Repurposing our London office to provide a new workplace experience

The impact of Covid-19 has accelerated plans to repurpose our London workspace from a location of work into an exciting ‘destination of choice’. 

Find out how we are using the workplace as a strategic enabler of business outcomes and to drive a new experience for our people.

Future-proofing the workplace

Located in Canary Wharf, our London office occupies 23,000 sq. ft of space across two floors. In addition to housing 350 London-based employees, it will play host to key events, visiting clients and colleagues from the UK and abroad.

As part of a scheduled 2020/21 refurbishment, that coincided with the UK lockdown, we accelerated plans to refit and future-proof the office. This included addressing the following key challenges:

The challenges

  • Physical space no longer met the needs of our people
  • Demand for collaboration space consistently outweighed availability
  • Inefficient use of desk space, due to heritage fixtures, design, and office layout
  • Restaurant (c.3,000 sq. ft) was underutilised outside core dining hours
  • Creating a safe post-Covid environment to welcome colleagues and clients back into the workplace

In-house design expertise

Working with SIGNAL, our ISS workplace strategy and design advisory team, and our in-house Capital Projects team, we conducted space and behaviour assessments to better understand our colleagues’ wants and needs.

This enabled us to reimagine how our office could be redesigned physically and emotionally – to be used as a strategic tool for driving business performance; an enhanced workplace experience as well as supporting the post-Covid ‘Return to Office’ programme.


Project highlights

  • An optimised workspace through 40% desk reduction, whilst increasing meeting and collaboration space by 90%
  • Internal spaces configured around individuals’ ‘work modes’, such as focused, creative collaboration, project work and social interaction
  • Repurposed the restaurant area into The Lounge, an all-day collaboration hub and social space, with a relaxed contemporary café-style environment to drive utilisation, socialisation, and employee engagement
  • Creating a workplace experience focused on the needs of our people – supported by an integrated workplace services team and enabled by the latest workplace technology, including the ISS Workplace Experience App

  • Refreshed workplace guidelines, including behaviours and dress code to reflect progressive ways of working
  • A more sustainable workplace with optimised space usage, zero waste initiatives, net zero emission energy and environmentally friendly food options
  • Gender neutral washrooms reflecting our commitment to an inclusive workplace
  • Connecting our people and ISS values through intentional experiences, including themed events, such as wellbeing, learning, charity, sustainability, and inclusion
  • Covid-19 protection and wellbeing measures including our ISS hygiene and wellbeing solution – PURE SPACE – and the implementation of contactless technology

Creative space_SQB


As a result of the transformation, we will create a place that works, thinks and gives the following benefits:

• Positive impact to the productivity of our people

• Improved talent engagement and retention through better connected and engaged colleagues

A more sustainable workplace with Net-Zero by 2030

Better value from Real Estate and Workplace budgets with a 10% annual cost reduction

A successful ‘Return to the Office’ programme that is safe and attractive to employees

“People not only have more choice over where they work, they also have higher expectations. Organisations can gain competitive advantage by viewing their people more as ‘consumers’ that drives the workplace strategy. Our London office has been designed around the experiential and practical needs of our employees and the workplace as a tool to drive our strategic business outcomes.

This has also created an opportunity for us to bring together the latest ISS tools, concepts, and innovation to create a safe, sustainable, productive, agile, enjoyable and exciting destination of choice where our people want to be.”

Francisco Ruiz, Managing Director – Workplace / ISS UK&I Property


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