A showcase space for an automotive membership organisation


Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT)

Creating a new experience

SMMT wanted to update their London office to fit a new dynamic, hybrid working model, using modern aesthetics and reflecting the organisation’s brand identity. A key requirement was tailoring the office layout to encourage collaboration and ensuring a plentiful supply of meeting rooms catering for a variety of business needs. Woodhouse were first brought in to take the organisation through our workspace strategy process; after a series of workshops, surveys and interviews, our team had scoped out the recommended adjustments, and we were commissioned to carry out the design and full refurbishment based off the results of the strategy work.

Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT)
Workspace strategy, refurbishment & furniture

Identifying & solving the problems

The results from the workspace strategy made it clear that the current environment needed to be evolved to meet the culture that SMMT wanted to foster. In the visioning workshop the senior leadership team identified that the current culture was friendly, informal and hard-working, but had lacked social interaction since the pandemic. This was further backed up in the employee engagement survey, where 76% of staff recognised that socialising with colleagues is best performed in the office. The space was also looking drab and lacked collaboration and meeting spaces - crucial to a successful hybrid workspace, so the main aim became to revitalise the whole space to create a new experience for both staff and members alike.

One of the main opportunities identified was that there was to create a space for visitors and members, so we decided to incorporate a new business lounge with an accompanying kitchen area and showroom space on the ground floor. First impressions matter, too, so an enhanced reception was created, making for a fantastic and welcoming entrance experience. The basement was previously the main canteen and breakout area, but was thoroughly underutilised due to it being uninspiring and lacking in natural daylight. We set out to change the space in order to make it more useful - it is now a suite of meeting rooms, with it's own teapoint and soft-seating areas; since occupation, the utilisation and feedback has been amazing!

To address the needs of SMMT's hybrid working model, we added flexible pods to each floor, and increased the number of meeting rooms onsite, ensuring there was AV throughout and sufficient soundproofing to fit this new way of working. We also added collaboration spaces on the office floors to accommodate huddles, stand-up meetings and cross-departmental teamwork, in response to the employee's call for a more energetic and creative environment.

The refurbishment has greatly improved the workspace for both staff and members having both answered to the needs of the employees as identified in the workspace strategy phase, and changing the space to help suit the move to hybrid and the evolving culture. SMMT now have a modern, welcoming space that has greater flexibility for the activities of the business, and a dedicated space for members of the association.

Facilitating hybrid working

The staff can now refuel and have social time with their colleagues in the refurbished breakout areas, the additional soft-seating, and new games area on the ground floor. The office floors have the right vibe with a balance of touch-down collaboration areas, private meeting pods and work areas, whilst the new meeting suite will further enhance their hybrid-working experience.

A new future

Project summary

The refurbishment has been well received by SMMT staff and members, with compliments on the range of collaborative areas, more modern look and feel and, overall, an enhanced experience for everyone using the building. SMMT’s London office now fully meets the needs of the organisation and its employees, making this project a true success.


Awards and accreditations

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