Moving the Mover: Grace invests heavily for the future

Grace is going through a unique experience in moving and storing themselves as they embark on a significant refurbishment to their flagship headquarters in Sydney. Most staff are working from home for 6 weeks as the renovations get underway. The Grace headquarters were built in 1998 and have had minimal alterations to the original look of maroon partitioning and magnolia walls. This refurbishment represents a significant milestone in the building’s history with Grace now investing heavily into the next generations.   

Nicki French, Director of Moving Services at Grace, says the refurbishment serves to update the office to today’s modern workflow. Long gone are the days when executives had secretaries and compression moving filing cabinets were necessary. The 1998 design of the office made space for processes that have become obsolete and now the space can be better utilised. Nicki notes that the changes are huge but are completely necessary to create a new modern workspace that will improve employee satisfaction and attract current and future employees into the office. She said it had been a cathartic exercise to let go of the past and all team members had tackled with gusto sorting through a significant volume of papers and effects prior to the move. Only a minimum will return to the office; any heritage or important legal documents have been sent to archive with Grace Records Management. 

Larger shared office space for multiple teams. Digital filing is now the priority as paper files are being archived.
Compression moving filing cabinets that are no longer necessary due to minimal paper files.
Originally, these desks were for executive’s secretaries whose offices surrounded them.

Paul Collier, Branch Manager at Grace Removals, sees the refurbishment as a breath of fresh air. He views the very significant sum being spent on the refurbishment as a demonstration of the company’s stability and an investment into the business in order to grow and deliver shareholder value. Paul knows an improved workplace will give employees a sense of pride in their work. The renovations will be designed to minimise complication and increase efficiency. Nothing scares Collier about the next 6 weeks at home. He has complete confidence in the team and procedures in place stating it is a “little bit of pain for long term gain.”

The team at Grace Sydney are excited about getting rid of the maroon colour palette for a brighter, more modern look. Additionally, staff are looking forward to decluttering their workspace, having standup desks, extended kitchen areas and quiet pods for meetings. The next six weeks have caused mixed emotions. Some staff will be completely remote, whilst others will still be going on site occasionally. For example, Layla from the customer service team will be going on site for label and paperwork printing. She is worried about working from home because she enjoys having her work and home separated. Karen from the internal sales team works from home twice a week already so she is set for working remotely full time.

Downstairs kitchen that will be extended in the renovations
Upstairs kitchen to be refurbished
Upstairs kitchen to be refurbished with vending machines moved and a bookshelf added

With more than 150 office-based staff on site, this refurbishment poses an interesting challenge for the moving company to move themselves out and back into their headquarters with Grace Workplace Solutions leading this element of the project. Grace’s investment in systems and technology over the last 5 years has enabled this but their IT team, based in Sydney but supporting the entire group of companies, have the added pressure of supporting this homeworking project. Of course, for the project to be successful, it’s an entire team effort.

With strong objectives to achieve improved employee satisfaction, efficiency, branding and be attractive to the next generation, Grace is investing heavily in the success of their own business and the future of the moving industry. We are all looking forward to seeing the end result.

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