Along with poor collaboration spots and an outdated style, we had a lot of unused space. An occupancy study determined that while some employees like engineers are always at their desks, others, like brokers, were out of their seats as much as 70% of the time. Even when they were in the office, it was in and out of meetings—all of which had to take place in the only five client rooms available.
In 2011, we found marginal relief in a temporary space on another floor. But it still wasn’t collaborative or flexible. In 2015, after employee surveys, workplace planning and a five-month build-out, our Sao Paulo team moved into a well-lit floor in the Sao Paulo Corporate towers—the only LEED platinum certified building in Brazil—fully designed and implemented by Tétris Design & Build, a JLL company. We now occupy an entire floor, where employees finally have the space to work how, where and with whom they want.
The new workspace is arranged in “neighborhoods”—13 total; one per business line—where employees sit in bench-style seating with colleagues from their department. Groups who often work together, like project management and transactions, are in nearby neighborhoods, but boundaries are loose. People can work in a different neighborhood for an hour, a day or even a month if they’re collaborating on a project.
There are 240 seats in the new space—20 more than employees—but the space can fit 300 people through remote work and collaboration. Workstations are completely unassigned to encourage flexibility between neighborhoods, but because each department has a home, employees maintain a sense of stability.
Within each neighborhood are multiple seating options away from the workstations. Employees can migrate to a couple of couches or gather around a high-top table to work alone or in groups without booking a room or bothering their neighbors.
One of the most welcome features of the new office is ample internal meeting space. Client rooms are now strictly reserved for external meetings, while employees can choose from multiple small rooms when they need a space to meet. And they’re arranged on the interior of the floor, so workstations on the periphery enjoy the most sunlight.
Our goal for our new office was to create a workplace that meets the needs
of a modern workforce, helps us operate with maximum productivity and sets the stage for a profitable future.
We now occupy an entire floor within the Sao Paulo Corporate towers.
The new office brings all 220 employees across 13 business lines together. The workspace is arranged in “neighborhoods” where employees sit in bench-style seating with colleagues from their department.
After employee surveys, workplace planning and an eight-week build out, we moved into a well-lit floor in the Sao Paulo Corporate towers, fully designed and implemented by Tétris Design & Build, a JLL company.
Though employees have the technology to work from anywhere, there’s a newfound incentive to come into the office. There’s been greater synergy and better communication between business lines. Employees report better work-life balance and more consideration for their health and well-being.
No more guessing who sits in that area? or where can I find finance?
Visual markers labeled each neighborhood through the first few months of transition so employees could easily identify departments and work more closely. And as part of their change management initiative, everyone received a map of the neighborhoods and collaborative spaces so they could always find their way home.
Since Sao Paulo Corporate Towers is located in a very congested area, restaurants are often times packed during the lunch hour. We now have our own self-service cafeteria called Hard Work Café where we can buy food, snacks and beverages. Staying within the building for lunch allows employees to engage more with one another, while saving time.