Johnson County’s coolest offices are places where people wish to work

January 14, 2015 - accent chair

Bruce Wang needs a mechanism and Internet opening to do his job. He could do it only about anywhere. He chooses to do it in Perceptive Software’s new bureau building in Lenexa.

It’s a unequivocally cold place.

Wang, Perceptive’s executive of cloud services, is a San Francisco transplant and a walking, articulate painting for since forward-looking (and financially able) employers in Johnson County are transforming their offices.

“Environment matters,” pronounced Wang, seated in Perceptive’s balmy four-story, 90-foot-tall atrium, only a few feet from a curvy aluminum slip that employees can use to whoosh to a first-floor cafeteria from a second floor.

“There’s a lot of appetite in this building, a lot of cold open places, yet also cold spaces to work by myself when we need to,” Wang said.

The whole trickery adds adult to a recruiting and influence apparatus for an employer in a rival program industry.

Sure, “Dilbert”-style bureau cubicles still exist in Perceptive’s building, as in workplaces nationwide, yet chair makers, interior designers and architects are providing mixed ways to mangle divided from a tedious grids of a decades-old brick farm.

The Harvard Business Review in Oct pronounced these best workplace designs are balancing “we” and “me” — ancillary partnership as good as privacy.

For a one-stop-shop demeanour during what’s probable in new bureau design, a Scott Rice Office Works salon in Lenexa is a working-office instance that helps corporate clients cruise new furniture, space dividers and layouts. It’s a delicately deliberate space, mostly with Steelcase products. Steelcase says it has spent $107.7 million on chair and work research, pattern and growth over a final 3 years.

“We use what we preach,” pronounced Stacy Roth, who binds a surprising pursuit pretension of Scott Rice executive of preparation solutions. “Each in. of space has a purpose, not only for show. Each space supports a organization.”

The opening run is styled as a “living room” for salon visitors to perch, yet it also serves as a connected assembly round for workman work groups. Nearby is a “work cafe” with oversized counters and energy outlets on a island because, like during domicile parties, “everybody ends adult in a kitchen.” Adjacent, too, is a “free address” space that looks something like a well-equipped airfield embankment lounge, a place for vendors, visitors or employees to get work done.

About that “free address”: Also famous as “hoteling” or “hot desking,” it’s a burgeoning judgment in bureau design, generally matched to workers who don’t spend a lot of time in-house. Think of outward sales people or financial auditors who spend many of their work days divided from a office. Their personal cubicles lay dull many days. But when they strike a office, they need a place to accumulate their stuff, lay and work.

At Scott Rice, clamp boss Ron Burns has opted for a giveaway address. He has his possess locker and set of drawers, partial of a worktop-covered cupboard used by mixed derelict workers. To sit, he has a choice of open tables or height-adjustable desks along with other workers who pierce in and out.

Business and operations experts during JE Dunn contend a baseline block footage per bureau workman typically starts during 150 block feet. But that’s trending down in newer workplaces since of a pierce toward some-more collaborative work areas joined with work-at-home options and giveaway addressing.

What once were 8-foot-by-8-foot cubicles are sizing down to 6 by 6, partly to cut costs and partly since there are so many other places in an bureau for employees to get work done. By saving income on per-worker building space, a trendiest employers in Johnson County are dedicating resources to other amenities.

“Because record lets people work anywhere, a places where we come together are some-more important,” pronounced Alissa Wehmueller, executive of interiors during Helix Architecture + Design. “Companies are profitable courtesy to a organisation spaces — cafeterias, assembly rooms, lobbies — a ‘we,’ or team, spaces where a chair is eloquent and inviting, not only an afterthought.”

Wehmueller cited dual other critical trends: coherence and sustainability.

The stretchable partial comes with modular chair and mobile partitions. It also comes with a use of color. Today’s splendid tone preferences (purple, aqua, orange immature and orange) could spin tomorrow’s avocado immature and collect gold, so employers are opting to use tone in simply swappable spots, such as dais colors, apartment circular play or singular accent walls.

At Scott Rice, interior walls are mobile partitions finished of potion or whiteboard that can be scrawled on and erased. Partitions change in height, depending on workman or work-group preference. Small private places, for personal phone calls or critical one-on-one conversations, have a top dividers.

