A dramatically different office space has staff members working longer hours by choice.
The coolest thing about Crawford Hoying's new office in its Bridge Park development is probably the gym that employees can use for one hour, on the clock, every day. It's Principal Brent Crawford's favorite part of the space, along with the well-used common areas that represent a change for employees. Their previous space, he says, was full of individual offices with closed doors.
“Unless you walked into their office, you could go days or even weeks without seeing someone who worked [a few] feet from you,” he says. “It's much more collaborative [now].”
He says employees are even apt to work longer hours since they love the space they're in—and there is a lot to love. The design, spearheaded by M+A Architects, isn't overdone, but has small and interesting touches that provide added dimension. Circles are used to decorate more than one part of the office, with thin, circular lights above a waiting area, and a sculpture of twisted circles hanging from the ceiling of another room with a large table and comfortable seating by a window overlooking the Bridge Park bridge, which is under construction. Crawford says M+A sat down with the team and discussed who they were and how that could translate into the design. One of the outcomes of this is a wall of hooks with a key dangling from each one—signifying all of the properties Crawford Hoying owns or manages. The rest of the office design is decidedly modern. “We described to them—we are certainly a youthful company, not even just in terms of age but in feeling and how we do things,” says Crawford.
Upon entering the office, the first thing seen is probably the large television monitor in the waiting area. It shows Crawford Hoying projects on rotation. Crawford says it's meant to be eye-catching for people as they walk in. “We're not always the best advertisers of what we do, so part of having this here is without having to say the words ourselves, it sort of helps describe all the things we're working on in the marketplace,” he says.
The “community space” area is bright and open, leading to a balcony and alternative work space, or to a row of quiet and personal booths for focused work in the collaborative office. It also has a kitchen and a long bar with stools in the middle. Off to one side is a shuffleboard table. “We want people [to be] active,” he says. “It keeps their brains sharp and fresh.”
Crawford says other organizations and people are invited to use the space—recently, a group of teachers used it, and others have used it for board meetings.
Although the move was recent, the 19,000 square feet of office space is being quickly outgrown. Crawford Hoying has had to take over more space on the first floor and will do what it can to offer new employees the same great space as current ones.
“What we're going through right now is how do we handle growth without disturbing what we've created here,” Crawford says. “Because everybody loves to be here, so anybody that we move down here, we have to create an equally awesome space, which we're working on now.”