Adapt & thrive: Supporting Aronova’s safe return to the office
Aronova is a technology company providing services to support and operate invoice-backed working capital programmes used by large global corporates. Aronova operates 24 x 7 product delivery platforms and works with many of the world’s largest banks, capital markets funders, and trade credit insurers.
Aronova was originally based in the City, but took the decision eight years ago to relocate to more spacious offices “with character”. After finding Fetcham Park by chance, Aronova is now the House’s longest standing client and occupies a suite of offices on the top floor.
Up until March 2020, Aronova was pretty much like any other company – its employees were mainly office based and everyone had their own desk, PC and phone. People sat at the same desk every day and each desk had a pedestal where people stored their papers and various bits ‘n’ pieces. Covid changed all this.
A safe return to the office
“When Covid hit, we were quite lucky in the sense that most people were already able to work from home”, commented David Baker, managing director, “but there’s a big difference between working from home occasionally and working from home for months on end. Much of our work involves people working collaboratively in teams, and like many companies have found, there’s only so much you can do across Webex, Teams, and Zoom etc.”
As an initial step, Aronova simply wanted to bring small groups of employees safely back into the office on an occasional basis. Following a series of Covid audits and associated risk assessments, Aronova took the decision to completely rethink their workspace and, in collaboration with Fetcham Park, remodelled their existing office to create an attractive flexible workspace to meet their new requirements.
“At the moment, I simply can’t see everyone coming back into the office,” David commented. “People have got used to working from home and let’s face it, who misses commuting? We have people who are currently moving further away from the office and going forwards we might only see them once every week or so.”
With this in mind, and also with a view to minimising touch points and cross contamination, Aronova reduced its number of desks from 12 to 9, freeing-up space and allowing the creation of separate, socially distanced, pods.
Lockers were installed so that each staff member has their own locker to store their own personal keyboard, mouse, phone, and other personal items. Employees can now sit wherever they want – they simply ‘plug-in’ with their personal keyboard etc. and then return their items to their locker at the end of the day. And to facilitate desk hygiene and cleaning, PC screens are now suspended above the desks.
The space without desks was transformed into a comfortable and spacious breakout area, which includes a widescreen, wall-mounted TV , coffee point and comfortable chairs.
An attractive space to work
As well as creating a safe environment, the space needed to be visually pleasing with a sense of fun; a place staff could enjoy during their working day. Working together with the team at Fetcham Park, striking wall art was added to make a bold statement, and plants were strategically placed throughout the office to soften the space.
David is delighted with the new office space, “With the inevitable change to the way we work as a result of Covid-19, it was important for us to rethink our existing office space. We knew we needed to find a way to instil confidence in our team as they returned to the office. We also wanted this to be a positive experience and create an attractive space where they are excited to work.
“Ensuring our team feel safe and productive in an office they enjoy spending time in, that encourages collaborative working, was the brief we presented to Fetcham Park. They embraced our ideas and worked with us to redesign the space.
“The result is a fresh, modern, attractive space which meets Government guidelines to minimise infection. The response from our team has been extremely encouraging and the new design has helped to facilitate a safe and positive return to the office.”
For more information about Fetcham Park visit fetchampark.co.uk
IMAGE CREDIT: Nina Duncan