The CEO’s bureau is in a core of a building. Many new bureau spaces tend to sale a self-evident dilemma bureau or a line of “C-suite” private offices along extraneous walls.

“Anything with windows is common space, with opening to everyone,” Roth said.

With-it employers also are building with environmentally unwavering materials like cork flooring and essay for LEED station to keep application costs low and recycle whatever possible. The latter is generally critical to millennials, a age organisation that shortly will browbeat American workplaces.

Paying courtesy to workman health also motivates some newer bureau designs. Gyms, inside bicycle racks, healthy food in a lunch bedrooms and vending machines, on-site practice classes and options for stand-up or treadmill desks are all vast pattern influences.

“They’re observant that sitting is a new smoking,” Roth said.

Meanwhile, solid footsteps, during a 2-mile-an-hour pace, punctuated her remarks as a associate workman put in a integrate of miles on a circuitously computer-equipped treadmill desk, accessible for anyone on staff.

Why worry with such amenities?

Employers, quite with combined services like on-site dry cleaning pickups, a health caring center, practice comforts and food options, advantage from employees who stay in a building longer. Workers competence be some-more prolific if they can take caring of personal business, mostly during subsidized cost. And pleasing vicinity competence urge morale, another capability enhancement.

Perceptive Software

“We wanted a building to be a manifest depiction of a fun, collaborative culture,” pronounced Megan McClendon, mouthpiece for Perceptive Software, as she began a debate of a new 238,000-square-foot building in a executive atrium. “We have stretchable work options for employees to work during home or wherever, yet employees are entrance in to work some-more often. They don’t have to be here, yet they do.”

More than 700 people work in a Clover Architects-designed building, nearby 87th Street during Renner Road. Many work on desks eliminated from Perceptive’s prior offices, and a lot of a organisation amenities are merely relocated, rather than code new. But conceptualizing a blueprint from blemish was purposeful.

A tiny gym, dubbed a dodgeball court, is adjacent to a health and wellness core that houses a full-time helper practitioner and assistant. There’s an indoor bicycle storage area and locker rooms.

Another centerpiece of a initial building is a cafe, site of “free breakfast Fridays” for employees. Square One Studios finished reclaimed walnut tabletops that are used there for both eating and working. Employees compensate for food by scanning their ID badges or regulating a biometric fingerprint screen. Most balance out a occasional screech from fast-sliding co-workers who strike a cafeteria after a discerning outing down a twisted steel slide, a quirky transplant from Perceptive’s prior building.

The initial building also has classrooms for employees or clients and a big-screen auditorium for city gymnasium association meetings. It seats 233, so a crawl throng watches companywide events by videoconferencing in a classrooms or even during their desks.

Because Perceptive Software sells to corporate clients, there’s a self-contained “briefing center” with a possess kitchen, restrooms, run and discussion bedrooms to accommodate customer visitors. Depending on need, there are options: a normal assembly room with a vast table; a home theater-type room with a vast shade and comfy loll chairs, and a videoconferencing room with a V-shaped table. The V figure deftly solves a problem of not being means to see everybody on video when they lay during a normal rectilinear table.

On a top floors, McLendon pronounced tiny amenities are creation a difference. Each building has a executive kitchenette for workers to ready their possess food or get giveaway coffee. Each space, of course, has a wall-mounted radio screen. The Perceptive chronicle can be segmented into live TV and inner communication spaces. And — elucidate a common problem of unnoticed remote control inclination — there aren’t any. The remotes are tiny touchscreens embedded in a walls.

And one some-more amenity: a supersize gaming console. Looking like something out of a Enterprise moody deck, a console gets copiousness of use many afternoons as a stress-relief getaway.


William Slusher is wearing hairy white slippers and a humorous shawl while he explains how form married duty in AMC Entertainment’s new offices.

“Our aged sourroundings in downtown Kansas City was approach some-more serious. The idea was not to be that way,” pronounced a designer who helped pattern a film museum company’s domicile in Leawood’s Park Place development.

Slusher won a right to dress for fun by participating in a association gift event. That kind of workman impasse has grown as an astonishing byproduct of a new sourroundings where, he said, “We went from ‘domes of silence’ to bringing people together. … You call during people we never used to see. It sounds kind of fake, yet it works.”

