about working from home? You now have full creative licence and the opportunity to create a workspace that inspires you and radiates what’s important to you!

Whether you’ve been accustomed to working from home for some time now, or you’ve been...

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What your Workplace design says about your culture & your values

blog Apr 28, 2020

Design creates culture.  Culture shapes values.  Values determine the future. 

Robert L Peters.

Purpose-driven organisations are understanding the power their workplace has in communicating their intentions and impact, creating thriving workplaces.  The ability to communicate this purpose lies within the organisation’s existing business intelligence; its values and strategy.  This intelligence, forms the foundations for the functional planning and aesthetics of the workplace, influencing the behaviours that instil this greater purpose.

Organisational values can be much more than the words that get stuck up on the wall.  Typically, these values are informed by the brand story of the business and show up through the behaviours of its people.  A brand story is not just the logo and the suite of colours, it’s the narrative that illustrates the history of the business, where they came from, who they are, what they do and what they stand...

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Designing your ultimate Employee Experience

blog Mar 31, 2020

Employee Experience… what is it?

It could be defined as the difference between attracting and retaining talent, the rewards associated with performance and the perceptions of the employee about the organisation, influencing loyalty and the ability to fulfil an employees potential.

Gallup define it as “the journey an employee takes in your organisation”.

Or… it could simply be put, that when you have a positive experience, people LOVE coming to work.  And… What if everyone LOVED going to work, and they could find their place at work where they felt at home?

Employee Experience lies at the intersection of the physical workplace, the organisational culture and the virtual environment; the technology that makes it all possible.

 

The Culture

Once thought to be the only consideration in creating a solid employee experience, the definition of culture and what it means to have a great one, we believe, has evolved beyond simply being the general...

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Why wait for opportunity? Create it!

blog Mar 04, 2020

If you knew that a decision you were making for your business could constrain its future potential, would you do it?

Surprisingly business leaders make these decisions unknowingly every day.  This decision impacts your two most expensive business assets; property & people.

When business leaders define their corporate strategy, often the last people that they would think to consult about its execution would be their workplace designers, and fair call.  Traditionally the role of the designer has been to put this many little boxes into the big box, however there is a new style of design philosophy evolving, one that takes a far more holistic approach to creating a workplace that embodies your organizations strategic plan and infuses every element of the physical environment with it.  Creating a space that influences and guides the specific behaviors needed to execute that vision. 

A strategic design approach looks at all the elements of what makes your business...

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