Zurich North America’s headquarters reflects the dynamic company’s global reach and world-class stature while also raising the bar for employee engagement in the design process. At 783,000 square feet and home to nearly 3,000 employees and contractors, the monumental headquarters is the result of an extensive workplace testing and engagement effort that crowdsourced ideas from Zurich employees years before it opened.
The workplace creates an inspiring and engaging experience for Zurich employees with key spaces including a conference center, auditorium, coffee bar/retail concourse, café/dining atrium and fitness center. The dynamic workplace pilot that fueled Zurich's new HQ and the incredible resulting project have been profiled extensively by media including Fortune, Business Insider, The Huffington Post, Fast Company and more.
Zurich proved to be one of the first companies to commit to a deep-dive workplace pilot to ensure their new space would be as calibrated to their employees and culture as possible. More than 150 employees spent 12 weeks (three weeks in each of four workplace “neighborhoods”) testing different possible workplace configurations, spaces, technologies and futures to offer feedback and help Zurich maximize the ROI on their HQ investment.
The engagement has paid off with post-occupancy data revealing:
- Satisfaction with the new HQ is at 83% (an increase of 30%) for all employees. The industry benchmark is 60%.
- A nearly 50% increase in interaction within teams, between teams and direct reports.
- Over 78% of Zurich employees feel the ability for work flexibility has increased with the new building.
- Workplace sustainability (84%), flexibility (84%) and wellness (70%) have all increased dramatically.
We wanted to ensure that 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 in Fast Company Former HQ Business Lead at Zurich North America
The interior reflects a Swiss preference for clean-lined simplicity and the desire of Zurich North America to promote more engagement among employees. Picking up on the faceted wood underside of the building’s top bar, CannonDesign has woven that thread throughout the meeting zones with folded wood walls and ceilings that resemble Japanese origami.Blair Kamin Chicago Tribune