- Market Office
- Industry Food Manufacturing, Headquarters
- Square Footage 50,748
- Location Sheboygan Falls, WI
- Product Solutions Architectural Solutions, Furniture
- Services Installation + Labor, Interior Design, Procurement, Product Specification, Project Management
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Driving through rural Wisconsin, one may be taken by the idyllic scenery of farm life in America and perhaps catch a glimpse of an office oasis off in the distance, but for the nearly 2,000 employees that Johnsonville Sausage employs, this is their office commute. Located between Milwaukee and Green Bay, the Johnsonville headquarters has stood in its namesake community since 1945. While the company itself has grown from the small butcher shop where it began, the recent building addition was designed to increase square footage and include additional amenities to help the company attract and retain employees, and create a more collaborative work environment.
“One of the challenges [for Johnsonville] is to attract and retain new talent that would want to move to this area of the country. A lot of their decisions revolved around that goal. It’s quite remarkable what they were able to accomplish.”
– Christine Omon, Account Executive at Henricksen
Additionally, Johnsonville Sausage needed to fulfill the needs of current employees as well. Despite ample meeting spaces, these spots were always booked making it more difficult for teams to collaborate, particularly in spur-of-the-moment brainstorming sessions. To accommodate the company’s growing needs, Abacus Architects was brought in to design an additional building that would be attached to the original headquarters. This new building accommodates about 100 new workstations and includes additional closed-door conference rooms, a cafe/gallery, a fitness center, and a nurses station where employees have access to healthcare professionals.
“They have a partnership with one of the local healthcare providers,” continued Omon. Understanding the needs of their employees in the rural headquarters, this nurse station provides basic checkups and healthcare needs. To encourage collaboration throughout the workday, the workstations in the new headquarter wing were outfitted with height-adjustable desks, collaboration spaces between every few workstations, and lower privacy panels.
Omon explained, “Every two workstations or so has a height-adjustable table and an ottoman or two to help support impromptu meetings. Additionally, their old workstations had 65-inch-high panels. That’s no longer the case. They lowered the panels down so you can see the people that you’re working with.”
The biggest change came with the addition of the cafe/gallery space. Boasting an impressive collection of one-of-a-kind artworks, what was originally planned as a small lunchtime breakroom expanded to become an all-day workspace and cafe with a large blow glass sculpture installed in the center. “It was funny because they initially envisioned [the statue to be installed] right off a small cafe, but [the space] became their new main entrance.” While employees would eat at their desks before the expansion, the gallery quickly became a space for meeting with colleagues during breaks or for solo and group work. “They envisioned that people would maybe come [to the cafe] for lunch, but they didn’t think that people would work. Since opening, that’s not the case.”
While the sculpture may be the focal point, a variety of seating options were installed around the cafe to provide a wide range of workspaces; both high-top and standard-height tables were used paired with both polycarbonate and upholstered seating. A lounge area provides a more casual and comfortable space for relaxation and meetings.
Narrative courtesy of Allsteel | Gunlocke.