British Film Institute
BFI Stephen Street, Ready for its Close Up
Setting the sceneThe British Film Institute (BFI) wanted to cut costs, better utilise the space they had and maximise cognitive performance of the team at its Stephen Street head office. AWA was brought in to help outline what could be done with the existing space.
The ChallengeThe BFI Stephen Street has 11 departments in total, ranging from education, programming and curation to IT, HR and legal. A key challenge was in educating the whole BFI team to fully understand the importance of cross-team collaboration. In addition, the BFI needed to prove they could generate income and support themselves, without additional funding.
The SolutionFollowing initial conversations and research conducted by AWA, a project team was compiled and utilisation studies commenced – revealing that the space was heavily underutilised. The team of workplace consultants at AWA were certain they could reduce the square footage required without jeopardising performance or comfort, and were confident they could house the BFI team on three floors, instead of five – with the adoption of agile working practices. Previously, the basement space had been used solely for storage – after the floorplans were drawn up, it became clear this space could be released and used as a collaborative working zone. In order to help the BFI generate rental income, AWA suggested the institute rent the two now unnecessary floors to tenants.
Success was down to the constant consultation with the BFI workforce. In addition to regular face-to-face catch ups, mock-ups of the intended space were shared so people knew what to expect. AWA was in charge of organising training and making sure user acceptance and engagement was taking place across the business and also conducted a benefits workshop, success matrix and post-occupancy focus groups.
Unified communications were utilised to support the change; a dedicated email address was set up, where staff could send emails to, relating to queries, worries or reservations about the change. The intranet also had a ‘Better Workplace’ section, which housed all plans, results and updates.