Better Workplaces - Optus' in-house Yes Agency

Ashley Regan
By Ashley Regan | 16 October 2023

Employee preferences for WFH means workplaces need to utilise office spaces as a tool to connect with staff. In Better Workplaces, AdNews looks at how agencies use office design to entice staff to come in and create a company culture worth staying for.

Within Optus’ 84,000 sqm headquarters in North Ryde is the telecommunications company’s in-house advertising agency Yes Agency.

However the agency, created six years ago, has its own entrance and offers a separate space away from the everyday hustle of Optus staff to ensure brand separation.


Yes Agency entrance. Behind the colourful wallpaper is the everyday hustle of Optus.

In collaboration, Optus and Yes Agency took great care in the office design, taking learnings and global insights from other in-house partners, David Sutherland, general manager at Yes Agency, told AdNews.

“The perception of Yes Agency used to be the ‘Studio’ or the ‘doers’ of internal comms and production. We had to change that perception to align with our strategic goals of being the core agency partner for the marketing team,” Sutherland said.

“It was important for us to have a shared, but separate space to the rest of the business, enabling our creativity and craft to be uninhibited by the machinations of the larger organisation that could potentially impact on workflow. 

“A space that when clients entered, they thought that we were an agency.”

 main space

Overview of collaboration space.

Yes Agency, which now has over 40 employees, offers a creative sanctuary for when Optus staff visit, providing a beneficial physical and mental barrier between the teams. 

“The separation is not significant, (a couple of hundred metres), but it allows us to maintain our distinct mini-culture while still working in collaboration,” Sutherland said.

The design goals were to design a creatively vibrant environment with open spaces, breakout areas, production and studio areas for adhoc shoots, boardrooms, and a specialised broadcast edit suite. 

production studio

One of many production studios.

“While we are physically separate, it is essential for our employees to feel connected to Optus culture,” Sutherland said.

“By incorporating Optus brand elements, we achieved a balance between the aesthetics of Optus and Yes Agency.

“The space reflects the unique character of Yes Agency while seamlessly flowing into the rest of the Optus spaces.

studio set up

Studio setup.

There are also functional aspects such as a kitchen, fridge, print area, workbench, and even music in the bathrooms. 

“The space aims to convey a sense of creativity, energy, and productivity, showcasing our work and providing a stimulating atmosphere for both employees and visitors,” Sutherland said.

The layout transformation, including removing outdated desks, adding timber furniture, wall decals, and pin board walls, helped create a more dynamic and appealing office environment. 



 another overview

Staff desks to the left, casual meeting area to the right.

As one of the country's largest inhouse agencies by headcount, each employee has a dedicated seat and additional seats for freelancers. 

Hot desking and IT access is available for other agencies or Optus staff who wish to work from Yes Agency. 

Broad room

Boardroom, balancing both Yes Agency and Optus branding.

As well as plenty of breakout spaces and floor space for alternative working arrangements, the desks are organised based on departments to aid in workflow and specific communication within teams.

“We have a very specific training and development strategy, whereby we have very experienced individuals sat next to newer talent, and that immersion is an important developmental part of our talent strategy,” Sutherland said. 

“Our talent strategy is to be the 'feeder club' for the rest of the group, and so we organise the desks to aid in that. 

“There is a well-defined workflow that has guided the positioning of the teams. When necessary, we may reconfigure teams or create specific, and secure, breakout areas for special projects, such as iPhone launches, World Cup, or tendering projects.”

 casual meeting couches

Casual meeting couches.

There is a minimum of 20 staff members present each day to maintain an active working culture, with at least a senior and junior scheduled from each department to ensure continuous presentations, upskilling, and workload sharing.

“To accommodate flexible working hours, we are in the process of permanently moving onsite servers to the cloud and establishing a dedicated wide bandwidth internet connection for optimal speeds,” Sutherland said. 

“All staff members have been provided with a monthly mobile budget, screens, keyboards, and mice to facilitate work from home. 

“Additionally, our company policies now allow those on leave to continue working remotely (from wherever in the world), made possible by cloud servers and streamlined processes.”

Yes Agency sign

Agency branding.

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