The Leader Magazine

JUN 2018

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other features that contribute to productivity and employee comfort. To enable people to easily interact while still finding concentration and privacy, a variety of spaces designed and equipped for both focus-based and collaborative activities are distributed throughout the floorplans. Whether scheduled meetings, impromptu discussions, focus time, brainstorming sessions or longer-term projects, employees can find spaces for the different ways they work. Several modern training rooms support presentations and technology-based classwork. And, as one of the most important additions, a Town Center occupies nearly a quarter of the first floor of the building. The large, open, cafeteria-style space can be used to gather for meals with a variety of seating options, including booths, that invite interaction. The space also hosts large company meetings and can be converted into several smaller rooms. Amenities for employees include access to a nearby fitness center, onsite food options, locker rooms, walking paths throughout the business park, and covered parking. Thanks to efficiencies realized in the plan, less square footage was needed. "We use less space, but accommodate more people, more flexibly," said Lainie Sitko, director of workplace strategy at Vertex, who co-led the project with Chris Kohl, chief information officer and vice president of corporate technology. "We went from seven buildings to one, and still have room for growth." a process for all, by all As the building was completed, a highly coordinated effort moved 650 employees from all seven buildings over a single weekend. Nearly everyone was up and running, within hours, the following Monday. The investments in time and effort for the lengthy and unconventional learning and decision-making process driving the headquarters move provided critical value in support of business strategy. The comprehensive engagements with employees proved to be as important as the detailed analysis and design by real estate advisors and architectural partners. Without input from all those sources feeding design, Vertex would have found it much more difficult to articulate a workplace strategy that aligned the needs of their people, their most important resource, to the needs of the business. On a practical level, it also made construction easier. "Investing the three years to complete the extensive planning was also beneficial for implementation," said Sitko. "Once we'd made the decision on which building, design and construction work in the ten months it took to complete made everything go that much more smoothly. We had nothing to correct." The result is a workplace environment that successfully serves as a valuable asset, a natural driver of innovation and true collaboration – as a workplace of choice. Designed to support the different ways employees work, the space encourages countless opportunities for connection and creativity. These, and the increased productivity they promote, are critical to Vertex business strategies of driving growth in existing and future markets. The strategic principles defined during the project are transferable to all Vertex locations throughout the U.S. and its overseas offices, reinforcing the Vertex brand and promoting unification wherever their work grows. Ultimately, the modern and flexible workspace realizes its goal to inspire achievement of the company's vision, values and mission by connecting its people, customers, and partners across the globe, using spaces in the way that they work for the people who need them. With 20 years' experience in facility management, corporate real estate and workplace strategy development, Lainie Sitko, CFM, is director of Workplace Strategy for Vertex, Inc. Jake Kelly is a senior corporate communications specialist at Vertex, Inc., where he covers internal news and events. The first floor is also home to two traditional training rooms, including one with video conference capability and a technical training room for computer-based training. the leader June 2018 29

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