Introducing the first-ever episode of “Dawn and Kate from the Hart,” our brand new vodcast series!

We’re thrilled to kick off this journey by diving into the story behind our big move to 55 Hartland Street and our incredible Workplace Innovation Hub in East Hartford.

Join us as our own Dawn Monde and Katherine Beal share their insights, experiences, and the why behind our innovative new space.

Watch the full video on LinkedIn here:

Read the full transcript below:


Hi, I’m Dawn Monde. And I’m Kate Beal. And we’re from Red Thread. And we’re here today to share a little glimpse into our transformation journey into our new hybrid workspace.

Kate Beal  0:22 

So today we’re gonna talk about why and how we started the process of getting into this space. So Dawn, why don’t you talk to us a little bit about what management was thinking when this all started.

Dawn Monde  0:23 

So we began our move and our thinking about our move into this space during the pandemic. And actually, even a little before the pandemic, we knew that we were in a little too much real estate to support our needs, we knew that we wanted to move and we also knew the world of work was changing. And then that was just amplified by the pandemic. So we knew we needed to get into a new space for ourselves that would support the new hybrid way of working for the organization.

Kate Beal  1:02 

So when you were thinking about all of that, how did you come across the types of changes that would be required? And how did you make decisions around what kind of space you’re going to need?

Dawn Monde  1:15 

One of the first things that we really decided on was that we were going to be supporting an almost 100% free address organization, and we were going to be supporting a desk sharing organization so that we would have enough room for collaborative spaces and our teaming spaces, and our social spaces that would be able to support folks when they came back into the office.

Kate Beal  1:35 

We were in the pandemic, and not everybody’s back to the office at that time. And we’re trying to figure out how do we go forward? What do we do? So how do we figure that out?

Dawn Monde  1:46 

Those were crazy times, right? That was a really challenging time to be looking at spaces thinking about what spaces might be for us when, you know, not a lot of people were in the office at that point in time. A lot of it, I think, went back to how we were using our space prior to the pandemic. We had a very flexible, open culture. So it was good and supportive of a new hybrid work model, really trying to understand how many individual spaces we needed. We ended up with assuming a one to one and a half ratio right up front.

Kate Beal  2:16 

When we were looking at real estate, we looked at a bunch of different spaces. And when we finally got settled down and narrowed down to just a few, what was the process of getting through that test fit to figure out which phase was going to be the best one to use.

Dawn Monde  2:33 

So we started by working off of that shared ratio and understanding our headcount, how many people we were trying to support with individual work settings, then we really looked back at how spaces were working for us previously, and what types of spaces we felt would be important in our new space. A great example of that is our cafe, we knew that that was going to be something that was really important to us to welcome our employees, but also something to welcome the community. Those types of elements along with training spaces, spaces to support the hybrid connection to those who are remote or working in other locations, those types of spaces, were planned into the test fit to make sure that the space we were looking at was going to be able to accommodate at least at a high level, we believe those things to be true.

Kate Beal  3:13 

And that allowed us to get that 30% reduction in space, which I think has been beneficial without feeling like we’re too cramped.

Dawn Monde  3:21 

And a lot of people think this space feels bigger than the old space. And it’s 30% smaller. So that’s been an accomplishment.

Kate Beal  3:26

Which is just good planning, I guess, you know.

Dawn Monde  3:29

When I look at the guiding principles, I really look at how we are as an organization and how our culture would manifest itself in this space. We’re a very inclusive culture. We’re a very collaborative and transparent culture. So it was very important to us that our employees played a very big role in this process as we built out their new home.

Kate Beal  3:47

And that’s why we did all those employee workshops and everything like that

Dawn Monde  3:51

And asked for all the feedback at all the different stopping points. And that’s why we shared so much of the design that was evolving through the process.

Kate Beale  3:57

I think that was really important because people felt like they were participating. They felt involved and it wasn’t really a surprise at the end.

Dawn Monde  4:04 

No, no surprises. We wanted to be able to show our customers what you could do in an average office space in a plain vanilla envelope and how great you could make a space and how Red Thread could bring all the different elements together in a space to create an environment that’s really holistic.

Kate Beal  4:22 

Dawn, this has been so much fun. Stay tuned for more of our dark conversations about our transformational journey to 55 Hartland Street!

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