Attracted to the revitalised Everton Plaza precinct by its intimate community atmosphere and extensive offering of food, beverage, and retail amenities, along with its suburban location in Brisbane’s inner north, Fathom, a financial analysis and forecasting software developer, decided to call Everton Plaza home for their rapidly expanding Global workforce.
Whilst Everton Plaza was the preferred choice for their expansion, Fathom partnered with COMUNiTI to ensure that it was also the smart choice.
By engaging in a robust process of strategic analysis, unpacking everything from employee sentiments and value propositions, through to operational growth, amenities and commercials, Fathom ensured that their leasing decision was not purely an emotional one based on their affinity to the precinct, but a solid commercial decision as well.
The growth of the organisation and its impact on the desired tenancy size was a significant consideration in Fathom’s leasing decisions.
Together we mapped out three horizons of expected growth over eight years, along with the required workplace tools, spaces and amenities, to establish the footprint at each horizon.
As a result of our efforts, Fathom could move forward on their final leasing commitment with clarity and confidence. This detailed modelling also enabled foresight into the possible workforce split that would be required to accommodate the business over two floors.
With Fathom’s commitment to the precinct ahead of the building’s finalisation, we were able to massage the design of the building to accommodate the unique needs of the business. Altering floor plate sizes and orientation, internal stairs, external balcony sizes and access locations, lift core and amenity positioning enabled workplace design optimisation. Fathom was even able to introduce a rooftop basketball half-court!
As a technology solutions company focused on delivering beautiful accounting insights, Fathom’s external brand presence is one of sophistication, elegance and simplicity. However, due to the nature of their online work, establishing a client-focused space was not a priority, so our attention was turned to the internal employee brand experience.
Their robust culture and youthful, vibrant, collegiate workforce guided the creation of an environment for their people that was fun and connected yet with a level of sophistication.
Their team shared stories of bonding over morning barrister sessions at the coffee machine and lunchtime basketball games. Even Fathom’s origin story is a modest one. The company was established in a suburban garage by the three directors, bootstrapped, self-funded, and driven by the belief that building a world-class software company is a marathon not a sprint. They approached their growth with resourcefulness and creativity, taking five years to grow the team to five before moving into their first workplace in 2015. As of 2022, Fathom employs over 80 people, with offices in Australia, UK, USA and the Philippines.
Fathom’s humble origins are still ever-present in the business’s culture and operations, a quality that was to be protected as they grew.
Engagement with the core team early in the process unearthed exciting opportunities to encourage collaboration in an environment that requires uninterrupted, focused work for coding and group collaboration. One of these solutions was introducing a Mob Programming room, an enclosed quiet space where three programmers can simultaneously code a single program.
Split across the two levels, the workplace is planned into three distinct work zones, catering to the incremental growth horizons predicted by the business.
With two of these work zones occupied from day one, the third has been let as a short-term sublease to meet the company’s commercial objectives, whilst securing their longer-term workplace requirements, a direct result of the early strategic accommodation planning.
Connected by an internal stair that forms a sculptural element in the front-of-house space, the two floors enable ease of moment through the tenancy, ensuring seamless access to all the workplace amenities.
Upon entering the first level, you step into an expansive space with direct views out over the balcony and down into the laneways of Everton Plaza. This space has been created to enable all-hands meetings, welcome employees and visitors, and provide a hub of socialisation.
Fathom’s strong coffee culture forms the core of their in-office socialisation, so we introduced a barrister station as the pride of place as you enter the space. This coffee station sits within this expansive space, facing the interconnecting stairs, which are wrapped with tiered seating creating an informal congregation zone for town hall meetings inspired by college bleachers. Behind this seating is the staff cafe, connected to the expansive outdoor dining deck with bifold doors, overlooking Everton Plaza’s Park Lane, optimising the view of the community outdoor theatre.
The shapes and colours of Fathom’s brand pallet have inspired the creation of dividing screens, along with the selection of fabrics, carpets and other materials employed in the space, creating a subtle thread of connectivity through the space. Blended with the building’s unadorned raw and industrial form, the space also pays its respects to the iconic red brick of the plaza itself, bringing it up into the workspace through the wall forming the tiered seating, the first thing you see on entering the space.
The work area is laid out in pockets of work zones, interjected with a range of collaborative work settings, to support the variety of group communication and brainstorming methods within the business, punctuated by private phone booths to support teams and personal calls, reducing disruptive communication with the designated work areas.
A library space encourages quiet work and reflection time, complemented by private booths for quiet conversation.
A workplace with diverse spaces and furniture settings creates a truly dynamic and engaging space that will continue to evolve and support the business’s operational needs as they expand.
Fathom’s workplace is a testament to approaching design strategically, with ample consideration of its core requirements, culture, and vision for the future.
While many businesses needed to realign their workplace to accommodate disruptive pandemic-related changes, Fathom’s design commenced in 2018 and finished construction in 2023 completely unchanged. Their example shows the adaptability possible when workplace design is infused with strategy.