Wednesday, 03 February 2021 14:50

Mantel Group to establish work hubs


Technology consultancy Mantel Group is establishing five work hubs around the country in response to employee demand for flexible working generated by the pandemic.

Mantel's existing offices in Melbourne and Sydney are being refitted to provide collaboration spaces, and the company is looking for premises in Canberra, Brisbane and Auckland.

There are also plans to establish work hubs in locations that appeal to staff, starting with Magnetic Island and Queenstown (New Zealand). They will allow team members to relocate, enjoy working holidays, meet with colleagues, undertake internal training and host clients for off-site workshops.

Mantel has been a supporter of flexible work for some time.

For example, the company's benefits program allowed Mantel subsidiary DigIO software engineer Ben Howl to relocate from Melbourne to Magnetic Island 18 months ago, and his experience helped spark the new working hubs model.

"When I presented the plan of relocating to the island to both Mantel Group and my clients, the reception was overwhelmingly positive. The progressive support that Mantel Group has offered has been quite unbelievable," said Howl.

"As much as I love working from the island, I do miss interaction with my colleagues. I raised the idea with Mantel Group to consider an office on the island and I can hardly believe it is actually happening. I'm looking forward to having colleagues and clients visit."

90% of the group's employees said their ideal work model would be a hybrid of remote, with the option to attend a workspace for collaboration.

According to Mantel head of people and culture Caroline Henshaw, remote working would allow greater access to talent in different locations, broaden the company's footprint, maximise new and existing office space, and provide exciting locations to work from for employees and clients alike.

"Every crisis brings opportunity. As a principles-led organisation, we have always empowered our people to make good choices and love what they do. This change provides further opportunity to do that," she said.

"A lot of our team love to travel and this gives them the opportunity to do so within Australia and NZ initially, whilst still working on the projects they love. It also gives our clients the chance to leave their bubbles and combine work with leisure in a beautiful location."

Henshaw added "The other huge benefit will be access to talent. The pandemic has taught us that the world is our oyster and location is not a prerequisite for finding great people.

"We believe this change will allow us to attract talent from all over while giving them the option to be in an office and collaborate with colleagues when they need."

The group intends to work with local governments, universities and businesses to provide support and employment opportunities around its hubs, and plans to support local schools and community programs with 'second life' hardware.

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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