What’s changed with our Red Thread Connecticut office?
The way we shop, learn, entertain, and travel have dramatically changed since the pandemic – the same is true for the way we work.
Fundamental patterns in our lives look completely different, accelerating existing trends and revealing new unmet needs. We have fully embraced a new hybrid work model that’s continuously evolving based on the aspirations and needs of our people and organization.
We feel strongly that hybrid is here to stay; it’s not going away.
The shift to hybrid
“Our new Workplace Innovation Hub at 55 Hartland Street was designed to foster a resilient hybrid culture by providing spaces which not only support increasing collaboration between in-person and remote workers, but also help people feel a sense of belonging and connection to their teams and the organization, regardless of where you are,” said Larry Levine, President.
We’ve moved to a hybrid work model where people have the flexibility and autonomy to choose how, where and when they work. A hybrid workplace isn’t one size fits all, it means something different to every organization. For us, it’s all about people having great experiences wherever work happens.
“Our new Workplace Innovation Hub at 55 Hartland Street was designed to foster a resilient hybrid culture by providing spaces which not only support increasing collaboration between in-person and remote workers, but also help people feel a sense of belonging and connection to their teams and the organization, regardless of where you are.”
-Larry Levine, President
We thought deeply about how we spend our time, where we do our best work, and how we create meaningful work experiences. Through our own transformation journey, we focused on the 4 Es that helped shape our new space:
Now more than ever employees have new and increased expectations of their employers and workplaces — desiring a dramatically different and better experience than the one they left pre-pandemic.
Steelcase research found five critical employee needs that will change the overall work experience including safety, belonging, productivity, comfort, and control. The new reality is people and organizations are becoming more agile, but how do you accommodate these changes?
By not only recognizing but also embracing this trend, our new space was designed with employee wellness in mind. It offers a range of hospitality and amenity spaces that give our people enticing options to work at rather than a sea of workstations. We knew that by creating spaces that support both a lively and private environment, our people would look forward to coming into the office whether it’s for a large gathering or to escape from the distractions at home.
“Our recent Grand Opening party took place primarily in the Work Café, the heart of our office, and our animal themed scavenger hunt supported self-exploration of our space,” said Dawn Monde, SVP Strategic Accounts/Client Services. “Seeing our guests engage with the space in a way we intended was incredible; it reinforced our goal of supporting and enhancing our connections with each other. It was a wonderful moment seeing the reactions from our guests as soon as they stepped off the elevator.”
“It was a wonderful moment seeing the reactions from our guests as soon as they stepped off the elevator.”
-Dawn Monde, SVP Strategic Accounts/Client Services
When people feel they are part of the process by having their voices heard, they will be more engaged. We understood the importance of aligning the goals of leadership with the needs of our own employees.
Our new Workplace Innovation Hub reflects our culture, shaped by the desires of our people. We engaged our team through surveys, workshops, and collaborative sessions designed to understand the types of work they were doing, and the challenges and tensions associated with working in a hybrid mode.
“Through this process we learned that it’s just as important to provide quiet places for individuals to focus as it is for collaborative and social spaces. This insight created a deeper understanding of how work modes shift throughout the day and the need for different spaces, amenities, and tools,” said Monde.
Distributed work was not a challenge we needed to meet; it was a powerful catalyst for change in our organization.
What we’ve learned is that people won’t put up with poor experiences. Technology can help bridge the gap of distance disparity by creating equitable experiences from anywhere.
As videoconferencing became an everyday work behavior, it was critical to create spaces that support it. Yet, typical conference rooms with long rectangular tables can be difficult for interactions in person and they are not ideal for video.
“We have integrated Microsoft’s front row capability into an immersive environment that makes every participant feel like they’re in the room. Displaying content, live chat, and remote attendees at eye level creates a multi-sensory experience for those in-person or remote,” said John Mitton, CTO.
A great hybrid workplace gives its people the same flexibility and autonomy they enjoyed while working from home. Hybrid work is not just about giving people flexible schedules; flexibility must also be built into the workplace itself to meet evolving needs.
“Our new, flexible infrastructure allows us to easily adapt and change our space with demountable walls and access to power throughout. Our people won’t own an individual workspace; they’ll have ownership of the entire space and can choose where they work for the task at hand,” said Kate Beal, Workplace Consultant.
The space is divided into four distinct neighborhoods, designed to support different styles of work and types of tasks – from intensely collaborative to highly focused and everything in between. Each neighborhood is an ecosystem of spaces, with open areas and enclosed spaces built with our demountable walls so we can adapt our spaces quickly and easily.
“Our people won’t own an individual workspace; they’ll have ownership of the entire space and can choose where they work for the task at hand.”
-Kate Beal, Workplace Consultant
Making our workplace a magnet
55 Hartland Street is a welcoming place – supporting our people, customers, and community. It’s not just a place you go to work for 8 hours, it’s a place you go to live while you’re working.
Steelcase research shows that people who like working from their workspace are 33% more engaged, 30% more connected with their culture, 9% more productive and 20% less likely to leave their company. Equally as important, a properly designed workplace can provide the stimulation, connection and choice that makes it a welcome alternative to working from home.
We’re thrilled to provide a Workplace Innovation Hub that creates an incredible work experience for our employees.