RESCON launches new office to tackle building industry’s toughest challenges
The building industry is rife with changes. Competition has grown fierce in the last decade, and so have customer expectations. The ultimatum for builders has been simple; adapt or cease.
We decided to do more than just adapt to change; we inspired it. Not just for ourselves, but our customers, partners, and the entire industry.
It started with an office move as we outgrew our humble beginnings, but it turned into so much more. We changed the way we work, the way we share ideas, and even the way our customers experience their building journey. It’s a fairer, safer, and more responsible way of doing things which every builder needs to strive for.
Watch the video below to find out how we’re inspiring a much-needed change for an entire industry, and joining Australia’s march towards the future workplace.
It’s more than a buzzword. We realized that everything we do starts with where we do it. Where we work, and most of all where our customers work with us, dictates success for both of us. That’s why we took a place among Australia’s leading names at Norwest Business Park. Norwest Business Park has become ‘home’ for many of New South Wale’s leading builders and is paving the way for construction making this location was the obvious choice for Rescon’s new space.
The business hub is tipped to become one of Sydney’s first “smart cities”. The prime developer, Mulpha, hopes to make it a first-of-its-kind in Sydney, with features such as driver-less shuttles, off-grid power, and even satellite parking assistance.
Fitting of being a first-of-its-kind city, Norwest will also host our first-of-its-kind virtual showroom, which will completely change the way customers choose their granny flat designs (stay tuned for unveiling). It truly is a city of the future for businesses, and we’re thrilled to play our part in it, and encourage others to do the same.
It’s not just the ‘where’; we’ve also changed the ‘how’. How we do things at RESCON Builders needed a fresh change to meet the needs of a fresh marketplace, rife with a new brand of customers and workplace trends.
We joined thousands of global firms in a corporate switch to Activity-Based Working (ABW), a system of work space fluidity that gives employees more control over where they work. The objective was to increase productivity, employee morale, and customer response times, which are key to staying competitive. To do that, we teamed up with our leading suppliers.
Topaz Furniture supplied the bulk of our furniture. This included our desk systems, acoustic barriers and the Fracas pods. Their entire approach allowed our ABW concept to come to life with simple integration of technology and a design and installation process that was guided by their team of office furniture experts.
The new office space features furniture pieces traditionally designed for homes. The shift away from traditional and rigid office furniture has brightened and softened our kitchen, showroom and outdoor spaces. Zanui helped create a comfortable and home-like setting for our staff to enjoy and feel relaxed in, affording them of a clearer mind and productive approach to their work. It was this feature of the ABW concept that brought staff on-board with the shift. Not only was the Zanui online experience easy and user friendly, but the delivery and after sales support made the process even more enjoyable.
Ergonomic Office supplied a range of agile workstations (pictured) which could be used in multiple positions, even allowing employees to work while standing. This ultimately decreased the amount of strain put on the neck and back, as standing upright is a much more natural position to operate.
ABW is a move already adopted by many corporate giants, such as Microsoft, who sparked a much-needed following from the entire tech industry. We’re hoping to see the same thing happen across the building and construction sector in Australia, given the increased concern over Occupational Health and Safety.
In a similar move towards increasing employee morale, we explored how we could help our white-collar staff match the job satisfaction enjoyed by blue-collar workers. Working outdoors, in a natural environment surrounded by sunlight was suspected as being a key contributor to this trend, so we worked towards bringing the outdoors back inside the office.
Our plant wall displays (pictured) led the way. Despite, our greenery being artificial, the foliage creates a better sense of outdoor open space, potentially reducing the impact of extended hours spent inside the office. To make it possible, we teamed up with SMI National, who found the perfect blend of greenery to fit the task. They understood the challenge and worked hard to tackle the problem head-on. The work speaks for itself.
It may be early, but the signs are promising; employees are more interactive with their surroundings and are increasing their productivity during time spent at the office. If it continues to improve, it may prove the next key trend in the construction industry, especially as occupational health and safety becomes an increasing concern.
ADOPTING NEW TECHNOLOGY
The use of trending tech has driven huge growth over the last decade, and it won’t stop there. As competition ramps up in the building industry, so does the need to do things faster, better, and easier.
