For financial services firms like MassMutual, appealing to younger generations of workers requires striking a balance between honoring the firm’s long history and offering a vibrant, modern, tech-savvy work environment. The MassMutual Commonwealth office upfit was driven by the need to transform their space from “stuffy” and “stodgy” to sleek and contemporary, supporting efforts to recruit the best and brightest financial graduates.
Clark Nexsen’s workplace interiors practice partnered with MassMutual to reimagine their office and achieve goals to break down silos, promote collaboration, and enhance employees’ sense of pride with an inspiring workplace. Today, their 11th floor, 22,000 square foot space features open office environments, collaboration nooks, “phone booths” for private calls, a variety of quiet spaces and flex offices, and a large training room and kitchen that are central to socialization in the office.
Described by Clark Nexsen’s interiors director Susan Drew as “fun and contemporary,” the office has a decidedly playful side more reminiscent of Google than your traditional financial services firm. The inclusion of spaces for games including foosball or cornhole offer employees an opportunity for a break and a chance to build relationships with each other. The materials and finishes selected throughout the office further promote this sense of fun. A palette of orange, green, and blue is a lively accent, while corrugated metal and vinyl flooring that mimics the look of concrete add an industrial feel.
In the design process, attention was paid to not only creating an environment that appeals to younger workers, but also satisfying the working preferences of multiple generations. A balance of open, private, and quiet office spaces give employees choice in how they work. The use of interior glazing on perimeter offices allows daylight to filter to through to the open office areas, which are structured by team and function. To reinforce the office’s sense of place, each area is named for a Virginia Beach neighborhood. For example, the “Town Center” lobby welcomes clients with a clean, warm design. A reclaimed wood wall backs the reception desk, and glass-front conference rooms border the lobby, each showcasing cutting-edge technology.
Hampton Roads Association for Commercial Real Estate (HRACRE) Award of Merit – Best Interior, 2018