Similar office to design being drawn up for Manchester, from an earlier EY project in Canary Wharf

EY introduces its global office concept

Accountancy giant EY has named its design team to create the 43,000 sq ft office at Two St Peter’s Square, due for occupation in spring 2017, with a remit to bring its ‘Workplace of the Future’ programme to Manchester.

Architect Perkins + Will, which worked on the redesign of London offices for EY, has been appointed with Aecom, project manager and quantity surveyor, and Cundall, mechanical, electrical and public health consultants. The team was appointed using an established EY framework. The procurement process to select a construction partner is due to begin in around four months’ time. The cost of the project was not disclosed.

Workplace of the Future is being gradually rolled out across all of the group’s offices. So far 60,000 of the 220,000 people EY employs in 150 countries operate under the new style of office.

Under Workplace of the Future no desks are assigned to particular staff and flexible working is encouraged. Teams work in ‘neighbourhoods within the office’ and move around according to the client or project they are working on. Laptops and smartphones are the norm and EY is moving to Skype for all communications.

Andrew O’Donnell, head of real estate for UK and Ireland, based in Bristol, said: “Flexible working is a big part of what EY does. The office becomes a hub for people to collaborate rather than a traditional office to come to work in. The environment is designed to adapt and reflect a colleague’s journey through the day which might include dropping the kids off at school, visiting a client, working on a new project. We create five or six different work settings to enable movement.”

The company will occupy three floors with enough space to accommodate between 700 and 800 people. There are 550 people in the Manchester office. The extra space will allow for visiting clients and suppliers to work in the office, as well as offering room for growth.

Most of the London operation now deploys Workplace of the Future. The Birmingham office was converted 12 months ago and Manchester is the next in the UK and Ireland.

EY signed the agreement to lease nine months ago and will relocate from its existing office in Barbirolli Square.

Two St Peter’s Square is being developed by Fred and Peter Done’s Mosley Street Ventures, on behalf of Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management.

The letting agents are CBRE and Cushman & Wakefield.

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I think Deloittes and many others have been doing this for a number of years? Is it really the future?

By Andy Eastwood