GE’s successful ABW pilot supports a global strategy for growth and inspires a multi-office transition to agile and collaborative work environments.
One of the largest companies in the world, General Electric’s technology, equipment and services support diverse sectors – from energy, water and transportation to healthcare and aviation.
Having recently re-focused its business on industrial and technology markets as a global growth initiative, GE Australia and New Zealand recognised its teams needed to be more agile. The third floor of its North Sydney headquarters was selected for an activity based working (ABW) pilot.
For such a large organisation, collaboration between different business units has always been a challenge – particularly if teams are separated by cubicles or floors. With an emphasis on working as ‘One GE’, the ABW model was chosen to transform traditional work habits by enhancing collaboration, improving productivity and empowering employees.
Our team was brought on board to manage the pre-construction and construction phases once the initial concept design for the fitout was complete.
We took care of some gaps in the design and documentation process and specified new furniture and fittings to ensure lead times would meet the handover date. We also supported the change management process as part of GE’s transition to its ‘Next Generation Workplace’.
The new office environment delivers on its promise. GE’s people are more aware of their organisation’s identity and feel part of one unified team. Cross-team projects have emerged, with people from different parts of the business sitting next to one another, sharing information and ideas. ABW not only makes better use of the space, it also meets the changing needs of a new generation of GE employees.
Having successfully delivered this pilot within a compressed timeframe and on budget, Unispace was asked to work on various phases of strategy, design and delivery for additional GE workplaces across Australia and New Zealand including Melbourne, Jandakot (Perth), Brisbane, Auckland and Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea.