As the Perkins+Will Boston studio’s workload increased it became clear that our renovation project demanded more than a refresh but a “transformation” of how we utilized our current space. We needed to provide more autonomy and increase our headcount, while still adding valuable team collaboration spaces with enhanced technology – the original goals of the Re/Fresh project.
Throughout 2018 we tested various ways to consolidate our workspace and paused to evaluate our findings and options. Through our workplace utilization studies and employee engagement surveys, we had the research to support our assumption that on any given day we had a number of unoccupied desks. From business travel, meetings and off-site visits to personal time – many desks were underutilized and we were lacking in valuable team collaboration areas. How can the Re/Fresh incorporate these findings to create valuable solutions?
Similar to our colleagues in Minneapolis and Toronto, the Boston Re/Fresh team recognized that by switching all team members to an “unassigned” seating model we could accommodate continued growth within our existing space and also provide employees with the required space to do their work. To make the transition easier, the Re/Fresh team developed a “district” layout. District seats will be assigned to each team (not to individuals) based upon a sharing ratio – ultimately making it easier to locate team mates. Between the team districts will be “open” seats that provide additional workspaces and allow for staff to collaborate on an as-needed basis. In addition, the café area will be expanded for casual team meetings and provide a variety of workplace seating options for staff to utilize.
With Re/Fresh 2019, we have introduced “Re/Fresh Ambassadors” for each team. Ambassadors are coordinating activities from clean-ups to outlining team program requirements. And we now have Kerry Petchakucha, our #1 Re/Fresh Ambassador, who traveled from Australia to help shepherd our transformation. Kerry is a wombat and cousin of Gary – the Boston studio’s marketing mascot. Kerry regularly shares information and updates about the Re/Fresh and also receives questions or suggestions from staff about the project via email.
Our design teams and support resources have pulled together to support our transformation to “unassigned” seating and within a few short weeks it will become a reality. We look forward to assessing how the new workspace supports our teams, our designers, and our clients.