The crew at Barnes, Catmur & Friends this week moved into the Dentsu Aegis office space this week and they’re obviously a little concerned that clients and visitors will struggle to find their way to the new spot at 109 Cook Street.
So, in a bid to guide people to the location, they have launched a digital contraption dubbed the ‘Commute-ulator‘, which gives travellers an indication of how long it will take them to arrive at the office.
The Commute-ulator doesn’t discriminate between preferred modes of transport, offering commuters a range of options.
A donkey, a surfboard, a jet and teleportation device are just some of the options on offer.
The move into the new space comes after Dentsu Aegis’ acquisition of a majority stake in Barnes, Catmur & Friends in March 2016 (more recently, Dentsu also acquired another independent agency, Little Giant, which has quickly grown to employ a team of 40 staff).
While this is certainly quite a long gestation period before officially moving, research has shown that taking a slower, more strategic approach to mergers could be a good thing.
A 2003 research paper titled ‘Cultural Conflict and Merger Failure: An Experimental Approach’ published in Management Science, found that many mergers fail because of cultural conflict between two previously independent organisations. The borders between the organisations don’t simply disappear after the acquisition, which can lead to the previously disparate organisation playing the blame game when things don’t go exactly according to plan. Taking a slower approach could, in theory at least, allow for the cultures to merge and engender a more collaborative environment.
Barnes Catmur & Friends Dentsu chief executive Paul Catmur says that the team carefully considered whether the move was the right thing to do.
“We’d always looked at it as a probability, but didn’t rush into it until we were sure it was the right thing to do,” Catmur says. “We loved our High Street location but now we’ve moved in, personally I would find it very hard to go back. Before moving we did our sums, talked to staff and weighed up pros and cons.”
Catmur says the move also makes practical sense given how closely the Barnes Catmur team now works with the broader Dentsu team.
“We catch up with Rob Harvey and the Dentsu guys a lot and we were wasting a lot of time Ubering between the offices. Parking has also improved enormously and I hope that our poor clients, who bravely put up with the trek from Chancery car park, will appreciate being able to park outside the front door. I can assure you that me living ten minutes walk away and the local pub serving my favourite IPA (Lagunitas) were just lucky coincidences and did not factor into our decision.”
While the team is settling into the new space without too many problems, Catmur says things aren’t quite perfect just yet.
“It will take a while until we have everything laid out the way we like it, for example, the pool table isn’t level yet so there’s work to be done,” he says.
Another important point is that the new office space is also dog-friendly, meaning the Barnes Catmur & Friends Dentsu mascot has a new home away from home.
“George is making himself at home and taking turns to sleep on the different sofas. He appreciates having Victoria Park nearby as a handy comfort stop for the working dog.”