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Supporting interaction, showcasing options: OfficeWorks Operations Department Refresh

At OfficeWorks, one of our core values is to be an engaging, caring, and fun workplace while we create spaces that are inspired by purpose and driven by results. Consistent with these principles, we recently updated our operations area to a more inviting environment that promotes increased productivity and collaboration.

Desk set up with orange chairs

Cohesive and connected

OfficeWorks’ operations area is a hub of activity that accommodates a variety of team members, including sales support and accounting professionals, project managers, and installers.

“Our area is probably the most open and interactive,” said Donna Ragsdale, senior project manager, OfficeWorks. “We collaborate at various stages of projects, and our installers come in and out throughout the day.”

OfficeWorks not only serves as a workplace—it also functions as a showroom for visitors to see options they can consider in their environments. This meant the refresh had to address the various needs of the people using the space while showcasing the latest advancements in office design.

Walking the talk, in our client’s shoes

We know that whether a client is moving into a new space or simply refreshing an existing one, it’s a significant experience. OfficeWorks’ approach helps our clients discover what works best for their spaces, so our operations area refresh was an opportunity to apply that methodology to our own project.

Through our discovery process, we identified the need for a meeting space that was more effective than our existing corner conference room, which was rarely used. And in addition to supporting increased connectivity for team members, OfficeWorks’ use of technology has streamlined our processes—dynamics that called for a more open and efficient workstation design.

The refresh was also an opportunity for our team members to experience what our clients go through: working through renovations. The project involved replacing carpet as well as furniture, requiring everyone to vacate the space during the remodel.

“This was an opportunity for us to get organized and think through what we would need while we were working from home or in other areas,” Donna said. “Having been in the design industry for 20 years, I’m used to the idea of changes, so it was exciting to be on the other side of a project and fun to see something new.”

Creating a new frame of reference

The resulting space creates a consistent look and feel, with a few key elements.

Herman Miller’s workplace products feature varied use of materials, high-performance seating with sit-to-stand options, and ergonomic accessories that support our team members’ work processes.

“I went from a large desktop to a smaller work area and was surprised that a smaller workspace could make me feel more comfortable and efficient,” Donna said.

The refresh fosters visibility and interaction between coworkers throughout the space, from the lower-height workstations to the standing-height, table-top storage areas that provide places for installers and project managers to discuss plans.

“I actually get to see my team,” said Bill Wissel, controller, OfficeWorks. “Before, they were in an enclosed area, so I feel more connected to them now.”

A focal point of the operations area is Obeya, from one of OfficeWorks’ manufacturing partners, OFS. The framed, furnished area brings people together for casual meetings or conversations while allowing natural light to filter through.

“Obeya showcases an option that’s welcoming, comfortable, and functional,” said Rachel Jackson, design manager, OfficeWorks. “Its location is accessible to everyone, and it features a variety of ways to meet, with technology, a marker board, and different seating options.”

“We didn't have a place like this before, so people have really taken to it,” said Jean Clemenz, vice president of operations, OfficeWorks. “When you can sit down in a lounge chair or a barstool and talk, whether in business or personal life, it helps you build trust and relationships. We've already seen that happen on numerous occasions.”

Jean added that the refresh has also helped improve communication between work groups.

“Whether it’s being able to see each other more or being happier in their workspace, people are interacting much more, both with their direct teammates and across teams,” she said.

“Our workplaces are the environments where we’ll spend a majority of our lives,” Rachel said. “Investing in them is one way we can show people that they’re valued while helping improve their day-to-day experience.”