FedEx used to have three offices in total: one office for TNT and two other offices for FedEx. The company wanted to integrate all the offices so that everyone could work together. A survey that FedEx conducted on its employees about the old office building showed that there were some things that could be improved. Based on these results, FedEx had more insight into what needed to change in their new office environment. Originally, FedEx did not find a suitable building to move to. So they considered a new build project for which they enlisted the help of Colliers. When they decided to focus on a new build project, FedEx happened to find a suitable office building. The building was somewhat outdated and had a layout that reflected the old way of working, with many corridors and separate rooms. FedEx then turned to Colliers for a 'refit' of the building. Colliers focused on modernising the building, taking into account the wishes of FedEx.
FedEx spoke with nine European parties for the project. Colliers stood out for their project in Belgium and the Netherlands. A big plus was that Colliers could quickly switch between the projects in the two neighbouring countries. In April 2019 FedEx signed the contract with Colliers for the 'refit' of the office building. The delivery of the refurbished building took place on 10 March 2020.
Due to problems with the acquisition of the building, Colliers was not able to start the works until January 2020.
FedEx: 'Because Colliers could only start the works after the Christmas holidays, the project was delayed from the start. However, by continuing to work with its teams day and night, Colliers was able to bring the project to a successful conclusion. It was very clever of Colliers to complete the project within the agreed time frame, and thus to fully make up for the delay.'
After talking to the people at FedEx, Colliers knew exactly what the necessary innovations should be. This was primarily a workplace that combined three concepts (see points 1, 2 and 3 below) into a healthy working environment. In order to create this healthy atmosphere, FedEx also called upon Colliers' own 'Facility team'. These people ensured that we installed a yoga room, library, courtyard gardens, two restaurants, work cafeterias and 'ramblas', busy meeting corridors that overlook the courtyard gardens.
The new office space had to be primarily adapted to these elements:
- Separate offices for managers and directors;
- "Agile scrum": open IT environment (no separate rooms) to work in groups of 4, 6 or 9 people. They are actually islands of four desks next to each other. At the head of the table sits someone who leads the meeting. Between two of these islands you can close a curtain to hold a videoconference in a quiet way. Groups of up to 10 people can work together here;
- Open spaces for 6-12 people at the same time. These open spaces are separated by the offices of the managers or directors. These spaces are 'touchdown areas': places where you can work for one to two hours (between meetings or when you come to collect something from the office);
- Phone boxes to make phone calls;
- Two types of meeting rooms with adapted furniture:
a. Rooms that can be used more for informal meetings with comfortable armchairs or pleasant beanbags;
b. Traditional rooms with tables and chairs that are more suitable for formal meetings and discussions;
- Electrical outlets have been installed everywhere so that you can be electronically connected;
- More air in the office space to provide employees with an ideal working environment;
- Everything was adapted to FedEx's house style.
Colliers also helped with the 'workplace strategy' of FedEx during the project in Brussels. One of the ways in which Colliers did this was by organising a 'workplace game' for the employees. Colliers had the 600 FedEx employees visit in groups of 100 to explain how they could make the best use of the new office space.
Colliers was able to furnish the new office environment of FedEx exactly as it should be. The employees have already responded positively. In addition, Colliers' intervention also enabled FedEx to save 500 m² of space (from the old to the new office building) by dividing the space in the most efficient way possible.
FedEx: 'We moved into our office on 10 March, but a few days later, the compulsory homeworking measure was introduced. So we have not yet been able to enjoy our new office to the fullest, but we will! We have noticed that many people are satisfied with the changes. Moreover, we now realise more than ever that an office environment is a kind of meeting place. Our new office is actually quite large for the number of employees we have at the moment, but if we apply the rule of one and a half metres, then our office is just perfect for this. It seems like we were prepared for this.'
ADDED BUSINESS VALUE
- Managers and directors retain their privacy by having their own office;
- Flexible and modern working methods thanks to open spaces;
- More efficient working thanks to a new office with partitioned spaces;
- Facilities for fully digital working;
- Widening of the air ducts to provide additional air supply to the office spaces;
- A more pleasant working environment that is fully in line with FedEx's corporate identity.
- 15.000 m²;
- Total project of 1 year. Due to delays in acquiring the building, Colliers was only able to start in January 2020, while the contract was already signed in April 2019.
- 660 workplaces in total in the new building;
- 540 employees in total in this building today, with a view to growth;
- Over 400,000 employees worldwide;
- Various services provided by Colliers:
o Designing new office space and supervising the concept;
o Project management: daily on site;
o Assistance in choosing materials and furniture;
o Follow-up of the renovation works;
o Monitoring of suppliers;
o Workplace strategy: delivering things to the FedEx employees, such as a workplace game to promote integration;
o Organisation of the move.