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Designing workplace collaboration

Nov 21, 2017
  • Article by Online Editor

When online ‘prop tech’ start-up PEXA brought its three separate offices and over 200 staff together into a new futuristic workplace in Collins Square, Melbourne they employed Futurespace to ensure collaboration was at the heart of the new space.

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PEXA was ranked as the fifth fastest growing tech start-up in the Deloitte 2016 Technology Fast 500, achieving an impressive revenue growth of 7116 percent. Design director at Futurespace Gavin Harris says, “PEXA wanted to move into a space that would encourage staff to socialise and to create positive energy. We did this by designing the space around a central café zone, which acts as the thoroughfare for both sides of the office, showcasing the vibrancy and creativity that is at the core of the PEXA brand.”

In areas with high activity (such as the reception, kitchen, meeting and collaborative spaces) bold colour blocking was used in the finishes and materials to contrast against the neutral work areas. Colour was combined with natural timbers, patterned flooring and the greenery of the building’s central void to signify the energy at the core of the PEXA brand. Blue and green tones were used to signify creativity, intelligence and imagination.

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The design tactics implemented not only showcase the PEXA brand but, more importantly, support the growing number of PEXA employees. “To help support the employees, we brought in sit-stand desks, designed collaboration or scrum spaces and created an office that facilitates people working away from their desks,” says Harris.

A range of design tactics was used within the interior to help support employees, and also showcase the culture of PEXA. These included utilising natural materials such as climbing green walls, creating exposed ceilings, lining the walls with timber, introducing texture and colour through flooring and soft furnishings.

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The location of the new office in Collins Square also has a significant impact on the company and its employees. “There is a new trend around companies moving into ‘places’ rather than just random buildings. Collins Square is a place-making development, which has a range of amenities available to staff and businesses such as restaurants, cafés, services, function facilities and shared services like meeting rooms, kitchens and ballrooms,” Harris says.

The outcome of the move to the new office has been outstanding and the culture at PEXA has been able to flourish. Chief people and culture officer at PEXA Rebecca Evans says, “The feedback from employees has been overwhelmingly positive. After moving into the new space, new connections between staff have been made and collaboration is thriving.”

Practice: Futurespace

Photography: Nicole England

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