The development of the Treforest Growth business community website was undertaken to provide a platform for the group to share information and represent the estate. Businesses are at the heart of the estate and one of the newer arrivals, Capgemini, has played a key role in helping us to reimagine what the website can deliver.
Meeting in their offices on a sunny Friday morning at Fairway Court, the first thing that you notice when you walk in is the difference. In our capacity as Business Support Officers, we’ve visited many businesses around the county borough but it’s rare to see such careful attention to detail in terms of interior design.
So much care has gone into the design of Capgemini’s modern workspace environment and this has been applied equally across every area and not just the spaces which are traditionally regarded as more important, such as the boardroom.
The no-walls design challenges the traditional ways of thinking about how an office should be. There is so much light, space and colour that it creates a natural energy and feeling of togetherness. The modern workspace environments are moving away from the culture of individually owned areas and instead are offering a more flexible approach to work. There are different spaces for different needs, quiet, private areas as well as more public areas which are better suited for a more open, collaborative approach.
Stuart Coombs, Head of Capgemini’s Wales Delivery Centre, explained quite simply rather than sending emails to each other gather around one of the meeting areas and work things out on a white board or use the integrated screen at the Digi Hub.
The workspace gives staff a sense of belonging and creates inspirational surroundings which make staff content in their work life and promote innovation. As well as the aesthetic advantages of a workspace there are also practical benefits, such as the physical and mental well-being of staff, more efficient use of floor-space and even staff.
The design of the office was a precursor to the refurbishment of Capgemini UK’s flagship office in Holborn but Stuart emphasised that the ethos of engaging with the community runs throughout the organisation. Wherever possible they try to use locally sourced products and services, as an example, most of the furniture for the new office came from another Treforest Industrial Estate business, Orangebox.
Founded in France in 1967, Capgemini now employs almost 200,000 people around the world and last year they set up a base, here in Treforest. Stuart Coombs explained that the organisation had been keen to find a presence in Wales to be near some of their major clients, such as Welsh Government and TATA Steel Europe, and Treforest fitted the bill in terms of its strategic location.
Emrys Jones, Senior Project Manager at Capgemini, added that they were also keen to ensure a secure delivery centre (as some clients don’t allow their data going off-shore). He also mentioned their junior talent agenda which also requires close links with the region’s universities.
As a large employer they feel that they have a direct impact on local communities and are keen to support and engage with other organisations within those communities. Capgemini is regarded as one of the world’s most ethical companies and have achieved this prestigious accolade for the fifth year in a row from the Ethisphere group, the global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices. Capgemini were the first signatories of a new Code of Practice for Ethical Employment in Supply Chains in the Welsh public sector, demonstrating their commitment to workers in our supply chains. As a tech business, they are especially keen to be involved with education and skills programmes to address the growing digital skills gap. They feel that there are many skill lessons which can be passed on via training and mentorship; skills which can’t always be learnt in university or college.
A big part of selecting a suitable location is connected to recruitment and retention of staff, so the links with universities and the attractive lifestyle offered within South Wales played a role in the selection of the Treforest Industrial Estate premises.
The person in charge of developing the Treforest Growth website, Matthew Jarvis from Coleg y Cymoedd places, valued the process of engaging with Capgemini and he feels that the project has really benefited from the collaboration:
“Now the website has far more potential to grow than the older version and it was great to get a fresh perspective from the professional tech sector”
We would like to thank the team at Capgemini for their time and support of the course of the project and look forward to further collaboration over the coming years.