Insights

H. Hendy Associates Brings First Activity-Based Workspace to Orange County at Goodman Birtcher

Newport Beach, CA – H. Hendy Associates has completed Orange County’s first activity-based workspace at Goodman Birtcher North America’s Irvine office, for which the interior architecture leader won the Leadership Award for an Innovative Project at CoreNet’s REmmy Awards. Goodman Birtcher is an integrated industrial property company and the space is designed to promote their business objectives by incorporating a form of office design called activity-based workspace, also know internationally as “ABW” or for Goodman “space to work.” This environment will allow all employees, including the CEO, to rotate to, and work in, varied work spaces depending on work objectives for that day.

More than hoteling or “hot-seating,” activity-based workspace is designed with an understanding of a company’s business and processes. The space is then built out to enhance the specific types of collaboration the company needs to work with more efficiency and productivity.

One of the objectives of eliminating all assigned desks through activity-based workspace is to  expose employees to a wider range of their coworkers on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. By doing so, more natural opportunities for collaboration and engagement are presented and processes and information flow improve.

“You observe in this space a great culture of spontaneous information sharing where you can elect to become an active or passive participant. I see greater velocity in project advancement and an overall transparency of work product. Now that I have experienced this kind of work environment I cannot imagine ever going back to an assigned seating design concept,” said Brandy Birtcher, CEO of Goodman Birtcher.

In fact, Birtcher has found that the new space has shifted the way that he thinks about his day; In the former space, information was “siloed” in closed door offices or high-walled work stations, but now information is visibly available.

Goodman Birtcher is a wholly owned subsidiary of Goodman Group, one of the world’s largest industrial developers. Prior to moving to ABW, the team worked out of a traditional space with offices around the perimeter and workspaces in the interior. Goodman Birtcher’s newly designed floor plan features a variety of workspaces for employees to utilize as their work days deem appropriate, the only constant being assigned lockers. Employees can take their laptops and other items from their lockers and choose the space that will best suit their communication needs for the day.

“In-house, we have people that focus on land acquisition, entitlement, development, market research, financial analysis, and construction management. If they sat in a conventional format they would be delayed in learning important project details. Goodman has been so impressed with the ABW environment that they are converting most of their offices worldwide to the new format,” said Birtcher. “With H. Hendy Associates’ execution of the ABW plan we have noticed a measurable increase in the speed at which projects are negotiated, designed and analyzed.”

From bar stools situated at a counter along the window line to “dog-bone” tables that seat three, the space is designed to encourage collaboration and cross-disciplinary learning in a variety of environments. For necessary privacy, sound proof phone booths and six-by-eight foot meeting rooms are situated throughout the space, which has been broken into three distinct zones according to noise level. Because employees are required to move to a new location within the space each day, they pack up their chosen work stations at the end of the work day so the entire office is clean and ready for them to select their new space to work each morning.

Goodman Birtcher’s conference rooms have also been modified for truly productive collaboration, with each conference table butted up against a wall with a flat screen, so that teams can enjoy the benefits of the full suite of technology that the company has to offer. The space’s large kitchen encourages camaraderie and ties in Goodman’s Australian roots with oversized tables made from slabs of their native Acacia wood.

“The Goodman Birtcher team will have great success with activity-based working because Greg Goodman and Brandon Birtcher embrace it daily. It is crucial that a change like this has the enthusiastic support of the leadership team,” said Heidi Hendy, founding principal of H. Hendy Associates.

About H. Hendy Associates

For more than 30 years, H. Hendy Associates has provided interior architectural services to a prestigious client list, including Southern California Edison, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Experian, Rockwell Collins and El Pollo Loco. The company offers a full spectrum of services from strategic planning, creative design interior architecture and ongoing facilities management, with a focus on culture, space and technology. The firm is located in Newport Beach, Calif. For more information, visit H. Hendy Associates at https://www.hhendy.com.

About Goodman Birtcher
Goodman Birtcher is a wholly owned subsidiary of Goodman Group, an international integrated property group that owns, develops and manages logistics, warehouse, distribution and business space in 18 countries across Asia Pacific, UK, Europe and North America and Brazil. The North American Headquarters are located in Irvine, California with regional offices in Seattle, Washington and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Goodman Birtcher was formed from a partnership between Goodman and Birtcher Development and Investments, a fifth generation company which has been in operation since 1939 and has become one of the most respected real estate investment companies in the Western U.S. Goodman Group currently has a development pipeline of in excess of $10 billion of which Goodman Birtcher accounts for $1 billion that will yield 12 million square feet of new space when fully built-out. Goodman Group has partnered with the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) in North America for a combined initial investment of $890 million.

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