Sheldon brings the world’s most connected office to Sydney

It’s June 2016 and two Sheldon team members are boarding a New York bound plane, off to meet the visionary Bob Greenberg, founder of global advertising agency R/GA.

They spend the next 21 hours keenly awaiting their arrival, eager to meet the man who created the widely-acclaimed agency that has been responsible for transforming brands like Nike and Samsung into household names.

Sheldon was in New York to bear witness to R/GA’s famed connected office, a world first space that boasts the best in technology and design.

The brainchild of Greenberg, his dream was to create a connected office, a workspace that enabled his team to do the best work of their careers. Walking into the 200,000 square foot space, it was clear that the fitout had been a success.

When they finally came face-to-face with Greenberg, who was wearing his trademark black beret, he took them on a journey through the new office, explaining how this real-life version of an idea that had been brewing in his mind for some time was brought to life.

With offices in 19 locations around the world, Bob knows a thing or two about creating exceptional work environments.

“Entering the space for the first time was awe-inspiring…from the huge journey screens and interlinking staircase, the sense of movement and collaboration between R/GA’s people, and the neutral palette allowing their digital credentials and extensive artwork collection to shine” says Sheldon Account Director, Roxane Kourakis.

Greenberg’s passion for design and architecture was evident as he enthusiastically recounted how R/GA completed the optimistic feat.

The fitout was so innovative that filmmaker Gary Hustwit used R/GA’s transformation as the case-in-point on his documentary about the evolution of the workplace. Workplace: The Connected Space Documentary is a must-watch for all design enthusiasts. The film takes you on the behind-the-scenes journey of the R/GA office metamorphosis, from a simple idea in Greenberg’s mind to the world’s most connected office.

Observing the functionality of the completed space and the easy interaction amongst the R/GA team, it was clear that they were onto something.

So when Sheldon was appointed by R/GA to bring the world’s most connected office concept to fruition in Sydney, to say they were excited is an understatement.

The New York office is R/GA’s credential, designed to engage, inspire and retain employees, and the same was to be true of the Sydney office.

The new office was to be located across levels 9 and 10 of the prestigious 9 Castlereagh Street building in Sydney, a building designed by the late Harry Seidler.

The atrium that runs up the centre of the building was ingeniously incorporated into the design, enabling a natural visual connection between zones and both levels.

The atrium also worked in their favour by being a unique light well, providing natural filtered daylight throughout the day. R/GA are advocates of the circadian lighting system, an element they championed in their New York fitout. The system replicates the natural day-to-night light cycle, and thanks to the atrium combined with feature uplighting, the office has an abundance of natural light throughout the day.

Every element used in the fitout was selected for a specific purpose. From the ergonomics, acoustical treatments and flooring to the furniture, lighting and specific audio-visual facilities, each was chosen to support employee health and wellness.

“We worked hard to create an integrated mesh of flexible work settings closely aligned with R/GA’s unique way of working. We then wrapped this around the light well core, which enabled us to re-enforce the key concept of providing direct access to the varied settings for all and make it very clear and visible to both staff and clients alike” describes Michael Hala, Sheldon’s Head of Design.

To cater for every kind of work and every personality, R/GA has ensured their team members have the space and the tools to be effective. Multiple work zones are now accessible, with conference rooms, huddle rooms, multi-use training areas and various open area collaboration spaces.

Every employee also has an individual sit-to-stand workstation that can be moved and plugged in at a different location at any time, with no assistance.

Just like in New York, Audio-Visual facilities were crucial to the functionality of the Sydney space and their wider interaction with the global R/GA team. As a number of the R/GA teams from around the world frequently need to collaborate at any one time, the state-of-the-art technology enables team members to do this seamlessly. They are kept informed on what R/GA are working on globally in real time. This seamless integration provides the R/GA workplace with a unique edge.

The new Sydney headquarters is R/GA’s credential. It demonstrates their global standing and full range of capabilities while fostering employee engagement, technology and creativity. A project that Sheldon was proud to deliver.