Turnitin

Sector: Software
Location: Newcastle
Scope of Works: Workplace Consultation, Design & Build

The Client:
Turnitin is a leading provider of cloud-based educational technologies to prevent plagiarism, verify content, and evaluate written word.

The brief:
Turnitin are a rapidly growing business and had been growing sporadically within serviced offices to the point where they occupied approx. 90% of the building. When searching the market for the right new premises they were struggling to identify how much space they needed due to rapid growth plans. Ben Johnson were introduced as Workplace Consultants, and through a series of audits and interviews worked with the client to better understand their requirements.

Challenges:
Turnitin are not a conventional office user. They wanted to challenge working practices and explore new working processes, and create a space to embrace agile working. Having previously struggled being cellular, they wanted to be on one single floor which they felt would encourage communication between teams. Only one conventional boardroom was required, the remaining meeting rooms were more flexible supporting Skype or Video Conferencing activity, so acoustics was a concern. Informal breakout areas were also important to all the teams, in particular the developers and project managers who needed breakout spaces nearby to support scrum working.

Solution:
All the offices were placed around the central core to ensure staff had advantage of the natural light and great views. The double glazed offices were set up in an elliptical arrangement which was accentuated by a feature carpet and ceiling detail. The desks were also set out in the same detail giving a feeling of flow rather than lines and lines of benches. Agile working was encouraged across all teams supported through various furniture solutions. Special ‘pod’ type products were introduced to the design to allow for up to 10-12 people either sitting or standing within a small square foot of space. High back mobile chairs with tablets and mobile stools which could be reconfigured to support various meeting numbers. The developers had meetings around their screens, supported by mobile cubes or sit-stand tables which could be brought to the desk to expand the workstations at any time.

The client liked the concept of a central ‘town hall’ space where they could accommodate all the team into the one space and hold company briefings. The same space would be used as a canteen facility, with different zones; Amphitheatre to enable a large amount of people within a small space but also double up as flexible breakout, a ‘Starbucks’ type lounge area, Booth seating with inbuilt technology to double up as a quiet working space outside lunch hours. The client requested that the kitchen space be given the ‘wow’ factor, with an L Shaped built-in breakfast bar, feature pendant lights, corian tops, integrated handles with soft closing doors. Feature flooring detailing in the breakout floor helped to differentiate zones and create a central walk way. The client now has an enviable office environment which makes good use of space and oozes innovation & collaboration.

I was tasked with finding new premises for our expanding business, and because I had never carried out this kind of project personally, I contacted Ben Johnson. It was one of the best decisions I made regarding the project. From the outset, with no building in mind the team were helpful and supportive, even introducing me to an agent to help me with my search. Throughout the duration of the project; communication was key and handled brilliantly. I used Ben Johnson for the complete design and build of our project and the final outcome was exactly what we had pictured.

I would recommend getting Ben Johnson involved with your projects at the earliest opportunity. Their methodical, creative and experienced approach saved us time and money. I look forward to working with them on future projects.

Office Manager, Turnitin
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