Earlier this year, Consumers Energy opened its new John G. Russell Leadership Center for professional development and leadership training. The Center, which features an open office plan with social hubs to maximize co-working and employee interaction, represents the continued trend toward workplaces designed to promote collaboration.
Though the open office concept is not new, Shane Napper, Rockford’s President of Construction says, “the industry has begun to refine these spaces with a better understanding of how they influence productivity, engagement, attraction, and retention.” For Consumers Energy’s Leadership Center, productivity is the byproduct of engagement.
The new building engages team members in collaborative learning experiences by providing a wide variety of classroom and conference room spaces. Each floor offers flexible furniture that can transform into an impromptu gathering space or heads down work area in between training sessions. In addition, the Center’s all glass facade streams natural light into the building for increased employee productivity and LEED Silver certification.
Is there a correlation between increased daylight and increased productivity? In a study, researchers at the Interdepartmental Neuroscience program at Northwestern University have linked light exposure in the workplace to improved activity and vitality.
The strong relationship between workplace daylight exposure and quality of life could be the reason so many organizations are adopting the feature, including Kawasaki Motors Corporation. Daylight permeates the workspace Rockford delivered for Kawasaki this year, and thoughtful interior details promote the Kawasaki brand. The onsite fitness center encourages wellness and a major renovation to the confidential research and development areas contributes to the attraction and retention of a highly-skilled R&D workforce.