More than 500 people work in a year-old building, that clearly, emphatically, reminds them during any spin that they work for a association that screens movies. Notice a light fixtures in a entrance lobby: They’re designed to demeanour like film popcorn. Wall decorations are movie-related. Even a carpets and a wallpaper are pixelated designs formed on film from top-grossing movies.

The building’s executive core is dominated by dual hulk video screens, one manifest from a initial and second floors, a other from a third and fourth. Stair-stepping down to any shade are extended charcoal timber staircases, partial stairs for walking and partial tiers for sitting that counterpart track seating in AMC theaters. The vast screens invariably cycle by film and inner communications, showcasing all from staff anniversaries to videoconferencing.

Some of a workman amenities embody a discussion room that morphs into a yoga studio, a nursing room for mothers, an indoor bike-borrowing rack, a putting immature on an outward deck, and mixed shared-space locations where people can select to work.

Especially critical for remoteness are noise-canceling banquettes, where, notwithstanding being in a building’s open executive core, someone can have a private review but being listened outward a seats’ high walls.

Appreciation for particular remoteness extends to a restrooms. Each self-contained case has a penetrate subsequent to a toilet and a full-sized doorway and walls, many like those found in top-drawer hotels.

Something that’s unequivocally cold — or comfortable — for anyone who’s fought battles over bureau thermostats: Each workspace has a possess controllable atmosphere opening in a floor, a cover of that looks like (what else?) a film reel.

Shared spaces used for organisation meetings, association parties and village gatherings embody a full bar, a vast outward patio with a glow pit, and stretchable chair arrangements.

One of a coolest day-to-day things is a courtesy paid to any floor’s kitchenette. The association has “gone green” by regulating steel silverware and potion dishware instead of disposable utensils and plates. AMC solved a age-old problem of co-workers withdrawal unwashed dishes in a penetrate by expelling big, flat-bottomed sinks in preference of narrow, tilted aluminum ditches. The spare spots concede a rinse before depositing dirties in quiet, fast-cycle dishwashers underneath a counter. Note, too, a captivating rims on a rabble receptacles that constraint any weakly tossed silverware.

A stocked food area includes healthy food options, a kiosk to compensate with a appropriate of one’s ID card, and a drawer labeled with a red cranky and filled with puncture medical supplies.

Most critical via a building, pronounced Michele Mattoon, AMC’s manager of bureau services, “We attempted to mangle down a feeling of ‘haves’ and ‘have nots.’”

The building follows a trend of carrying roughly all private offices in a core and common work spaces around a windows. And, if managers got to collect a tone for one of their bureau walls, other workers got to collect their colors for chair cushions atop their mobile pedestal files in personal work spaces. Giving workers a buy-in for their sourroundings creates for happier campers, Mattoon said.

FishNet Security

After FishNet Security motionless in 2011 to pierce into an existent building on Sprint Corp.’s Overland Park campus, it spent a year gutting and redesigning a interior space to accommodate a needs as a heading information record confidence firm.

Emphasis on security.

What looks like a customary clear-glass-walled discussion room will, with a crack of a wall switch, spin a frosted-glass room so that passers-by can’t see what or who is in a room. An combined cold cause for a product, finished by a British company, ProDisplay: a potion doubles as a whiteboard to baloney notes.

“The customer guest we pierce in are executives from some of a unequivocally largest companies in a world,” pronounced Mark Williams, FishNet’s boss and arch handling officer. “We don’t wish to demeanour like a Best Buy with a bank of TV screens stranded all over. We need to wow.”

FishNet’s restoration of a former Sprint building clinging 21,000 block feet out of a 100,000-square-foot space to a worldly “executive lecture core to showcase a capabilities,” Williams said. “We hurl out a red runner with A-1 space finished with a purpose.”

The wow comes simply in an auditorium used to uncover clients what FishNet does. The centerpiece is a 37-foot by 7-foot video hold screen, that a association believes is a largest in a corporate sourroundings anywhere in a world.

With a finger hold from someone station during a screen, a association can, for example, uncover a map with pins representing a real-time depiction of famous antagonistic IT addresses anywhere in a world. But a genuine stunner is that with another hold a hulk video shade can renovate into potion that reveals FishNet’s tangible 24/7 IT confidence monitoring core behind a screen, a super-secret glance into a company’s operational core.

