UK telecoms group BT has unveiled a new headquarters in the city of London, which it hopes will be symbolic of a new dawn for the company.
The shiny new gaff is called One Braham after one of the streets its near, which is also the site of a BTEE store. It replaces the old HQ in St Pauls, which came into being not long after the company was privatised in the 80s. So, inevitably, we get some kind evolving/pupating/reinventing narrative attached to the simple act of moving house.
“Our new HQ in London will bring our people together in an impressive and modern environment, transforming the way teams work,” gushed BT Group CEO Philip Jansen. “We’re really excited to be moving into One Braham. It represents a changing BT, one that is more agile, forward thinking and able to adapt to the challenges and opportunities presented by the acceleration of digital technologies.
Jansen was even able to count on accommodating media to uncritically support his narrative that he has turned the ship around since taking over from Gavin Patterson and that this move is representative of his herculean efforts. Not everyone got the memo, however, with some papers preferring instead to characterise a 2025 switchover in landline tech as somehow negligent towards the UK’s elderly.
Inevitably London Mayor Sadiq Khan was happy to attach his name to some generic platitudes on the matter. “It’s great to see BT’s new global HQ at Aldgate opening,” we’re told he said. “It will provide a great boost to the area, and, as workers across London increasingly return to the office, demonstrates how businesses can combine technology and smart ways of working to really benefit their staff.”
The rest of the BT announcement is spend talking up what a great, modern office this is and how well-adapted to post-pandemic working habits it is. While we don’t question any of those claims, infusing the new HQ with mystical powers of renewal seems like too much to ask of a concrete and glass tower. The balcony area looks like a great spot for serving journalists drinks though. Just saying.