After landing on the final design plan for our Base Camp redesign project, we shifted focus to adapting and updating the space with three interdependent pillars in mind: Design, Technology and Employee Behavior.
When we first designed Base Camp, we placed these three pillars of the space plus our mission of sustainability at the core of our decisions to ensure we provided the right work environment for our employees and customers, fostering flexibility, collaboration and movement. By doing this, we intentionally designed a resilient space to evolve with design trends and the world around us.
Our final redesign plan allowed Base Camp to preserve its look and feel, including its focus on human-centered and wellness design, while updating the space between workspaces and incorporating natural social distancing cues for a pandemic-conscious workforce. We also integrated new work choice options for our people, which is critical as we now know why employees come to Base Camp will be different post-pandemic.
Design: Modifying Our Spaces for the Short and Long-Term
We modified the flooring utilized throughout Base Camp, highlighting popular flooring products and new launches, including the first-ever carbon negative carpet tile product. In doing so, we intentionally used the flooring as a measurement tool to indicate distance throughout the building. Our modular flooring products allow us to subtly and artfully create cues for social distancing, traffic patterns and different zones within the space.
At the same time, we began rearranging and replacing current furniture in Base Camp to create more open-air collaborative spaces from previously underutilized areas identified before COVID-19.
The first floor of Base Camp has the most noticeable changes, including a complete flooring change out.
We added another lounge space near our entryway to provide an additional safe area for our people to retreat to for a cup of coffee before relocating to their workstation or starting meetings for the day.
Recognizing that our employees working at our first-floor workstations will be exposed to the most foot traffic, we added aisleway shielding, reduced workstation density and rotated workstations to create small group pods ideal for collaboration, idea sharing and problem-solving.
Our second and third floor redesign focused on rearranging current lounge and living-room furniture to optimize previously underutilized spaces. We used existing products and furniture to create a more socially distanced workspace for our employees to support work choice and collaboration.
Technology: Introducing and Improving Tech to Support the Return of Employees
Our technology updates include efforts to implement an electronic desk reservation system, support social distancing, and provide cleaning and psychological and ergonomic comfort for our employees.
The desk reservation system ensures a minimum distance between employees returning to the building and gives employees the comfort of knowing where they will be sitting when they opt to come to Base Camp.
The system also supports all employees’ transition to work choice, encouraging teams to establish loosely-defined neighborhoods per department while promoting limited movement through the building in the short-term.
Our global headquarters is lucky enough to have a beautiful rooftop already. Prior to the pandemic, we primarily used the rooftop for employee and customer events. COVID-19 inspired us to expand the use of this outdoor space to support employee productivity, resulting in another priority in updating technology: improve the Wi-Fi on the fourth-floor patio for reliability and strength, providing yet another usable space for our people to work and interact.
An additional technology update includes a daily COVID-19 pre-screening survey for all employees. We view this daily questionnaire as a precautionary and temporary measure. Still, we recognize that the best way to avoid virus transmission within your facility is to keep the virus out, to begin with.
Our daily assessment asks employees to honestly consider their recent exposure and how they feel before they report to the building. If they think they have been exposed to COVID-19 or feel unwell, we ask them to stay home for the day and discuss their needs with their human resources representative.
Behavior: The Key to a Healthy and Safe Workplace
For the Design and Technology changes to contribute to a safer, healthier workplace, we have amended office protocol to promote responsible behaviors and routines.
As we slowly begin a safe return to the office, we are committed to establishing new etiquette to support face-to-face interaction – something we’ve all missed during this remote work period.
These behavioral adjustments will create a safe, positive space for employees while also maintaining our company culture of collaboration. The changes include:
- Adopting a flexible telecommuting policy that encourages our employees to choose where they work, whether at home or in the office, based on their work needs on a given day.
- Completing the daily health assessment before coming to Base Camp.
- Choosing which floor they will work on based on department neighborhoods.
- Reserving a socially-distance workstation at Base Camp via the desk reservation system.
- Taking time to wash hands and wipe down their desk, shared surfaces, etc., as they feel comfortable.
- Adhering to all current COVID protocols, including social distancing and wearing masks.
While relatively minor adjustments will take place across Base Camp operations, when they come together, they provide a COVID-19 safe workplace that will help people feel secure – both physically and psychologically – when returning. We ensured our people felt comfortable making this return through dedicated communications and continual awareness of changes made. With this, we hoped to prepare our employees for the eventual return to Base Camp by keeping them involved in the redesign process, our thinking behind the design plan, and what to expect when they returned.