Chief executive Mark Cowlard says staff can use EightyFen as and when they want
Arcadis has officially moved into its new City base but has told staff it doesn’t expect them to be using it every day.
In February, the firm confirmed it would leave its King’s Cross home of 15 years for the Skanska-built EightyFen where the consultant is occupying two floors covering 40,000ft2.
Today marks the firm's official first day in its new home, with UK and Ireland chief executive Mark Cowlard telling Building it was having a soft launch of its new premises.
He said: “What we haven't done, and what we are not going to do post-covid, is tell anyone they have to be in the office so many days a week.
“What we are saying is 'come to the office, use it how it would suit you to use it from a wellbeing perspective'.
“If that means your workspace from home is awful and you need somewhere to go five days a week then you come here five days a week. If you actually don't need to do that, and you can serve your clients well without doing that, then do what works well for you. Come here one day a week, come here two days a week, come here for half a day a week, whatever it might be.”
The new office has 300 fixed desks, though no one will have permanent seats. Including the collaboration spaces there are 565 seats.
This is down from 690 desks at the firm's former base but Cowlard said a pre-covid study carried out by workplace consultancy WKspace of office usage had proved the firm could reduce its footprint.
He said: “We've obviously reduced our floorspace. What we did before we left Arcadis House [in King’s Cross] was we worked out what the maximum occupancy ever was in that office space and that was traditionally on a Tuesday or a Thursday because we already allowed people to work from home when it suited them.”
James Saunders, director at Arcadis and the firm's lead on the project, said the survey, which was carried out over six weeks early last year, found the maximum use the firm had at its King's Cross office was 49%, or 338 desks on any one day.
The new office space has also been equipped with a new product developed by Arcadis called Building Intelligence, which allows staff to book desks or collaborative space based on the level of noise, light and climate they are looking for.
There are also sensors in a large number of the workspaces which give a rating out of 100 for the current "quality" of the workspace based on temperature, level of noise and air quality.