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151 Property

Building Team Unity through ABW

“The new work environment enables people to feel more connected, particularly those interacting with colleagues in divisions outside of their own, which I believe is creating a greater level of rapport throughout the business.”
Head of Office & Executive Leadership Team

The Back Story

The Back Story

151 Property is a specialist manager of office, retail, logistics and residential real estate. In 2017, an imminent lease expiry was providing an opportunity to review how they worked.

Recently appointed CEO, Chris Chapple, brought a humanistic perspective. His focus was to find strategic levers that would catalyse positive cultural change and enhance the 151 Property cultural identity, differentiated from their parent company.

In 2017, the company had a headcount of 60. Teams were largely segregated by sector and had a strong transactional focus.

The Executive Leadership Team (ELT) identified the most compelling opportunity was to leverage the new work space to break down silos and strengthen cross-divisional collaboration.

Watch 151 Property's Inspirational Story

Witness for yourself employee sentiment after a few weeks of working in the new office.



The Challenge

151 Property people perceived themselves to work in a distributed manner. An early Workstyle Survey indicated that participants perceived that only 32% of their time was worked from Head Office in a typical week (70% of that time doing individual work), with the rest of the week in external meetings, other work locations, working from home or travelling. With 151 Property team members spending so much time working in isolation, establishing and maintaining good team unity was a challenge.

They wanted to develop ways to facilitate a cultural transformation to support their newly established values of integrity, excellence, collaboration, agility and especially accountability. Given the organisation’s changes and transitions, they wanted to re-establish stronger levels of trust, accountability and respect for one another to strengthen team unity.

The business shifted focus from an active developer and investor to an asset management platform, bringing some big changes to the team. This provided the opportunity to build a culture that reflected the new business and future focus. Whilst having a team of highly passionate, capable and dedicated people, the “glue” to bind them was missing, It meant it was time to create a team that felt united. A unified culture where people wanted to work rather than needed to work.


The Result

A representative user group explored the opportunities through a number of V+C facilitated workshops and ultimately made the following key recommendations, subsequently endorsed by the ELT: In order to support 151 Property’s aspiration of Team Unity, there will be a future workstyle where:

  • ‘If we spend less time on individual activities because we are more present, respect each other’s time, and have better work settings that help us be more productive and reduce distractions, we will be more effective and efficient’
  • ‘If we spend less time meeting, and more time working together, we will solicit the intelligence of the whole’
  • ‘If we can fully disconnect from work when relaxing, we will find space for genuine informal connections’

151 Property realised they needed an increase in the amount of smaller, more informal collaborative settings and a decrease in the number of larger, formal collaboration spaces with the configuration of spaces better aligned to their needs.

To create a sense of Team Unity, and to exploit the economies of scale in a relatively small physical environment, 151 Property decided that teams and individuals should have equal access to all settings and spaces. Within that, they identified three broader zones for working together, having a meeting, and working alone, supported by sub zones for different activities to allow staff to better navigate the environment and be more conscious about their day to day workstyle and the impact that has on the desired behaviours.

Siren Design interpreted these concepts, and others, into the new office fit-out, and following six weeks of working off-site, employees were invited back.

“I envision the new office to be homely. A place where people want to be, not where they have to be.”
CEO | 151 Property

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Ultimately, we will work with you to create a unique culture and environment where people will have the space to thrive, the freedom to genuinely connect with one another and will proudly work as a part of your organisation.