Julia Fox, director at Deloitte, tells us about her involvement creating the firm's new office in Newcastle, which has been designed for the future of wor
We’ve had a very exciting time at Deloitte in Newcastle as we opened the doors to the firm’s first UK office specifically designed for our recently announced hybrid working approach. Our new 11,150 sq ft office in Newcastle will accommodate the 285 Deloitte people based in the region, and is located in Trinity Gardens at the heart of the Quayside, Newcastle.
The Newcastle office has been designed in response to a Deloitte people survey which revealed that 81% of respondents anticipate working from a Deloitte office for up to two days a week. The research also showed that 96% of Deloitte’s people want to have the freedom to choose how flexibly they will work. In addition, 86% of respondents ranked ‘collaborating with team colleagues’ and ‘interacting with others’ within their top three ways they envisage using the office – all of which formed the main design principles. In order for people to connect and plan in-person collaboration we’ve purposely removed traditional desks to accommodate more informal collaboration and networking spaces, as well as adding more flexible touch-down working areas.
Future of work
Last June our chief executive, Richard Houston, announced the firm’s hybrid working model that allows Deloitte people to choose where they need to be to do their best work, in balance with their professional and personal responsibilities. For me and the rest of the team involved with the design of the office it’s been really exciting to completely rethink our office space based on this model – how, when and where we all want to work. We ran sessions with our people in Newcastle to better understand their preferences to the new ways of working. This has paved the way for a working environment that is inclusive, hybrid, inspiring, and a space for now and the future.
The new office is equipped with technology such as high-quality audio and video, including 360-degree cameras to create an inclusive meeting experience for all, regardless of location. The design makes it easier for people and clients to co-work, either in person or virtually, and provides better opportunities for networking and building relationships. In addition, the flexible office space can be easily adapted depending on the work need, with meeting rooms opened up to create room for large events when required.
This is an office space that has been designed in line with the way we envisage working in our physical spaces, offering opportunities for better collaboration and connection. This is the first office to be designed in this way and other Deloitte offices across the UK will follow our lead and learn from our pioneering approach in Newcastle.
Creating sustainable offices that balance the firm’s WorldClimate commitments is a core part of designing and fitting out our ‘future of work’ offices. The firm is committed to our net zero targets and we have used this opportunity to create an office space which is a sustainable and inspiring place to work. In designing the Newcastle office, the firm’s in-house design team has ensured that the furnishings are made from recycled material where possible. This office is fitted out with carpets and rugs made from recycled yarn that can be re-used over and over again to make new products. The yarn is made from old carpets that have reached their end of life, discarded fishing nets collected from oceans as well as domestic products, such as old clothing. The furniture has also been sourced from suppliers who use recycled materials, including recycled paint.
Deloitte is committed to the North East, with offices in Leeds and Newcastle and employs over 880 people in the region. The new office in Newcastle is the latest indication of continued investment in the regions and follows our recent announcement of new jobs in the Tees Valley.