Bringing People to the Forefront of Workplace Design
Zurich North America, set to create a new headquarters reflective of the company’s global reach and world-class stature, is focused on engaging its employees in the design process as much as possible. Wanting to ensure the new headquarters is best suited to meet employee needs when it opens in Fall 2016, Zurich created a remarkably extensive workplace pilot program with more than 150 employees spending three weeks testing each of four uniquely configured office neighborhoods. The employees split time between individual workstations and shared spaces throughout the pilot floor and experience different styles of office desks, chairs, enclaves, conference rooms and informal meeting spaces that could potentially be incorporated into the future headquarters.
Via focus groups and employee surveys, Zurich collected feedback before, during and after with early results showing frequency of interaction within team increased by 19% in the pilot while satisfaction for all generations increased 21 percentage point on average. Data also revealed that satisfaction with flexibility to use different spaces over the course of a day increased 64 percent. The pilot program will all ultimately influence the creation of the new headquarters which will serve Zurich’s approximately 2,500 employees in the Chicago area and be highly flexible, allowing the company to adapt and change as needed in the future.
We want to ensure we are creating the right design to meet employee needs, enabling them to be effective and productive. We committed to engaging with our employees on the design from the beginning knowing that highly engaged employees lead to better results.
– Jennifer Kyung, headquarters business lead at Zurich North America
Satisfaction with flexibility to use different spaces over the course of a day increased 64 percentage points.
57% of those involved in the pilot program said they weren’t just happy with the workplace but enjoyed their work more in the new workplace.