Principality Building Society has re-opened its innovative headquarters in Cardiff city centre to colleagues for the first time in two and half years as the business embraces its new hybrid model.
Iain Mansfield, chief operating officer at Principality said: “The pandemic gave us time to reflect on how we wanted to work as a business, based on the views of our colleagues. Thanks to their cooperation, we have created a modern and dynamic working environment that will help us attract and retain talent heading into the future, and truly embrace what genuine hybrid working means.
“We have not made it mandatory for colleagues to work in the office two or three days a week as we believe in a fully hybrid model that gives them choice to shape how, when and where they work best in a way that balances the needs of Principality, their teams, and their personal circumstances. It’s about giving more flexibility about how people work, offering a mix of working remotely, and working in an office environment. There are clear benefits of hybrid working, especially for the wellbeing of our colleagues, as well as lessening the impact on the climate through fewer people commuting to work each day.”
While the building was closed during the pandemic, planned maintenance work was brought forward. At this time, an internal survey showed colleagues were seeing the benefits of working from home and would prefer to have this option for the long-term. Based on this colleague feedback, Principality hired workplace consultancy Boost Cognition, to listen and collaborate with colleagues through focus groups, interviews and a detailed survey to provide a recommendation on the changes needed to implement a fully hybrid model that better utilises the workspaces in the office.
D&G, a local office interior company, were then hired to collaborate with Principality’s estates and IT teams to fit out the new spaces based on this recommendation. The building now has more innovative meeting and collaboration spaces, fitted with high-quality videoconferencing and virtual whiteboards for hybrid collaboration, as well as a ‘no phones’ quiet floor with two multi-faith rooms, a wellbeing room and quiet workspace for ‘head-down’ working. Every hybrid colleague has a laptop and the freedom to choose whether to work from home or in the office, as well as where they work in the office on any given day.
At the heart of all of this work has also been the business’ ambition to be carbon zero by 2030, having already achieved carbon neutral status earlier this year. The office space has been fitted by D&G to feature recycled, sustainable materials, with many of the carpets made from 90% recycled material and carbon neutral across their lifecycle. More than 300 existing office chairs, and several stools and tables were also re-used throughout the project rather than buying new stock. The old carpet that was uplifted, and repurposed by Greenstream, a business based in Porth, to be cleaned and recycled for use in community and equestrian centres in South Wales.