A severe flooding estimated to cost in excess of six figures in a property consultancy's Birmingham office has failed to dampen the company's operations.
Staff at Rider Levett Bucknall were operational just four hours after starting their working week from home due to the agency's 'clear desk' policy of mobile working.
In a quirky twist, the office has been shortlisted for the 'Best fitout of Workplace' category at the 2014 British Council for Offices' Midlands and East Anglia Awards, taking place in Birmingham on April 10.
Managing partner Nigel Mason said he received a Saturday morning phone call to say there had been a flood on the fourth floor of the 'Cathedral Court' building, in Colmore Row and owned by Hortons' Estates, which had seeped through to the RLB offices below.
He said: "It is estimated about 4,000 gallons of water had exited the pipes over a 12-hour period by the time engineers shut off the system.
"Contractors were fitting out the fourth floor and had installed a temporary water system but a fitting on this had failed. It was only when a passer-by noticed water on the street level that the alarm was raised.
"I emailed all staff to tell them to work from home the following week but by 1pm on the Monday we had signed a contract to take space at the i2 Office at Two Snowhill.
"The damage is likely to cost in excess of £100,000 to repair but we're fully insured and expect to be back in place by mid-May."
RLB moved to the 7,250 sq ft office above Barclays Bank in May last year from Millennium Point and had used the move as a chance to implement a new 'clear desk' working policy whereby all staff used mobile phones and laptops.
Mr Mason said the business continuity plan meant the move to i2 Office was as smooth as could be under the difficult circumstances and the 90 staff were able to work from their new base by Monday afternoon.
The annual BCO awards recognise the best office projects across several UK regions with winners being put forward to the national event later in the year.
RLB was shortlisted for the fitout project the consultancy carried out prior to its move last year to the 25-year-old building. Mr Mason attributed the recognition to the flexible working environment the project created.
"I think we're in with a reasonable chance of winning and this incident has shown the proof is in the pudding when it came to implementing the clear desk policy. Staff have seen it as a bit of an adventure and we've received many offers of support from other RLB offices.
"A lot of our IT is based in the cloud and we don't have on-site servers which we implemented as part of the move and the business continuity plan. I doubt we could have done something like this five years ago."