Our design for Safety National’s new headquarters is planned for four phases that will result in a campus-like environment incorporating over 460,000 SF of Class “A” office space.
We worked with Safety National to determine how their office functions during COVID-19 and how those changes remain the same post-COVID. In late 2008, we completed Phase I of Safety National’s new headquarters, and in 2018 we began Phase II that added a new building attached to the original through a connection lobby.
We started meeting with Safety National in March 2020 to discuss how to balance employee safety and comfort in the short term without sacrificing culture and employee relationships in the long term.
Based on our conversations, these are some of the solutions we incorporated:
- Balancing Connection and Separation:
Safety National wanted their employees to feel safe in their workspace even during the height of COVID. We added glass partitions at the reception desks and to the cubicle walls for additional separation. The glass allows employees to see each other and interact while providing another layer of protection. As the pandemic winds down, they can remove the glass or keep it as a permanent fixture.
- Decreased Contact:
With COVID, we saw an accelerated timeline for the integration of modern devices that minimize contact with surfaces. Safety National incorporated touchless water bottle fillers, motion-detecting lights, and doors that open with a wave of a hand. Although some of these products were already being incorporated into new construction, we have seen an increase in retrofitting existing buildings to include these features.
A tag system was created for each office and conference room to ensure the proper spaces were being cleaned. The tag is red on one side and green on the other. Once an employee uses the room, they switch the tag to red so other employees do not use the space until it has been cleaned and switched back to green.
- Technology Integration:
More technology and web cameras were integrated throughout the offices, conference rooms, and teaming areas to support the large volume of employees that are working from home or remote offices. This allows collaboration to continue within the teams without everyone being physically in the same office.