Firms Come Together to Expand an Office for a Company that Offers Functionality

A company whose prime duty is to connect independent contractors with businesses gets an office expansion that is flexible and functional for its employees.

Field Nation is a company connecting independent contractors to large businesses such as Starbucks, Walmart, McDonald’s, Target, and FedEx with services via its mobile app. The company was looking to expand into an office space of its own after previously subletting, and called on several firms including Studio BV and Gardner LLC  to collaborate on and create its new downtown Minneapolis office.

The new office space is modern, yet emphasizes functionality. Consistent throughout the space is the appearance of the orange conduit that exemplifies the network of connections Field Nation has across the country. The new space also offers workplace flexibility for team members, including options for working in communal lounges, at a café-style countertop, or in quiet offices. Employees can also unwind in activity areas that provide games of bags and ping-pong.

The office is located within Minneapolis’s Baker Center.

When was the project completed?
2018

How much space (SF)?
34,464

Was this new or renovated space?
Renovated

SF per person?
Approximately 275.71, currently about 125 people

How many employees?
Approx 125

Describe workspace types.
Mostly open plan with 9 private offices

What kind of meeting spaces are provided?
Conference rooms, informal meeting areas, training rooms, lounge/meeting spaces, think tanks etc.

What other kinds of support space or amenity spaces are provided?
Ping-pong area, break out lounges, think tanks, enclaves/phone rooms, etc.

What are the projects location and proximity to public transportation and/or other amenities?
The office is near light rail, bus stops and outside the office (within the building), employees can access buildings rooftop, gym, sauna, and bike lockers. The building has direct access to the skyway system making it easy to walk into downtown Minneapolis in the Winter months.

Was the “C” Suite involved in the project planning and design process? If so, how?
The COO led the real estate search and planning phases and the CFO and CEO were involved in the design.

What kind of programming or visioning activities were used?
Studio BV conducted observations, interviews, visioning, etc.

Were any pre-planning surveys conducted to get employee input?
Their internal HR conducted these

Were any change management initiatives employed?
Studio BV did tours, covered renderings, and provided email updates

Please describe any program requirements that were unique or required any special research or design requirements.
Studio BV spent a lot of time trying to determine how to untether them from power in the workspace. The individual tables needed to be able to shift and move without assistance from Facilities. We also did a lot of design studies on the conduit network. That conduit represented their business brand/concept. It’s the centerpiece of the space.

Was there any emphasis or requirements on programming for health and wellbeing initiatives for employees?
Yes, a big focus on quiet space, and space to gather and play. That was important. The building selection was part of this process. The building they moved into has bike storage, transit, showers, fitness center, food, rooftop, etc.

Were there any special or unusual construction materials or techniques employed in the project?
Yes, Studio BV designed a custom conduit installation that weaves throughout the space to represent their business network and their brand.

For specific examples, please describe the product, how it was used, and if it solved any specific problem.
In terms of furniture, a variety of settings were provided to reflect the choice and flexibility that the client and designer had requested.

A variety of settings introduced soft seating for moments of retreat or alternative work areas. Communal spaces were outfitted with a variety of ancillary pieces that lend to collaboration, socializing, individual work and meetings.

Field Nation’s conferencing technology included digital wired connections and wireless sharing through Apple TV. The Field Nation team kept their conferencing areas simple, consistent and effective. Field Nation added digital signage in their Media Lounge and used NEC’s new ultra-thin bezel displays. Room scheduling panels are placed at every conferencing area. This included iPad’s running scheduling software.

What products or service solutions are making the biggest impact in your space?
As a technology provider, the room schedulers with sleek IPORT mounting hardware. have made a big difference in efficiency. Not only do they act as attractive signage, but it makes finding a room for impromptu meetings or quiet areas more simple. The room schedulers we utilized are newer technology from Redpark

What kind of branding elements were incorporated into the design?
The conduit design is the brand, and elements of orange were incorporated as part of the brand color

What is the most unique feature of the new space?
Vibrant orange Conduit throughout, the variety of settings that make it a truly flexible work environment.

Are there any furnishings or spaces specifically included to promote wellness/wellbeing?
Height-adjustable desks for all employees, exterior lighting for all employees

What kinds of technology products were used?
Display technology with Samsung and NEC. Room schedulers with iPads. Wireless sharing with Apple TV.

If the company relocated to a new space, what was the most difficult aspect of the change for the employees?
The most difficult aspect of the change was creating unique work environments for the different departments, yet creating a uniform kit of parts

How did the company communicate about the changes and moves?
Meetings, tours and renderings.

Were there post-occupancy surveys?
Not on our end but from an HR perspective from Field Nation- yes.

If so, what were the most surprising or illuminating or hoped-for results?
They have hired a lot of people that say the office space was the thing that made them select Field Nation as their employer. The software talent pool is competitive in Mpls.

Tell us more!
Interior Architect/Designers: Studio BV
Building Architect: Gardner LLC

Photography courtesy of Studio BV

Answers provided by Jared Townsend, Studio55

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