Brand new: Office supports transformation of MJ Insurance.... The insurance industry has a long history, yet changes in technology have resulted in a massive transformation in a short period of time. Since its beginnings more than 50 years ago, MJ Insurance has evolved, too. By making a strategic decision to move to a new office, MJ created an environment consistent with their updated value proposition and refreshed brand.
Changing the face of insurance
MJ Insurance’s office relocation addressed multiple goals.
“We wanted to create an environment that would help us recruit and retain the talent we will need to grow and serve our clients,” said Brian Friend, chief financial officer, MJ Insurance. “We also wanted a space that would allow us to collaborate effectively with each other.”
“There’s a perception about how insurance agencies work and operate,” added Ryan Michalowski, vice president of learning and development. “Our goal was to change the perception, and our workspace helped us continue that vision.”
Discovering what works
MJ engaged DORIS Research to gain clarity around how they wanted to work and involved OfficeWorks early on in the design process.
“Our early participation allowed us to grasp the ‘why,’ understand the findings from DORIS, and work closely with CSO Architects to come up with the right solutions,” said Camille Inchauste, OfficeWorks’ account executive. “It was a cohesive group effort.”
“MJ has multiple business units with different objectives and ways of working,” Brian said. “I appreciated how OfficeWorks worked with each group to understand what they needed to function in their own unique way.”
Based on MJ’s goals, OfficeWorks provided them with customizable options—an approach that, according to Jon Loftin, president and chief operating officer, made the process much easier.
“With our budget restraints, OfficeWorks did a fantastic job giving us options that allowed us to come in just under budget,” Brian added.
OfficeWorks’ process also providing mock-ups of the workstations, so team members could see and try out the furniture ahead of time.
“It was extremely beneficial for everyone to touch, feel, and use the furniture,” Ryan said. “It helped us fine-tune the workstations and get the voice of our associates.”
Delivering an employee experience
The resulting space creates a new image for MJ and an improved environment for its team members.
“With our number one goal being retention and talent acquisition, we’re getting a tremendous response from both employees who want to spend time in the office and from the talent pool that comes in and says, ‘this doesn’t feel like an insurance company,’” Jon said. “That’s precisely the response we wanted to get.”
According to Ryan, “Collaboration has drastically increased based on what each business unit chose, and more relationships are being developed among the different units.”
“The sit-to-stand workstations are a homerun,” Jon said. “Connectivity is everywhere. From the powered tables to the different heights of furniture, the variation and the ability to fit what you like and want to do—that’s where OfficeWorks crushed it for us.”
Tricia Everhart, director of support services and facilities, MJ Insurance, said that on the Monday after moving weekend, everyone was ready to go with their technology and workstations. “It can be hard to look at an image and get an idea of what it looks like but now that we’re living in it, it’s exactly what OfficeWorks said it was going to be,” Tricia said. “From day one, they were embracing all the new spaces and using them as intended,” she said.
“It was fun to see everyone’s excitement as they embraced the concepts,” Camille said. “When people internally are excited, it translates externally to their customers.”
“The key for any company is to understand what they’re selling,” Jon said. “While OfficeWorks is selling a tangible product, they understand it’s much more than that—they’re selling the employee experience and enhancing it. OfficeWorks has that at their core and they let the product be the outcome.”
Architect: CSO Architects
Project manager: CBRE