Baird

  • Market Office
  • Industry Corporate, Finance, Technology
  • Square Footage 6,451
  • Location Milwaukee, WI
  • Product Solutions Furniture
  • Services Installation + Labor, Interior Design, Procurement, Project Management
  • Case Study Download Now

As an independent financial services firm owned by its associates, Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc. has a huge stake in making sure they do the right thing – especially when it comes to workplace strategy/design and how it impacts their culture and business.

When COVID-19 turned the world of corporate real estate on its head two years ago, the Milwaukee-based company was proactive in addressing the complex puzzle.

“We were approached by Baird’s Chief Information Officer who said, ‘Listen, I have a problem,’” said Marty Young, Construction Project Manager at Baird, “‘We’re in the middle of a pandemic, so it’s not a problem now, but as the pandemic subsides and people come back into the office, I’ll have way too many bodies and not enough seats.”

Baird’s Corporate Real Estate team was tasked with imagining and implementing a new way to work. The IT department, located on the 24th floor, would serve as a prototype project to test agile desking and guide future design projects. Young, an employee of Baird for the last 28 years, partnered with Allsteel and Henricksen to bring his team’s vision to life.

The result was a breathtaking space that interacts and adapts with Baird’s associates as they work. Not only did Baird accomplish agile desking, but the team also designed numerous casual, tech-enabled meeting spaces. If an associate needs to take a quick video conference call, they no longer need to occupy a large conference room.

 

“Our IT department really embraced the technology – no surprise there.  In our conference rooms, we use Speaker Track Technology and can therefore conduct equitable meetings. Allsteel and Henricksen did a nice job ensuring we were being sensitive to every human-centric element, including the acoustical properties and orientation of settings.”

– Marty Young, Construction Project Manager at Baird

 

Young’s favorite part of the re-design is the casual areas alongside the exterior windows which allow the team to work with gorgeous, expansive views of Lake Michigan.

 

“For the longest time, there was this archaic thought of private offices needing to be along the window lines so that only those who had titles or salaries commiserate with having a private office could enjoy them. Now, these casual spaces, filled with natural light, support all associates and a broad range of postures amplifying the experience for everyone.”

– Marty Young, Construction Project Manager at Baird

 

Currently, Baird associates are on a 2- to 3-day in-office rotation, depending on individual job duties. Agile desking (or sharing desks, also referred to as ‘hoteling’) led Baird associates to naturally gravitate towards assigning lockers. Originally intended for day use only, the lockers give associates a place to store their belongings and avoid hauling items back and forth.

With the team returning to the office on alternative days now, Baird – alongside Allsteel and Henricksen – can safely navigate whatever changes lie ahead.

“Baird is a fantastic place to work, and I think the re-design mirrors that – it shows we can break out of the mold and create a better way to work. We’ve always placed a lot of emphasis on culture here and that truly trickles down to how we work, live, and interact.”

Henricksen has worked with Baird on over 100 locations throughout the country since 2006. Henricksen has been responsible for all product specifications, ordering, installation, and project management for Baird.

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