With all of this variety and the freedom to work in the settings that best suit their needs, Harry’s employees were excited to move into the new space. But the true test came six months later, when Herman Miller checked in to determine if these settings were actually helping the staff connect more easily and be more efficient. To do this, Herman Miller conducted robust on-site research, using a variety of methods, including observation and extensive surveys among leadership and staff.
Wrote one employee in a survey, “The new layout allows for free communication with colleagues from all departments. But it’s comfortable and quiet enough to keep you focused.”
Settings aren’t the only things helping people work better together. The hallways and open areas that cover 58 percent of the floorplan are also encouraging people to connect. These connective spaces furnished purposefully with Public Office Landscape café tables and Social Chairs, give people many more opportunities to move about, bump into one another, and share ideas than they had at their former office, where only 37 percent of the layout was dedicated to circulation.
“In the last space, I felt like people weren’t moving because there weren’t options, or they were moving out of desperation,” says Rachel Peck, Staff Manager. “Here, there are options and flexibility.”
At the beginning of the project, Harry’s leadership team had identified “increasing efficiency” as an important business driver. This priority was closely tied to the staff’s desire for a more seamless and structured work flow, which they expressed during the discovery process. The organized, efficient new floorplan is making this a reality.
“We have our marketing team sitting next to our customer acquisition team, who, on a day-to-day basis, have dozens of conversations,” says Newlin. “I think this really allowed a more streamlined approach to the way they work. It also has allowed us to take less time in between certain tasks.”
The employee survey shows that people are noticing this new level of efficiency. Only 29 percent of people thought their old office helped them work productively, but now 70 percent think the new space is helping them do their jobs faster and better.