26/09/2017 - 14:15

Fresh take for RSM near the quay

26/09/2017 - 14:15

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Fostering a collaborative and interactive workplace culture was a key driver behind the design of RSM’s new office space at Exchange Tower.

Fresh take for RSM near the quay
MKDC’s designs promote open, contemporary and inviting spaces at RSM’s new home on the Esplanade. Photos: Osprey Photography

The Perth branch of national accounting firm RSM will leave its home of 28 years on St Georges Terrace today and move to new premises at Exchange Tower at 2 The Esplanade, overlooking Elizabeth Quay.

More than 3,200 square metres of office space across levels 31, 32 and 33 of Exchange Tower have become what RSM Perth managing partner Con Paoliello calls a contemporary mobile working environment, a place he believes will help boost staff productivity and staff engagement.

“People don’t like working in environments that are dark and old; it’s like staying in a bad house, it has an impact,” Mr Paoliello told Business News.

“The age of the building here no longer suited our work practices, so we had to find an alternative to that.

“Unlike 28 years ago when tax compliance and accounting were our core offering, corporate advisory services including cyber security, fraud and forensic services are now a significant part of our business nationally, and we wanted our relocation to reflect these new dynamics.

“I’m not suggesting it’s the only thing that will lift our staff engagement; there are lots of other plans to drive that further, but the new space will allow us to enable and activate our staff to collaborate more easily.”

Mr Paoliello said the new design addressed the difficulty staff had experienced in trying to work collaboratively, especially when it came to clients engaging across multiple service lines, by reducing the number of floors RSM’s 227 people were spread across from seven to three.

The number of offices had also decreased, from 90 to 33, in favour of more open-plan, flexible workspaces.

“Now the divisions that all work together are on the same floor and there’s spots for them to work together; whether that’s a meeting room, media pod or collaboration zone, there’s an opportunity there that we didn’t have before,” Mr Paoliello said.

Conceived by Perth commercial interior design firm MKDC, the fit-out comprises several meeting rooms and media pods equipped with whiteboard technology and wireless functions to accommodate virtual meeting needs, as well as a kitchen and communal lounge areas, end-of-trip facilities and a dedicated wellness room (a no-technology zone with couches and a dedicated place for new mothers).

“Our kitchen and tea break spaces were terrible and no-one wanted to hang out in them,” Mr Paoliello said.

“At our new space we’ve made them inviting places where people are more than happy to hang around.

“There’ll be a TV playing in the background that might have some news of the day or firm-wide communication or reminders for events.

“If they want time to chill out, staff can have a coffee and a chat.

Others might just want five minutes to have a hit of a ping pong ball and clear their head.”

RSM has also secured signage rights on top of the 40-storey building and Mr Paoliello said the logo was due to be erected in the next month or so.

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