A new Boston.com piece, “How an office switch can chance everything about the way a company works,” features our new Boston office at 99 Summer Street. The team moved to this new downtown location in October of last year as it allows for enhanced teamwork and collaboration, stronger connections to the larger Boston community, more opportunities for movement during the day for employees and efficient lighting design. The Boston team leveraged the firm’s workplace strategy and design expertise to make it as advantageous to the team as possible.
The Boston.com highlights many of these qualities, shows numerous photos of the new space and also features strong commentary from our leaders. Here are key excerpts from the piece.
“Our old building had this big core that prevented social collaboration,” said Boston Office Practice Leader Lynne Deninger. “Many employees had their own offices complete with large oak furniture, filing cabinets and doors you could shut for more privacy. This meant workers kept to their “pods” more often – light designers talked to light designers, structure engineers got coffee with other structural engineers…”
At 99 Summer Street, however, the smaller office space and an open floor plan has worked wonders for encouraging teamwork and friendship across pods, added Deninger. She mentioned that now some of the engineers want to knock down there bookshelves because they feel too separated from their co-workers. “They feel like they’re missing out. They used to be separated by an entire building, now a bookcase is too much.”
On Technology and Creative Culture
This new emphasis on transparency also means conference rooms with moveable glass walls, and huge smart boards where teams can showcase their latest projects. Employees are encouraged to post sticky notes with questions and comments on the blueprints.
On Strengthening Work, Design Culture and Mentorship
At the old space, you really had to go on a tour to talk to people, said Boston Design Leader Sebastian Martellotto. Now, very different groups of people are working together on projects and touching base more regularly. I think this will lead to a more interpretative design process and much more collaboration.
There’s also been a shift toward mentorship, Deninger added. There are no more corner offices. Instead, project managers with years of experience sit beside junior employees in their 20s. “They hear all of our phone calls with clients, and that helps them learn how to deal with things that come up everyday. They’re developing their soft skills without even knowing it.”
On Efficient Lighting Design
All of the company’s light fixtures are 100 percent LED. Since moving in, CannonDesign’s in-house lighting team has experimented with turning down the light levels to save energy, and using desk lamps that sense when workers leave their computers, shutting off automatically. Some of the pods’ lights are now operating at just 40% of their full powers — All of these learning experiences are shared with clients.
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