Construction contractors spend most of their time out in the field, especially if they are a small business. However, most contractors still have an office, and many still have an office staff and/or managers who spend a fair amount of time working in the office.
What does your office look like? Probably a few rooms, maybe separate offices for every worker who needs office space? Haynes Group, Inc. — a growing Massachusetts construction company — has rethought it's office space and might even have revolutionized the construction business office.
Haynes has created a new office space allowing for a more collaborative work environment. The 25,000-square-foot office space in West Bridgewater, MA, features an open floor plan with natural light, state-of-the-art technology, collaborative spaces leading into more quiet workspaces, a designated training room and even a mini fitness center to foster employee wellness.
"One thing I don't think a lot of construction companies use is this kind of open collaborative model. That's something we're striving for. We try to be unique in terms of providing customer service and allowing people to help out whenever there is an issue. It's all geared towards having more customer service friendly environment," says Paul Oliveira, Haynes Group Project Manager.
Haynes currently only occupies 10,000 square feet of the total space and shares the building with another tenant. However, the company is making the most of its space to offer something unique it hopes will help its employees and its business grow.
Perhaps the biggest difference in Haynes office compared to most traditional construction offices is that the Haynes office focuses on how people work within their spaces rather than at designated individual work stations. So the company created the option for flexible work areas allowing those who work better in a quiet office space to have a place and those who prefer or need the option of sharing their ideas with co-workers can do so as well.
“Our construction team and collaborative efforts with our employees made this design the perfect space to reflect the company’s style,” says Bryan Haynes
And for a little added extra, instead of a reception desk, guests are greeted by a small bar area. There is a larger 10-person bar with a custom tap on the building's second floor. There is also a "play room" when workers need a break. The play room includes a lounge, ping pong table and shuffleboard.
So far, the new space has been well-received by employees and Haynes Group is looking forward to hosting industry events in the new space. “Haynes needed a new space to attract and retain talent and to accommodate future growth. We are an independent, family-owned organization committed to growth and the necessary investments in technology and team members to continue our success,” says Co-Founder & CEO Mike Haynes.
Is this the construction or tech industry?
This type of office space may seem more suitable to a tech company than a construction company, but think about the benefits. Construction usually isn't a one person job. Many people share many ideas to come up with the right solution. Wouldn't an open, collaborative space work well for that?
And, the construction industry does need to find new ways to attract the younger generation of workers. As much as it may seem a play room or fitness room may be excessive, having these kinds of perks and a comfortable work environment is attractive to a different generation of workers. What better way to show your employees you appreciate them then by offering options to make their workday better and more enjoyable: a place to freely collaborate with co-workers, a quiet space to go if you work better alone, a place to rest your mind after a hard day's work.
Let's face it, employees who like going into their office are probably happier, work harder and may even be more productive than employees who dread the office environment.
So what do you think about creating more collaborative workspaces in your construction office? How do you think this type of office could benefit or detract from your construction business?
Have you already created a construction business office that is "out of the norm"? What makes your office different, and how has it improved your business or your employee's workday?
Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below.