Those who visit our offices after the renovations think for a moment that they have gone through the wrong door. The contrast between ‘before’ and ‘after’ could scarcely be greater. The brown furniture and dark colours in the interior are gone. You are now welcomed in an elegant office space, with contemporary accents of white and ‘blue’, where glazing confers an enormous feeling of space flooded with natural light.
Renovations reflect the DNA of DNS Belgium
In September 2014, DNS Belgium embarked on the plans of a major reorganisation which was carried out in 2015. “It was time for a new set-up with new functions, new colleagues and mixed departments,” explains Philip Du Bois, general manager of DNS Belgium. “We wanted to see that change in our organisation reflected in our building. Moreover, you see the transparency which is one of our basic values and typifies the way we work, which has now literally come back to our workspace.”
The wish list
Because DNS Belgium sets great store by cooperation and ownership, we set up a workgroup for the renovations composed of volunteer representatives from the different departments. The workgroup was accorded a great deal of freedom and trust, and reported informally to management.
One of the first things that the workgroup did was to survey the wishes and expectations of colleagues by means of an online questionnaire.
It became rapidly clear that there was a need for more conference rooms, quiet rooms, more storage room and a larger, open kitchen, and that not everyone was exactly wild about an open office. “Engineering wanted an open space, and they got it; HR and Finance on the other hand wanted some more privacy for confidentiality reasons,” explains Nan Vandenbroeck. “The solution with glass walls that could be closed off, was able to accommodate everyone.”
The workgroup distilled the ten most important wishes from those expressed which were then presented to a few architectural firms. “We chose the Hasselt-based Vandebroeck Interior from among the offices that submitted a proposal,” Nan says. “Their proposal was good from the start, and we felt that they go along our narrative. Furthermore, the style that they proposed was very suitable: an elegant office that exudes tranquillity without superfluous feature.”
Great involvement of the entire team
The provisional acceptance took place on 21 December 2016. Barring a few details, everything is in tip-top shape. “We now want to hang some paintings by Belgian artists embarking on their career. Our meeting rooms are named after living Belgian artists. That reflects not only the creativity which we put into our work, but also the creativity of the domain names,” Nan adds.
Everything went smoothly in the end, and the works were completed after just three months, without delays or unforeseen problems. “That was due primarily thanks to Nan’s strict supervision and good preparations of the workgroup. Everything was planned down to the minutest details. Everyone knew perfectly well what they had to do and where they had to go during the works,” Philip says.
The great involvement of the entire team was palpable during the work. They kept an eye on things and paid attention to details which were not in the plan. “The workers came every day between 6 and 6:30 AM. For security reasons, they could not be issued a badge, so someone had to be on hand every day to let them in,” Nan explains. “Five of us took turns with the early shift. Without grumbling,” she laughs. The atmosphere was very good during the works. “And that is still the case. Everyone is very satisfied with the result and you can see it. There is a very positive atmosphere here,” says Philip. “We are still not where we should be, but DNS Belgium is on the right track,” he concludes.