KPMG's Remote Teams Keep Connected in Their Fully Custom Virtual Office
Priority: Keeping 150 + Remote Employees Informed and Engaged
This big four accounting firm has shifted to remote work, which includes a dedicated virtual office in Kumospace built to replicate the company's favorite IRL workspaces.
Manpreet Jandu-Gil has been working for KPMG, a global professional services firm that provides advisory, tax, and audit services, for more than eight years in Vancouver, Canada. “KPMG is one of what they call the Big Four in the accounting space. We work closely with various private groups, the government, any publicly traded company,” she says. In the wake of the pandemic the company shifted to working remotely —and were tasked with the challenge of staying connected virtually.
Manpreet has been helping shepherd that change by finding a virtual office software to engage employees and build company culture.
“We had to navigate how to still build connections within the team, but doing it virtually from all of our different locations,” she says. Her aim was to find a virtual office that replicated KPMG’s physical workplace where the team generally had team meetings and socials.
Manpreet heard about Kumospace through word-of-mouth, and decided to try it for KPMG’s monthly team meetings and socials which include up to 150 employees. She worked with Kumospace’s design creation team to customize KPMG’s new virtual workspace.
“I worked with the Kumospace team to create a virtual office floor that mimicked one of our floors that we have in our office,” she says. “We created a three-level space… It really made it feel really personalized for us.”
KPMG’s Kumospace is built to mirror hangouts close to the Vancouver office like a virtual space they have dubbed the Clubhouse, which looks similar to a favorite restaurant the KPMG teams would utilize. There’s also a space called the Ignition Center, complete with a bar and café in addition to a virtual office lounge.
“What people really liked was the ability to go through the floor, and climb in and out of conversations as we would in a physical space. As you're walking by, you would catch the conversations taking place with a group of people, and you could join that conversation,” Manpreet says. “It was reminiscent of an actual physical lounge that we would have utilized.”
In the past few months, she has been experimenting with Kumospace’s custom spaces feature, where hosts can design their own floor with their choice of flooring and virtual furniture. Or they can add an interactive jukebox, pianos that play classical music, a YouTube TV, or custom images. “People can add furniture, a bar, and their own appetizer tray… It’s been really fun to revamp the space with these features,” she says.
She plans to experiment with the YouTube video feature and the team has gotten a kick out of the jukebox that plays SoundCloud. “I thought it was really cool to add some ambiance to the space,” she says.
They especially like that the KPMG team is now able to customize their space for whatever they need for future events — and there are virtual drink offerings like cola, wine, water, and beer.
“There were a couple of conversations that I was in where it felt very like being in a physical office event where like, "Oh I'm going to go top up my drink," and they make their way to the bar, and then come back, or go join another group for conversation. It was a really great way for people to come in and out of conversation circles."