One Fort Worth company recently redesigned its work space to better support the hybrid working environment as workers return to the office following time spent working from home during the pandemic.
Allied Electronics & Automation, an industrial automation and control products company and a trading brand of RS Group plc, headquartered in Fort Worth, has redesigned and reconfigured its working spaces to give employees access to new hybrid office space and flexible work models across its more than 40 locations.
“Flexible hybrid working has become the norm for many organizations across the globe with work life balance being at the center of employee priorities,” said Ken Bradley, president of Allied Electronics & Automation, in a statement.
The new work environment is key to attracting and retaining the best talent at the company, Bradley said.
“This change is just one part of a suite of programs we’re introducing to become a digital employer of choice in a highly competitive labor market,” he said.
Allied carried out a series of focus group studies with company leaders and employees before embarking on the changes. As the company began to make the changes, it updated employees on the construction with photos and videos.
Renovations of the company’s facilities at 7151 Jack Newell Blvd. in Fort Worth were completed in April. Architecture firm DLR Group, which has offices in Dallas, led the work. The space was rebuilt to provide a more open design with space for customers and suppliers to take advantage of the new layout.
The common working area on every floor features plenty of natural light, LED light fixtures and solar-tinted windows. There is a relaxation room, as well as a private mothers’ room for employees who are returning to work after maternity leave. Work stations feature a movable sit/stand desk, and there are also informal breakout zones where employees can choose to work on sofas or armchairs. Employees can book a desk via a cloud-based reservation system, according to their preferences at any time, and all conference and collaboration rooms are outfitted with conference equipment to accommodate both in-person and virtual hybrid meetings.
Along with changes to the office architecture, the company also held workshops for managers on how to better lead hybrid teams.
In July, Allied was named one of the Top 50 Most-Inspiring Workplaces in America by Inspiring Workplaces, an online publication.
“Companies are moving forward on their real estate plans as their employees gradually return to the office this year, but we need to keep in mind that these types of changes take time to unfold,” said Manish Kashyap, CBRE Global president of Advisory & Transaction Services, commenting on an April study by the commercial real estate firm on office trends.
The survey showed that companies planning to maintain the same office portfolios for the next three years fell to just 9 percent in the new survey, down from 27 percent in CBRE’s 2021 survey. That means companies are not standing pat and plan to make changes to deal with a new work environment, said Kashyap.
According to the CBRE survey, companies and employees are looking for flexible open space, shared meeting spaces, improved air quality and private spaces for calls and web meetings.
“We know hybrid work is a sentiment that has grown throughout the pandemic, with the vast majority of respondents indicating that hybrid work strategies are going to be the way forward,” said Julie Whelan, CBRE global head of occupier research.
Even companies that support flexible workspaces want to see their employees come into the office, CBRE’s Whelan said.
“Many companies are focused on what we call presence awareness, which means ensuring that the right people are in the office at the right time,” she said.
Bob Francis is business editor for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.