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Our Smart Office Journey | Part 2 - Bringing Back the Office Vibe

You may have heard we are on our own incremental journey to a smarter office – Part 1 of that journey is here. For us phase 2 was all about chasing that pre-pandemic office buzz – the one that helped spark brilliant ideas, face-to-face chats, and spontaneous knowledge-sharing sessions that everyone seems to have missed.


Because redesigns and retrofits are such a big investment, we first started this journey by asking the big questions:

  • How does the space we work in allow us to do what we do better?

  • What are we all about?

  • What is it that we, by coming together, do that we can’t or won’t do otherwise?

  • Most importantly, do these changes elevate our capacity to serve our clients better?

The answers pointed us toward one goal: amplifying in-person and remote interactions, cross-team collaboration, and professional growth in the office.

Underutilised and underwhelming space

One of the quick wins for us was always going to repurpose the underutilised spaces within our building. We had two large senior executive offices that often felt like ghost towns, a 10-person boardroom that was booked but underutilised, and a breakout space that didn't see much action. On top of that, whenever we needed a larger event space, we found ourselves lacking the right facilities. And then there was the need for smaller private and acoustically appropriate spaces for team calls and smaller meeting spaces. They didn’t really exist either.

So, here’s what we did:

First, we decommissioned the underused spaces for a few weeks during the summer – the old boardroom, unused breakout area, and large executive offices on floors 1 and 2 became out of action, but the building still functioned as a working office. In their place, we created:

  1. A Super Boardroom A new state-of-the-art super boardroom that seats 12-14 folks, perfect for town hall gatherings, equipped with enhanced video conferencing capabilities and tuned for acoustic performance.

  2. Tech-savvy Meeting Room A new high-tech, video conferencing powered six-person meeting room to boost our in-person and virtual collaborations.

  3. Multi-purpose Rooms Two new versatile multi-purpose offices, which can also double up as 3–4-person meeting rooms, available for executives on a long-term basis or for impromptu meetings.

  4. Private Call Pods Two soundproof, two-person call booths decked out with AV, desks, and comfortable furniture. They offer a perfect quiet, disturbance-free hideout for calls and online meetings.

  5. Office Hangout Zones Finally, a brand-new staff hangout space on the first floor to bring everyone together and add some punch to our office energy levels.

The Technology

We didn’t just stop at redesigning the physical space. As a software firm we live and breathe bits, bytes, and APIs here, so we rolled a bunch of front and back-end features from our own IBSS Cloud install to our own office:

  • Full Hot Desking and Desk Booking We said goodbye to desk camping and began removing all pedestals from our original open-plan office desks. This move not only depersonalizes desks but also standardizes the technology expected at each workspace. All desks are now bookable and up for grabs in a genuine hot-desking format thanks to IBSS.

  • Room Booking Bliss Gone are the days of us aimlessly wandering through corridors and peeking through doors and blinds to check if a meeting room is available. We’ve used ProDVX’sAPPC-10SLBe room booking panels, and powered them with our IBSS Unity - Room Booking app. These panels are strategically placed outside all bookable meeting rooms and equipped with LED bars and distinguishable screen colours to make it easy to spot an available room at a glance. And if you don’t have access to the Roamer App, or your laptop, you can still book directly from the panel using your IBSS PIN number. Deploying the ProDVX panels to each room was a breeze, and ProDVX's zero-trust approach to development and their status as an Enterprise Solutions Partner for Android Devices meant deploying the panels in to our secure network was just as easy. This is why ProDVX has been ICONICS’ preferred partner for deploying secure-by-design room booking panels.

  • Lighting at Your Fingertips With the help of Synapsys Solutions, we implemented a LiGO2 lighting control system that’s fully integrated with our ICONICS-powered smart building operating system. Driven by ProDVX devices and synchronized with IBSS Unity - Room Control, the smart lighting system offers lightning-fast lighting control with a sub two second round trip cloud integration from a US Cloud instance back to Dudley. Our team have similar scene control functions for optimal lighting available to them via IBSS Roamer. Presence and life detection sensors are also keeping our smaller teams’ rooms well-lit and ready for action.

  • Catering When You Need It Client meeting? No problem. Our team can prebook business lunches a from a digital menu as part of their meeting booking through IBSS, making life easier for hosts and the room management team.

  • Visitor Management Made Easy Our innovative visitor management application IBSS Guest has amplified the warmth of our reception staff's welcome. Pre-arrival, guests receive friendly welcome emails loaded with all the info they need for a successful visit to the building. When they step through our doors, they’re greeted by a hassle-free check-in using our front-of-house check in app. Hosts are kept in-the-loop throughout the arrival process, making it a win-win for everyone who visits us!

In a Nutshell

Our office renovation journey hasn’t just been a facelift – it’s been a game-changer for all our UK team. It aligns perfectly with our company’s growth and the onboarding of our new starters, integration into the Mitsubishi Electric Group of companies, and vision for people-centric workplaces.

So, what’s on the horizon for part 3 of our journey? We’ll be deploying occupancy sensors throughout all floors, integrating HVAC and AC systems for top-notch comfort control within IBSS, and upgrading our access control system to use Roamer as a Mobile-as-a-Pass entry and exit device for the building. Keep and eye on this space for updates, and stay tuned as we share the success of rolling IBSS into the ICONICS US Team’s new office!

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