In mid-2013, the Bridgespan Group embarked on a journey which would take them out of their existing two-floor office and cubicle setup to a single level, open-concept space on the top floor of a nearby building. A group of staff members, along with teams from Architects of Group Genius and CBT Architects, brainstormed about what to do with the new space. The goal was to enhance teamwork and provide a wide variety of daily workspace options.
Instead of the walls and meeting rooms they had been used to, the new space would include a centralized group work area, sitting and standing workstations, several small group seating area and a handful of small, private rooms for phone calls and meetings.
This major shift in where and how the company would operate took careful planning. With so much open space it would have been easy for the noise level to become uncomfortable, and for employees to feel ‘exposed’ with little conversation privacy. One idea the group came up with was the installation of sound masking. Cresa Partners, the property management firm, was experienced with sound masking having installed a system within their offices the year before. Cresa sought out Connectivity Point, an authorized dealer/installer for Cambridge Sound Management (CSM) sound masking systems. After a competitive bidding process, Connectivity Point was chosen to install a sound masking system throughout the 28,000 sq. ft. space. This system would provide huge benefits by reducing distractions from conversations taking place throughout the office, thereby aiding in employee productivity, while at the same time honoring the open-concept vision of the owners.
The results of the April 2014 move have exceeded expectations; the way the group works and the spirit of collaboration in their space has changed dramatically. “We want our new space to remain dynamic, and keep improving. Our new office space is not so much built to last as built to change. And that spirit seems to be rubbing off on all of us who work in it,” said Paul Rosenberg, head of TBG’s Boston office.
The Bridgespan Group is a nonprofit advisor and resource to social sector leaders, organizations and philanthropists. In addition to their Boston location, they also have offices and New York and San Francisco.
Want to know more?
Take a look at Cambridge Sound Management’s case study on the project here.