MKDC – Flexible work lead to increased productivity

MKDC is an award winning commercial interior design firm that was established 25 years ago by Kath Kusinski and Melanie Marshall in Perth, Western Australia. With fourteen employees, most of whom undertake some form of flexible working arrangement, MKDC is a firm that understands and values the benefits of work-life balance.

Agile and activity based working environment

MKDC recently transitioned to an activity based working environment where staff do not have allocated desks and instead work across multiple spaces that have been set up for different tasks. Being a commercial interior designer company these flexible work spaces create a collaborative environment.

Activity based working spaces are designed for efficiency, productivity and collaboration. Most importantly for MKDC these spaces encourage creative thinking and stimulate ideas.

To implement an activity based working environment, MKDC needed to consider their office design and what components of their work could be done from anywhere. Attendance at client meetings and construction meetings needed to continue, but many other tasks could be done from anywhere.

Existing mindsets around communication were also challenged and needed to adapt to suit the different situations. Not all communication could be done in the traditional sense when employees were working off-site in different localities (including their own homes).

“As a director moving out of our offices and being part of this new agile environment has been empowering,” said Kath.

Investing in technology

MKDC have taken advantage of improvements in technology to allows their employees to work and meet clients from anywhere, whilst maintaining connection to the company network. This has been achieved through investing in the following mobile work equipment, software and private communication network:

  • Surface Pro – versatile tablet laptops which can be used whilst working remotely.
  • Skype – software that allows users to communicate using video for meetings and conference calls.
  • Virtual Private Network - a technology that creates a safe and encrypted connection over a less secure network, such as the internet.

Positive results

Offering employees flexibility has resulted in MKDC staff productivity increasing and their staff feeling more valued and trusted.

“I think providing a good work environment is the responsibility of every boss. By doing the right thing by our employee and creating a good environment for people to work in, you will always get the best out of them, they will always work hard for you,” said Kath.

The flexible approach to work has also allowed MKDC to retain employees through different periods in their personal lives.

“The cost of churn in organisations is high, so we really want to do everything we can to keep people who have skills and knowledge and cultural fit with our group,” said Melanie.