Following a competitive tender process, ADT Workplace was selected as Key Travel’s partner to help the team bring its vision to life.


International travel management company, Key Travel, facilitates some of the most prestigious organisations in the world, such as Oxfam and Save the Children, to carry out their work globally. Having outgrown its current office, which was split across a number of floors, Key Travel was looking to create a collaborative working space which brought the entire team together on one floor including a contact centre with space for 250+ desks, as well as areas for collaborative working, private meetings, training, relaxation and socialising.

Covering the entire top floor of the prestigious St James’ Buildings on Manchester’s Oxford Street, the 19,178 sq ft office needed to reflect Key Travel’s specialist work in the humanitarian, faith and education sectors. Also imperative to the design were the company’s core values of impact, compassion and simplicity. The ADT Workplace team spent six months working alongside Key Travel to immerse themselves in the business and get a true understanding of its DNA, in order to further align the initial design with the brand, vision and culture.

Key Travel

Workplace hideaway

The new design has been inspired by nature, creating a workplace haven away from the busy streets of Manchester, in order to provide a sense of calm and improve staff wellbeing. With biophilic design prominent, natural tones but bright colour palettes and unusual textures have been used to create a clean, fresh and inspiring space which also complements the unique cultures within which the company operates.

Key Travel was looking for an office space which gives staff more choice about where and how they work, and also one which helps foster a greater sense of teamwork. With that in mind, ADT Workplace created four open plan zones – Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania – the four continents where Key Travel carries out the majority of its business, each with its own feature entry point to instil a sense of belonging. There is also strong visual representation of the company’s brand and values throughout.

ADT Workplace has cleverly incorporated multifunctional spaces for training and meetings within the original structure of the listed building, maximising the potential of all available space. The office also features numerous break out areas known as ‘Kalas’, a term which originates from Afghan culture where all members of a family live together as one. Adding to the wow factor, staff will also benefit from a stunning rooftop Oasis, an outdoor terrace designed for collaborative working or simply relaxation, as well as a Zen area offering total tranquillity.

Key Travel

Delivering Results

Commenting on the new office, John O’Sullivan, COO of Key Travel said: “This move had to go well for Key Travel; this is the only time we were going to make such a big investment in our people and our organisation. ADT Workplace very quickly understood our business, our drivers and our values, as well as the brief and vision we had for the building. As a result, what the team brought to the table in terms of creativity to help us make our aspirations reality, meant they were the perfect partner for us.

“The dynamic and vibrant space reflects our brand perfectly, and provides the ideal space for connection and collaboration among colleagues. Communication, productivity and staff morale are all noticeably improved, and there is a real buzz and renewed energy among the team.

“What’s more, ADT Workplace’s attention to detail and meticulous planning meant the team had thought of everything and we were able to make the transition into the new office seamlessly with minimal downtime – with our business operating 24/7, this was crucial for us. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive so far. As a package, it really has delivered for the entire business.”

Understanding business needs

Stacey Charlesworth, Design Director at ADT Workplace commented: “By working closely with the team at Key Travel, we were able to truly understand the needs and ethos of the business and as such, design an inspiring and unique environment which is tailored to the organisation’s needs and aspirations. With biophillic design prominent and quirky features with nods to travel throughout, for example the distinctive Tuk Tuk and luggage tables, the space is also reflective of the company’s strong brand personality.

“By incorporating a business lounge and drop-in workspaces, Key Travel’s staff based in other locations have somewhere practical to work while they are at the office, enhancing productivity and improving efficiencies. In addition, with employee wellbeing high on the agenda for Key Travel, a number of breakout areas and social spaces, mean the team can take time out when needed.”

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