Telewest Broadband was acquired by NTL in March 2006 & shortly after completed the acquisition of Virgin Mobile. In February 2007 these combined business were launched as Virgin Media with an estate in excess of 460,000m2of office space accommodating over 20,000 workstations.
The resulting business re-organisation, called Project Vanilla, lead to significant property changes with seats being both released & demanded across the estate as work was centralised & new service programmes developed.
As Telewest Broadband’s existing space management partner, Plus or Minus were asked to undertake space management for the new combined business. In supporting Project Vanilla we provided the following key tasks over a nine month period:
- Establish forecast seat demand & track changing requirements against available seats
- Create a combined space planning database containing all buildings
- Produce seat utilisation statistics across all buildings
- Work with Property Team to validate building exit plans
- Manage & process over 70 multi location change requests for 4,000+ seats
- Liaise with FM & IT delivery teams to validate feasibility & develop proposals
- Monitor implementation & report project delivery
- Publish request status, key data & proposed plans via a secure web environment
- Co-chair & administer Vanilla Property Working Group project meetings
In parallel to the reorganisation of property there has also been a wave of workplace change resulting in an environmental re-brand of buildings & accommodation standards. These changes principally reinforce the new business culture & echo brand values in terms of aesthetics, function & form.
A number of locations including London, Manchester, Liverpool, Hook & Glasgow have already had exposure to the accommodation re-brand focusing on key elements in public & communal areas, with other locations scheduled to join the list.
Covent Garden, home to the re-brand team was also used to establish new spatial & workplace standards as part of a pilot refurbishment project to explore & develop Virgin Media's new Accommodation Guidelines. The standards adopt a variety of spaces new to Virgin Media such as communal benches, open & semi open meeting facilities, graphic elements with the overall design feel directed more towards domestic, rather than corporate, interiors.
These guidelines have been used in a number of studies & projects most notably the head office plans at Hook, known as TV House. Plus or Minus also continue to provide ongoing space management services for Virgin Media, including:
- Strategy & process development
- Collation of space utilisation data
- Occupancy statistic reporting
- Web based management & process of all Accommodation Change Requests
- Space planning services
- Web based management & control of space plan database
- Move management & project implementation FM support