KPMG has moved 2500 people into International Towers in the heart of Barangaroo, Sydney’s biggest development project.
In the process, the professional services group got rid of personal offices. Even the partners don’t get one.
It’s not just open plan. No-one owns a desk.
The whole idea is to have happier, more productive staff who work well together, and it’s part of the activity-based working trend in office design being adopted by other Australian corporates, including the Commonwealth Bank and CBRE.
But the board room, where lunch is served for guests, remains at KPMG among a series of serviced rooms used for meetings, with or without catering.
Here’s the menu for the day Business Insider had lunch with the CEO, Gary Wingrove, chairman Peter Nash, chief economist Brendan Rynne, and the newest partner, Shelley Reys, the head of KPMG Arrilla Indigenous Services.
Two wines are served by uniformed waiters, but few at the table take more than a sip. Sparkling water is flowing. The pinot noir from Pemberton, Western Australia, needs further investigation.
The table is starched linen, sturdy glasses and shinning cutlery. The meal is prepared by the company’s in-house chef.
The table setting
The first course is all about baby vegetables, which look straight out of a child’s play bucket, but with considerable crunch.
The risk with goat’s cheese is that it can hit with a mouth burning strength. But this puree has a fine edge and goes well with quail eggs and their soft insides.
Nothing is overcooked.
The roast snapper of the main course is moist and flaky. The clams add depth of flavour.
The peas and asparagus are crunchy.
We concluded the meal with coffee and chocolates.
Of course one of the advantages of dining in house, aside from the savings and ability to always get a table, is that conversation can flow freely without the risk that you’ll be overheard by another table.
Our conversation centered around company tax rates and the key worry that Australia isn’t bringing own its 30% rate down fast enough, especially when US president-elect Donald Trump is promising 15%.
His pledge could soon be attracting companies looking for fewer taxes away from Australia.
It’s enough to make your reach for more of that Picardy pinot noir.
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