After 20 years of being in business, Vodafone Malta discovered it had rather an enviable problem. It has become a victim of its own success and had outgrown its premises in Birkirkara. “Space was at a premium,” Benji Psaila, Dhalia’s letting manager explains.
Moving a large organisation from one premise to another is no small undertaking, requiring careful planning in order to be successful. There are so many factors to take into account and a mistake could be costly – both financially and in terms of the firm’s reputation. “Dhalia and Vodafone, therefore, created a property team,” Benji explains. “They went out and gained an understanding of Vodafone headquarters from other locations around the world. This gave them a pool of ideas to draw upon so that they could prepare a wish list, showing just what the ideal property would be like. It was then that we began to search for the right property.”
Vodafone Malta turned to Dhalia Real Estate with a deceptively simple request.
Their wish list required:
Skyparks ticked many of these boxes. While its location may not be completely central, it is situated next to Malta’s airport which also makes it very easy to access. “This location was actually our first suggestion,” Benji says. “Vodafone looked at many others, but this one really stood out.”
Physically moving a company, the size of Vodafone Malta from one location to another is a task fit for Hercules. It requires the engagement of the entire organisation. To make things a little more complicated, Vodafone Malta had decided that the new location would offer staff an entirely new way of working. Instead of the boundaries of physical spaces that were designated for specific teams, workers would have complete mobility throughout the offices. That would create far greater synergy between teams as the architecture encouraged departments to mingle and share ideas. Vodafone Malta also wanted a place where sustainable initiatives could be implemented – including having a paperless office all throughout.
Vodafone wanted to maximise gains and minimise losses while creating a welcoming hive-like environment for staff. Some innovative approaches were used to do just that. The staff was given the opportunity to design some spaces within the new location. Thus, one area resembles a beach, complete with a tropical scene on the walls. Another resembles a movie theatre and is furnished with theatre chairs. These areas allowed the team to put their own creative mark on their new office. The move itself actually took two years to complete. Staff was kept continually updated with the works in progress, as well as any changes in the designs of the offices, through specifically appointed ‘move ambassadors’. That ensured momentum was maintained and that the staff always knew exactly how things were progressing “The execution of the move was hard work, but very exciting and worth it,” said a Vodafone executive, “Once everything was in place, the move was made in style.” The hard work certainly paid off. Everyone moved into the offices on the same day and, within an hour, it was business as usual. Energy levels ran high and, just as planned, the new working environment broke down those old physical boundaries and brought Vodafone Malta’s team closer together through greater integration.
“Our new offices have given us the momentum and placing to remain Malta’s best communication provider and continue to work hard to maintain this,” said a Vodafone executive. “But our offices have become more than that. They are also a showcase for how our technology can assist our customers as we can demonstrate how our technology works for us.”
So, will they be moving again? Benji breaks out into a laugh. “I don’t foresee Vodafone Malta moving out of these offices. Dhalia continues to source more retail spaces for their outlets, but their headquarters are definite for now,” he concludes.