Offices for nearly 300 staff at Kiwibank's new Auckland offices are designed for activity-based working, also known as hot-desking, despite these Covid times.
The business moved to 155 Fanshawe St last month during the alert level 1, when the threat of the virus remains.
"But we have got strong cleaning procedures and people take personal responsibility," says chief executive Steve Jurkovich, three days a week in Auckland and the rest at the bank's Wellington headquarters.
Staff cannot use utensils to eat at their standing/sitting moveable desk but must instead dine in the new cafeteria. Food can only be eaten at the desk if it's just with their fingers and Jurkovich says its partly an office etiquette as well as a health measure.
What they wear is up to them: "Dress for the day so sometimes that's a suit but it can also be jeans and a shirt."
Last month, around 290 Kiwibank staff left Manson TCLM-owned premises at 151 Victoria St West where it had been since the bank was established in 2002.
Around October 21, they moved to the new block between Air New Zealand, Datacom and Fonterra, onto the third level of nearly 3000sq m in the six-storey white block built by Mansons in a project headed by Culum Manson.
Last year, Culum Manson said his business had sold the block on its unusual freehold site of the ex-Caltex service station for $247m, well before construction was finished. The buyer was an overseas pension fund which bought other Manson-developed blocks in the area for more than $600m.
Showing off the offices leased for an initial nine-year term with a further nine-year right of renewal, Jurkovich pointed to staff having lockers and some still working from home "but it's been amazing how many people have returned and that energy".
Services like lifts are at the core, leaving the edges facing Victoria Park, the Harbour Bridge, Wynyard Quarter and CBD free for desks to be arranged beside full-height glass windows for views.
A new boardroom can be divided in half for smaller meetings and its Victoria Park-facing wall opened to the staff dining/cafeteria area, giving a space where possibly hundreds could gather at once.
Aerosol and stencil artist Flox designed eye-catching bold art for the new offices which feature prominently on staff lockers. Her trademark native birds, ferns and flowers "celebrate environmental taonga", the bank says.
Meeting rooms are named after Kiwibank NZ Local Hero of the Year winners: Dame Jane Campion, Dame Valerie Adams, Maud Basham, Nana Marie, Sir Bob Charles, Sir John Kirwan, Sir John Logan Campbell and William Phillips.
In the year to June 30, 2020, the bank made an after-tax profit of $57 million, down from $108m last year.
Jasmax did the interior design work, displaying strong use of natural timber for Kiwibank's floors, ceiling details and furniture.
The building named Te Kupenga (fishing net) also has floors leased to Regus, Trade Me, Southern Cross and Genesis "all Kiwi companies", Jurkovich notes.
Its kupu pays homage to the historical significance of the whenua, where the new building sits, as a bustling fishing hub and place of trade, he said.
"All these years later, and this place is still where people come together to innovate, conduct business and exchange ideas. Using a fishing net is a craft that takes time to learn, and requires collaboration, strategic thinking, maintenance, and patience, not dissimilar to Kiwibank's own journey to become a more sustainable bank," he said.
Breakout areas with casual seating, high-sided upholstered meeting booths and fully glazed sound-proof internal rooms are all available to staff, depending on what they are doing.
The six-green star rated building will help the largest New Zealand-owned bank meet its sustainability targets particularly around energy usage. The bank is aiming to slice 30 per cent from its energy bill between 2018 by 2022.
In keeping with Auckland's public transport moves, EV charging points for tenants and visitors and more than 100 bike parks with changing rooms and showers are in a basement.
Kiwibank also committed to a sustainable fitout of the building which meant furniture from old offices was moved. That which couldn't be was donated, upcycled or recycled.
A foyer screen in the building says the block is 40 per cent more efficient on power than the average office building, is getting around 4 per cent of its energy from roof solar panels, has 108 of those panels which stretch across 184sq m, has rain tanks which hold up to 55,000L of water and displays how electricity is being used by percentages - air condition, lighting, etc.
The entire has only three printers and Jurkovich said the offices were almost paperless. Toilets are unisex "because there's a high level of privacy within them anyway".
Jurkovich praised Mansons TCLM.
"I had seven years as a banker, working with that family in property finance at ASB so we initially had a customer relationship. They're active as a family and very strong. I'm a super satisfied customer."
Jurkovich said two years ago, Culum Manson said Kiwibank would be able to shift in before November 2020 and that happened, despite the five-week lockdown when construction work was banned. Contractors worked double shift and extra time to meet D Day.
"The building was not only delivered on time but it is really high quality. We had a choice when we looked at moving but this building fits so why would you not back the Manson family? We knew what we were going to get. I was amazed by how they work together with the contractors and delivered on time."
Within about five month's time, Kiwibank's branch on Hardinge St will shift to the ground floor of 155 Fanshawe but NZ Post will remain at the bottom of the old premises along with all the post boxes.
So does the CEO have his own segregated office? An open-plan area towards the centre is partly screened by wood panels "so people can still see me", but he can also handle confidential issues.