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Imagine Better

Beginning of this month, Jason Croston, the Managing Director of SRJ Walker Wayland, welcomed selected dignitaries to celebrate their new renovated office at Brendale.

#ImagineBetter

Beginning of this month, Jason Croston, the Managing Director of SRJ Walker Wayland, welcomed selected dignitaries to celebrate their new renovated office at Brendale.

On behalf of his fellow Directors, Shareholders and the entire team at SRJ Walker Wayland, it was a pleasure to welcome all to the re-opening of the newly renovated office. It had been quite a journey to get to the end. A few of the invited guests included:

  • Mayor Peter Flannery from Moreton Bay Regional Council
  • Councillor Cath Tonks from Division 9 of the Moreton Bay Region
  • Mr Paul Hilton Chairman of Walker Wayland Australasia
  • Dr Peter Baxter from University of Sunshine Coast

He went on to enlighten the guests of their story from the last 18 months, “Imagine a new kind of office to compliment a new way of working as a team and with our clients. That’s us. We are incredibly proud to introduce you all to our new home!”.

Around the end of 2019 in the old world, we had been in the current office space with pretty much the same fit out for the past 15 or so years. Despite often receiving positive feedback about the look of our office, we knew change was needed and creating a hub for the team to work from with variable spaces and a vibrant new environment was the way of the future.

One non-negotiable was the location. Our heart is in the Moreton Bay Region and whilst we regularly help clients in all parts of the country and now have a rapidly growing presence on the Sunshine Coast, we knew that our Mother Ship needed to stay right here. It is in our history and where the majority of our team work, live and play. Of particular interest to them was the long standing and successful cadetship program within the development of the Petrie campus of USC which gives us continued opportunity to provide top class career paths for accounting students with a perfect blend of local education and real life advisory experience.

Then COVID hit. In many ways we had already been on a fortunate path of moving technology to the best in practice cloud based solutions available in the accounting industry, but there were still a few challenges when the original lockdown early last year forced us to work out how to work best from home.

During that time, we decided to proceed with the renovation and started working with Harry Poulos Architects on bringing their thoughts onto paper. All the while, our team continued to support clients from home. Many of which were facing the toughest period in the existence of their businesses.

After lockdown ended and a short period of limited working from the office, we decided to commence the project and shut our office towards the end of August last year. Hoping to be back up and running by around November. That didn’t happen! For various reasons, things didn’t go to plan and finally in April, we came back into the office. Pretty close to a full year since we left the office as COVID started.

It was very frustrating for our team during this period, but the struggle and immersion of working remotely without an office for such a long period of time has been invaluable. We will never be the same again. For the better.

The return to office plan for us was simply – Choose Your Own Adventure.

Imagine becoming great at working from home for a year and then being forced to come back into working from an office full time. That was not SRJ Walker Wayland.

Jason quoted “This is us:” We recognise that everyone in our team is unique with their very own needs and circumstances. The plan is to allow our team a blend of working remotely and in the office. As long as they are ticking the boxes in their role and particularly looking after their clients, they now have the technology and the office available to suit all needs.

In this great new office, we have at least half a dozen different working environments for the team to tap into apart from their own home office. Whether working in an open office, a private booth, a dining style booth or the café style kitchen. It is all available and easily managed with a couple of taps on our mobile – from the latest available app of course. Each meeting room also has the latest in Audio Visual technology available so that we can seamlessly meet with anyone, anywhere.

This investment in technology and this way of working remotely also allows us to extend our reach of businesses that they can help. We can work efficiently and effectively from anywhere. In recent times we have assisted clients in places ranging from Cairns to Darwin to even Coleraine in remote country Victoria. Not bad for a bunch of Accountants from Brendale.

As Jason mentioned, the renovation has been quite a journey and we have several people to thank for helping us bring what we imagined to life:

  • Steph and Harry from Harry Poulos Architects. Absolute super stars in coming up with this amazing design and getting down in the trenches for us when we needed it most to get it over the line.
  • Jake and the team from Fresh Method. Our IT superheroes. Our tech environment is critical to our business. Fresh Method have helped take us to a new level which we will continue to push up against with their help.
  • The kind people at Queensland Meals on Wheels and Clever Contacts who helped us with deliveries and space for our team during the extended period of not having an operational office here.
  • The various tradespeople that worked their craft onsite in uncertain times and conditions. The end result is just fantastic.
  • Their resilient and amazing team who had to grit their teeth while we went through this project. Everyone deserves a massive congratulations but there were a few people in particular that their specific work in the background got the team back up and running:
    • Tracy Johnson
    • Andrea Roberts
    • Christine Broughton
    • Krystle Angel

Finally, to our clients. We’re here when you need us. We’re there when it counts. We’re everywhere your business needs a breakthrough. You’ve already built a great business.

Imagine what we’ll do together.

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