Ovarro engaged with Dale Office back in 2019 to refurbish their Eckington base into an office that facilitated their expansion and supported their staff.
Ovarro, (formally Servelec Technologies prior to this project) has been a long standing client, with Dale having worked on fit-out projects in London and Sheffield on their behalf.
With Ovarro’s project in Eckington we were able to deliver a turnkey solution in under 12 weeks that delivered on the organisations key goals, a space that was future-proofed to facilitate their growth aspirations; a space that attracts and retains the best talent in a competitive industry through offering a office space that inspires and promotes wellbeing.
The project was delivered on time and on budget, and by using a phased approach to complete the project, Ovarro’s team were still able to continue working from their location.
Ovarro is a global provider of telemetry hardware and software products and systems. Through innovation and collaboration, they help clients and their partner network safely, securely and intelligently manage assets across critical and national infrastructure around the globe with industry-leading, data-driven solutions that enable businesses to work smarter and more effectively.
Our tactics to meet Ovarro’s company goals were to bring the design together under a grand unifying theme that was creative and reflective of Ovarro’s brand. We tried to foster an atmosphere of teamwork with collaborative spaces, white boards and technology and support employee wellbeing and mental health, by providing, breakout areas, booths for independent working, improved welfare facilities, including WC’s, shower facilities and kitchen areas
Although we do a lot of research to understand what our clients do, we don’t pretend to be experts in their field. What we do know is that providing hardware and software to clients all around the world means a huge variety of job types among the workforce.
Naturally, all those different job functions operating in one open plan space meant that Ovarro faced a major noise issue. With a room full of software developers, engineers, salespeople and account managers working away, the background volume of the space posed an acoustic problem.
We decided to take a slightly contradictory sounding approach: accommodate those different ways of working, while actually improving collaboration.
We did this by splitting the space into team areas using acoustic panels in conjunction with structural poles to create sound-absorbing barriers. This clearly delineated between teams and the main walkways, without having something as permanent as a solid partition.
Each area would be configured to meet our design theme and had their own multifunctional collaborative stations within them.
The interior side of these acoustic barriers were adorned with white boards and mounted collaborative technology which offers teams quick and convenient access to synergetic resources.
In addition to this we updated existing meeting spaces to facilitate collaboration throughout the business.
Inspire, attract and retain staff: We came up with an on-brand and creative design theme that tied into the day-to-day work of the company and presented it in such a way as to inspire staff and attract and retain great talent.
Accommodate different working styles: We gave each team its own space, with both permanent and hot-desking options and a central hub with storage space for take-home equipment like laptops to facilitate agile working.
Reduce noise: We made clever use of acoustic panels to reduce noise at every possible juncture, from the barriers we erected to delineate team areas, to the flooring and the walls. Intelligent space planning ensured staff who needed to collaborate were in close proximity which reduced overall noise levels of the office, whilst offering a space for collaborative interaction between individuals in a semi-private environment.
Improve collaboration: We created cross-company break-out areas that inspired by tying into our U-shaped development inspiration(please see our design inspiration section below to understand our design inspiration) and used colour to facilitate fresh thinking and clear mindedness. We also created mini collaboration areas within each team area, all of which included integrated technology, interactive screens and white boards for creative thinking.
Accommodate growth: Our reconfiguration of the office utilised the space to its full potential allowing for growth over the next five years.
Improve workforce mental health and wellbeing: We used sound absorbing materials and improved welfare areas including the WC’s/shower, kitchen and breakout to allow people to break away from the main office environment.
Be sustainable: We recycled where possible and carefully selected materials for durability, longevity, and minimal environmental impact. For example, the hanging screens used in this project are made of recycled PET bottles which are 100% recyclable.
Being a software development company, our team begun to explore their technology and find common conversion points. This is when we discovered a learning method called “U-Shaped Development” which is:
“…the typical pattern by which select physical, artistic, and cognitive skills are developed. It is called “U” shape development because of the shape of the letter U in correlation to a X/Y graph of skill level over time…”
Understanding Ovarro’s relationship with technological advancement, software development and algorithmic analysis, we knew this developmental curve, (which reflects the progression of intuitive thinking processes and the advancement of knowledge) was critical to their work and summed it up perfectly.
As such, we designed all the team areas and the office as whole to be configured in individual U-shaped sections that connected together like an undulating wave.
U-shaped curves were also subtly used throughout office through certain furniture choices, curved feature walls, hot-desking screens and floor tile arrangements, further highlighting the company’s focus on technology, process, thinking and knowledge.
We also used colour to bring out the themes of technology and learning, using yellow in break-out areas to convey the idea of fresh energy and facilitate clear thinking and decision making. This also tied into our U-theme, as the colour yellow has a wavelength that is very similar to the U-shaped development wave.