The Leader Magazine

MAR 2018

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160 (14.9 sq.m.), a 15 percent efficiency gain. The proposed approach would also streamline the number of workstations sizes from three to one generic size – and from a workstation space average of 70 square feet (6.5 sq.m.) to just 48 square feet (4.46 sq.m.), a net gain of 30 percent efficiency. The changes in the workplace standards realized a 25 percent overall gain in building efficiency by reducing the average space per employee from 260 square feet (24.1 sq.m.) to 196 (18.2 sq.m.). The design team recaptured some of the remaining square footage to become idea hubs, settings designed to promote teamwork and innovation where employees could collaborate more effectively. Additionally, under optimal conditions following the completion of the redesign, current lease holdings for Fresenius were found to allow for an expansion of up to 575 more employees. Recently, the Fresenius real estate team has estimated that, considering leasing and construction costs, these improvements totaled an expected estimated savings of $40 million over the following four years. e arly results in workplace performance Since implementation of these projects, more than 100,000 square feet (9,290 sq.m.) of facilities have successfully been upgraded and realigned. As the team analyzes comprehensive data from this work, Fresenius and Dyer Brown are already observing significant results, such as: • productivity increases resulting from optimizing existing real estate, • improvements in employee recruitment and retention rates, • a reduction in the annual rate of real estate expansion, • departmental realignment and improved unit cohesion, and • a notable bottom-line impact. Having secured buy-in from upper-level management for the long- term project, and with a variety of upgrades planned for keeping pace with proven approaches to effective workplace design, the project team's expectations are that these improvements will continue and will be confirmed in measurable and significant ways. The first major campus components completed were a full renovation of a 30,000-square-foot (2,787-sq.-m.) floor of the office building at 40 Hartwell Avenue in Lexington, and a 70,000-square-foot (6,503.2-sq.-m.) floor of the building at 950 Winter Street in Waltham. The team's approach has refreshed the overall aesthetic of the workspaces, encouraging increased interaction by arranging the open plan into neighborhoods, each organized around one of the Fresenius idea hubs. Each hub, meanwhile, is designed specifically to support one of three modes of collaboration: impromptu breakout sessions, technology-driven presentations, or whiteboard-oriented team problem-solving. The net effect of this type of planning is to break down the previous silos separating departments from one another and bolstering interaction among staff. As Dyer Brown and Fresenius continue to innovate and implement the program, creative solutions are emerging for incorporating branding and internal messaging and a program of enhanced amenities. These are transforming redeveloped areas into newly activated, vibrant work environments. One such redevelopment is referred to as the "IT Clinic" located in the building at 920 Winter Street, Waltham – a highly visible element among the already completed project components. Designed to resemble a retail IT help desk, the IT Clinic is a place where employees bring their software and hardware questions directly, in person, rather than by means of a call to a typical help-desk hotline. This new approach has elevated the visibility of the IT department while offering yet another active space for informal interaction, collaboration and problem-solving. The solution reinforces a culture of teamwork and common purpose and supports a more active workplace. Like wellness rooms, fitness amenities, and healthier food options, the IT Clinic actually helps contribute to improved overall staff health. Ultimately, Dyer Brown's corporate-services approach to partnering has served Fresenius effectively, supporting the company's Boston-area presence not just by reconfiguring space but also by helping to reinterpret its culture. The company has recently surveyed employees to gauge their reactions to recent programmatic and aesthetic changes, and the comments have been consistently positive: a majority of those surveyed approve of the changes and the overall direction of the restructuring. The reinvented space has decreased the average square footage per employee, yet occupants report increased satisfaction with their workplace. While complete data on changes in productivity is still being collected, Fresenius leadership is already seeing the investment paying dividends in employee satisfaction and improved morale. b randed renovations on the horizon The long-term project is sure to include additional branded and experiential components with integrated graphic elements, helping to differentiate Fresenius as an employer. These include two major renovation- plus-branding efforts: 300,000 square feet (27,870 sq.m.) of space on the Waltham campus, and 130,000 square feet (12,077.4 sq.m.) on the Lexington campus. A restructuring of the company's executive suite is already under way and should be complete by the time of this article's publication. The key takeaway is that a comprehensive and holistic approach to restructuring and updating a large workplace footprint is the most likely way to produce optimal efficiency and performance and the most significant bottom-line benefits. Partnering with Dyer Brown allowed Fresenius to focus on employee wellness and work-life balance while renewing its commitment to community. By rethinking the entire workplace footprint, Fresenius has been able to keep pace with the latest approaches in creating effective workplaces, making a positive impact on its employees and its real estate budget without significant disruptions in workflow and output. 48 MARCH 2018 t H e le A de R With 20 years of experience in commercial interior design and project management, Sara Ross, LEED AP, is director of corporate services with Dyer Brown. John J. Gioioso, CFM, MCR, is senior director of FMCNA Corporate Building Operations & Real Estate at Fresenius Medical Care North America in Waltham, Massachusetts. Photo by Darren Hunter, courtesy Dyer Brown

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