Flight Centre is a multi-billion dollar company, but its Brisbane head office features innovations you are more likely to hear about in a Silicon Valley startup. In operation for about six months now, the South Bank premises occupies a 15 storey building which has enabled the company to consolidate operations and create a funky collaborative environment where it really looks like fun to come to work.
travelBulletin was treated to a tour last month, with ceo Graham Turner who pointed out some of the key aspects of the design. The centre of most floors features themed meeting rooms – some sponsored by key Flight Centre suppliers and shaped like aircraft cabins, cruise ships or coaches – which are surrounded by open-plan desks arranged in functional groups. Turner himself doesn’t have an office, with his desk out on the floor alongside his colleagues – indicative of the open and egalitarian nature of relationships within the company.
Yes, there really is a slippery dip, which takes adventurers in two stages from level 14 down to 12, alongside an internal staircase. The top floor features an al fresco canteen with an outdoor barbecue area overlooking the Brisbane River, where staff drinks are served every Friday afternoon. Turner confirmed that the infamous Flight Centre Christmas slip-and-slide also takes place in the canteen – overlooked by about 20 of the company’s famous life-sized ‘Captain’ mannequins.
One floor of the building is dedicated to the in-house gymnasium which offers a full array of exercise equipment, in-house trainers and other facilities operated by Flight Centre’s HealthWise offshoot – part of the company’s holistic approach to looking after its staff. There are also two floors of parking, and the building is conveniently located right next to South Bank railway station.