September 13, 2023 – When Michigan Farm Bureau, a Lansing, Michigan based insurance company and family of companies, set out to renovate their office, they wanted to move away from traditional design. The three story, 181,000 sq. ft. building needed to be tailored to the current needs of 800 employees. So, leadership asked what they wanted. Armed with sticky notes and surveys, employees tested a pilot space to craft a new home.
“Leadership wanted the renovation to be about the employees – which is why we engaged with companies that would help us get feedback,” said Domik Feldpausch, Facilities Manager at Farm Bureau. “It was never about just making our building pretty. It was always about “what do our employees want?’”
In the earliest planning stages, Farm Bureau surveyed employees to find out what they needed from workspaces and the office in general. The biggest takeaways were acoustics, access to daylight, providing for various workstyles and rightsizing work areas.
A pilot space was created to test different workstations, seating arrangements and conference rooms with departments using it for one week. Feedback was providing via surveys and adding sticky notes to elements they liked or didn’t like. Designers were on site to give tours showing the intent of the space and how to use the products.
The resulting space prioritizes aspects important to employees, provides a variety of workspaces and supports Farm Bureau’s family culture. It has become a hub of collaboration and community focusing on the quality of the office experience.
Acoustic sound masking and thirty focus booths offer private, quiet spaces to support individual work. A neighborhood layout and glass walls allow people to easily see leaders, teammates and colleagues from different teams – encouraging interaction and idea sharing. Small-group spaces throughout the lower-level flex to accommodate celebrations and special events. The Town Hall welcomes 220 people and includes a large video screen and sound system for presentations and all company events. When the movable walls are reconfigured, up to 5 training rooms can be created with a nearby lounge and fireplace.
Advanced ergonomic seating and height-adjustable tables provide physical comfort and support. People can work in the posture that feels best for them at any time, eliminating distractions from discomfort. Daylight is diffused throughout the building through design elements like expanded exterior windows, high ceilings and glass architectural interiors.
The Farm Bureau renovation was led by Studio AXIS and DBI, Haworth’s dealer partner.
Haworth helps create inspirational spaces. As a leading global furniture maker, the company is steeped in workplace expertise that fuels innovative designs for optimal performance. Haworth is a values-driven, family-owned company with an entrepreneurial spirit and a design-forward approach. As a multicultural organization, the company embraces the strength that comes from diversity of thought. At Haworth, we believe great spaces empower people to thrive.
Founded in 1948, Haworth operates in more than 150 countries through a global network of 400 dealers and 8,000 employees. Headquartered in Holland, Michigan, U.S.A, the company has sales of $2.5 billion USD.