In 2012, ahead of the planned construction of two large new offices, Westpac undertook a survey of CBD located staff. The initial survey found up to 50 percent of office desks were unoccupied at any one time. Further surveys also indicated an overwhelming majority of Westpac’s 45,000 workforce wanted more flexibility within their workplaces. The Westpac WorkSmart program was designed as a result - to meet and achieve employees’ expectations of more flexible workplaces.
Construction was subsequently started to build pilot floors for activity-based working. One level of Westpac’s Kent Street Sydney offices, with 350 staff, became the pilot site to transition to the new way of working. Staff on this floor acted as the testing ground for what is now a group-wide rollout of the WorkSmart methodology. In 2015, as a result of this successful program, Westpac Group moved 7,000 staff into its impressive new Barangaroo headquarters. Westpac Group’s Kogarah NSW technology campus was next with over 2,000 staff on five floors converted to activity based working.
Westpac has taken every staff member that is to be relocated to a WorkSmart environment through special training prior to the move, to ensure they are ready to work in the quite different new office environment.
Employees are no longer assigned desks or deskphones. The desktop is emulated by plugging a laptop into a charging station, attached to an external 23” Dell monitor supported by an Uplifting 7045 series monitor arm. Two monitor arms are located on each desk, one controls the placement of the computer monitor and the other is equipped with a laptop tray. All monitor arms are equipped with stop rotation devices to limit any inadvertent damage to monitor screens and partitions. Staff operate from a standardised laptop (a choice of Toshiba or Lenovo) which the place the moveable tray and choose any desk on the floor to work from. The monitor arms effectively “float” the devices above the desk, so staff can make ergonomic adjustments by fingertips only with no need for tools.
Various monitor arm accessories standard to the Uplifting range, are also fitted to the model 7000 monitor arms to suit dual monitor and heavy weight monitors. At all times, the standard7000 or 7Flex arm is used, proving its versatility by having over 16,000 of one type of monitor arm installed on over 8,000 desktops, supporting a very wide variety of users.
The overall result is that staff who come into work usually don’t want to go out! Such is the popularity of the new Westpac work environment.