There are already thousands of corporate solutions aimed at accomplishing this for large companies. But the real challenge is knowing what works and what doesn’t, given the seemingly endless number of options.
That’s why we followed the world’s best tech adopters to learn how we could inspire a similar change in Australia. Working closely with Microsoft’s digital platform, we were able to set a new standard in customer response times. Rescon’s staff have shifted from old and tiresome task management and communication methods to a seamless and interactive platform, Microsoft Teams. This shared workspace has allowed our staff to integrate daily tasks and platforms in one easy to use system, increasing productivity and reducing errors.
Customers are expecting more from their builders today. Transactions have gotten more complex, with the average number of inquiries also growing higher.
That’s where the need for streamlined communication kicks in. Without it, customers are less likely to go ahead with their project or may even switch builders. Retaining them relies on a supplier’s ability to pass on information and resolve disputes quickly.
To tackle the challenge, we relied on Telstra’s rollout of Skype for Business. The commercial iteration of the platform was developed by Microsoft and is widely becoming the standard for corporate communication, granting teams more control over how they interact.
Among the benefits, call wait times are being reduced, team video meetings are of a higher quality and the integrated approach to internal and external communication has improved. Customers can resolve their concerns quicker by having their calls automatically forwarded to the right person, regardless of where they are, at their desk or on a building site.
*photo – RESCON first Australian granny flat builder to adopt Skype for Business initiative
Intellectual property is something every builder needs to protect. It’s the invaluable difference between one brand and another, which is paramount in an industry marked by tight margins and small selling points. Employees are also working on the go more than ever, constantly carrying pricey equipment with them. The use of smart and secure storage solutions became a necessity.
Unfortunately, keycards and access codes aren’t as viable as they used to be. They increase handling time and can still be breached under the right (or wrong) circumstances. That’s why we relied on Metra Australia for a more secure solution; smart lockers.
Metra have integrated with HID Global’s iCLASS Seos product. The innovative solution lets employees control their lockers with their most trusted (and secure) device, their smartphones. The lack of keypads or keyholes serves a dual purpose too; it looks clean and stylish, while also acting as a deterrent to potential thieves and also has been integrated to other security systems in the office space. The appearance alone says it all:
REDUCING ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
Builders have always been in the spotlight for their environmental impact. Harmful materials and excess waste during construction have led to calls (and regulations) for builders to reduce their footprint even further. It’s a shared environment, so the responsibility to sustain it falls on all of us.
But conservation needs to take place in the office too. Without it, all the hard-work in reducing on-site impact means nothing. To do our part, RESCON took the leap of faith to a paperless office. That means strict limits on printing and copying, as well as a complete switchover to virtual over hardcopy documents.
It wasn’t an easy move though, as getting employees on board took a widespread cultural shift.
To tackle that, we installed Airtame at all our display points to start the transition. The wireless display app minimizes the time taken to prepare for meetings and makes it easier than ever to share content. That goes a long way in helping staff see the benefits of going paperless. The selling point for Airtame is on the lack of cable clutter, which inadvertently leads to less impact during manufacturing and disposal as well.
image supplied by airtame.com
Getting staff to dispose of waste properly at the office was also a challenge. In fact, it’s the most common challenge most organizations face when adopting new conservation practices. Staff are either uninformed or unwilling to play their part, so we worked with Ecobin to help foster a change.
The bins supplied are color-coded for easy recognition, and also improve the ambience around the office. What’s best, they’re made of 100% renewable materials, letting us reduce our overall footprint in everyday operations. Every small bit counts.
Customers are more excited than ever to build their granny flats. It only happens once in a lifetime for most, so they want to do it right. They want to make sure everything is perfect and just the way they want it. If they can’t, we’ve found they’re less likely to build.
To quench that desire, builders have traditionally relied on samples, photos, and even an open display home. But customers just aren’t settling for these anymore. Builders need to do more to showcase their work to customers and offer a better way to envision their designs.
Our new showroom will feature a first-of-its kind virtual display, letting clients plan and preview their build in real-time. Stay tuned for our unveiling.