As competence be expected, opening to supportive operations requires biometric relating of certified workers. The many tip space in a building is a “crime lab” used for IT forensics — “to follow a bad breaches,” Williams said.

The vicinity aren’t only ostensible to stir visitors, though. Attention also was paid to creation a improved work knowledge for about 300 employees.

“If you’re a confidence engineer, we’ve invested millions on a resources you’d wish to do your job,” Williams said. “It’s a outrageous recruiting tool. … There are about 100,000 some-more jobs accessible in a courtesy than there are competent applicants. We’re competing for a best people, so a discussion bedrooms are unequivocally nerdy. When we pierce people in for interviews, we need to stir them with lots of interactive screens, to salary a selling campaign. We put on a show, and we frequency remove a recruit. … It’s like giving kids opening to a candy store.”

The FishNet offices embody a professional-grade studio to furnish IT confidence videos in-house. The $600,000 to $700,000 spent on a studio has paid for itself, Williams said, given that a association no longer has to outsource video prolongation and that clients now lease a studio to furnish their possess videos.

“And we have no difficulty recruiting prolongation folk,” he chuckled.

Given a inlet of a work, FishNet has employees on a pursuit 24/7. Midnight munchies can be a problem if Sprint campus food comforts or area restaurants are closed.

“When we asked employees what they wanted in a new building, a biggest thing was subsidized vending,” Williams said. And a machines batch copiousness of customary junk food and soda cocktail — also requested by employees.

FishNet changed to a Overland Park plcae from several sites in Kansas City’s Crossroads area. Williams pronounced some employees weren’t totally sole on a pierce or had a bit of nostalgia about a strange locations. To palliate a transition, a association commissioned ridicule travel signs, unresolved from a roof above aisles in all a apartment work spaces. Someone can approach people to a apartment by saying, “I work during 17th and Walnut,” or whatever mistake cranky travel is closest.

Because of a Sprint campus location, FishNet workers have opening to a campus gym, food services and other amenities, so a association didn’t transcribe those extras in-house. It focused some-more bid on a tangible work spaces for employees and a showcase for clients.

Like other newer offices, pronounced John Van Blaricum, FishNet clamp boss of marketing, “We’ve attempted to make a good sourroundings where people wish to work. We’re a fast-growing, energetic organization, and we wish to have fun, too.”


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Cubicles and campuses

Office cubicles, designed to cut down sound between desks, grew out of a 1960s. But grew isn’t accurately a right description. Cubicle sizes indeed began timorous as early as a 1970s. And they’re removing even smaller as companies cut down on personal space in preference of organisation work space, such as several sized discussion bedrooms and food use areas. Many newly designed cubicles are 6 feet by 6 feet instead of what had been 8 feet by 8 feet.

Cubicle walls, varying from about 31/2 feet high to 51/2 feet tall, customarily are fabric-covered — for sound fullness or to use as circular play of a arrange — or finished of white house that can be used to baloney records or be teamed with magnets for a opposite kind of circular board. Some cubicles are given with a personal locker or cloak closet cabinet. Some have room for a caller chair or bench. Most have some courtesy to ergonomic alternatives, such as tractable list chairs. The poshest options embody adjustable-height worktops, station desks or treadmill desks.

Regardless of distance or configuration, a apartment stays an bureau staple, even in many supposed open environments. “Dilbert” cartoons common a comic side of apartment enlightenment with everyone. One comic apartment legacy: The arise of “prairie dogging” as a tenure describing heads popping adult over apartment walls to see what’s going on.

The judgment of an bureau campus, in that a singular association erects buildings in a formidable identical to a college quadrangle, emerged in a 1940s. Bell Labs, General Electric and General Motors were among a early bureau campus creators, essentially for their investigate and growth departments.

The bureau campus fast changed to suburbia, where genuine estate developers combined parklike enclaves for mixed tenants, permitting many smaller companies to suffer a same environmental ambience. But a complicated bureau campus stays characterized by singular companies (Google and Facebook being primary examples) that offer mixed personal-service amenities for their employees. The extras embody on-site food service, practice facilities, medical offices, dry cleaning services and child caring — all designed to make it easier for workers to come to work and stay during work.

Diane Stafford,

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