PDR’s Forward-Thinking Design Meets Needs of HP’s Changing Workforce

Having recently split with its sister company, HP Inc. partnered with PDR to design a new space that would reflect its future workplace, culture and history, and that of the Houston region.

In 2015, HP split into HP Inc. and HPE. HP Inc. relocated employees from their existing shared Houston campus to a new 378,000 square foot campus in the Springwoods Village development. The two-building campus promotes community, collaboration, innovation, and wellness with sustainability built-in.

A project two years in the making, HP Inc.’s campus supports 52 business units and is equipped with open and closed workspaces, airy creative lab areas, an on-site gym accompanied with a juice bar, an enticing product showroom, and a health-conscious cafeteria serving local ingredients.

HP Inc. tapped consulting, architecture and design firm, PDR, to lead the campus development project because of the firm’s focus on incorporating workplace strategy, change management expertise, well-being features into the environmental building design, and processes of gathering employee input to inform design.

When was the project completed?

December 2018

How many employees work here?

2,600

Describe the work space type.

The HP Inc. campus is designed to let innovation and creativity flourish. Employees can spend time at open individual workstations, private focus rooms, a quiet room with multiple desks meant for focused work, or in collaboration pods.

PDR’s workplace strategy and experience team worked with a core sample group of HP Inc.’s employees and c-suite executives to understand how they work and what spaces could enhance the workplace experience and improve productivity.

What PDR found was that one size doesn’t fit all. The more complex an employee’s work, the better it is to have multiple settings. A recent minute-hack report found 66 percent of employees who work in a variety of stations said they work more effectively.

What kind of meeting spaces are provided?

Open and Closed meeting spaces: These areas have flexible architecture and modular furniture allowing them to be used in multiple ways, including adjustable spaces that can be assembly rooms, or training rooms for small or large groups.

What other kinds of support or amenity spaces are provided?

The campus is suited with a luxurious fitness center, an enticing product showroom, and a well-appointed dining room adjacent to the servery, café + coffee bars. There is a gravel walking path around the campus.

Has the project achieved any special certifications?

The campus received a LEED v.4 Gold certification, has incorporated WELL Building principles and has assigned technical Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) personnel.

The campus’ internal systems were designed for employees’ comfort and well-being. There are customizable heating, AC and lighting systems, and carbon dioxide monitors to trigger releases of fresh air.

Because access to daylight supports employee well-being, physical barriers were removed to increase connections and allow natural light to all workers.

The technical labs were previously in enclosed, windowless spaces but are now located in the center of the floor surrounded by artful graphic treatments on the glass. Movable whiteboards slide on the walls to allow for more privacy.

Light fixtures were selected to have a positive impact on employees’ circadian rhythms, keeping employees alert at work and helping them rest easier at night.

These systems are powered by 100 percent green energy and have already achieved a nearly 40 percent reduction in water use from the baseline standard. This represents a key step toward achieving HP’s organization-wide sustainability goals, including using 100 percent renewable electricity, reducing freshwater consumption globally by 15 percent, and reducing the company’s global carbon emissions by 25 percent.

Sustainability features include plumbing fixtures providing lower flow of water, motorized timed smart shades on windows automatically adjust using daylight sensors, and electric vehicle chargers in the garage. Almost all the lighting is LED, contributing to improved energy performance.

What is the projects location and proximity to public transportation and/or other amenities?

Main public transportation is by bus. The campus is located in between major highways and is 15 minutes from the airport. The campus is in a mixed-use urban development that offers retail, dining, hotels, walking paths and adjacent to a nature preserve.

Was the C-suite involved in the project planning and design process? If so, how?

Yes, HP Inc. Leadership helped set the groundwork for the project with the creation of the workplace guiding principles. In several work sessions we discussed HP’s goals and growth plans as a company and used these as a jumping off point to develop three main principles – solutions for reinventing, innovation, and employee growth- that they believed this new campus should encompass.

Solutions for Reinventing

Variety of spaces were created to support different modes of work and preferences. The design provides a range of work postures from single work to large collaborative sessions.

Solutions for Innovation

The office provides a variety of collaborative spaces to share and incubate ideas. “Collaboration pods” were introduced to give employees the opportunity to work in different ways with different group sizes. There are set aside places for single work, small group work, large group work and open collaboration between multiple groups. All these areas have flexible architecture and modular furniture allowing each space to be used in multiple ways.

Solutions for Employee Growth

Access to daylight supports employee well-being, therefore unlike HP’s previous office, the physical barriers were removed to increase connections and allow natural light to all workers. The technical labs were previously in enclosed windowless spaces but are now located in the center of the floor surrounded by artful graphic treatments on glass. To allow for more privacy, movable whiteboards slide on the walls.

What kind of programming or visioning activities were used to create the space?

From the design side we went through programming sessions with each business unit. We asked them about what they do today and how they wanted to work in the future, we recorded current and projected growth headcounts, got all their special needs and then also talked about special items with them or things that we could do to help them do their job better.

We did many visioning sessions and activities with Change Champions (mid-level management) from every business unit where we had them do several word and goal exercises to see what behaviors they wanted to see in their new space, what they wanted their space to feel like emotionally, what they wanted their space to feel like aesthetically.

Most importantly we had them do an activity with the guiding principles that the C Suite has set for the project – they chose words and pictures that they associated with how that guiding principle might look to them. For example, what does “Keep Reinventing” really look like in a space? How would that space feel? Would it be modern or bright, warm? Etc.

Were any pre-planning surveys conducted to get employee input?

Yes! Programming surveys were sent to business representatives to gather information on business needs for each group.

We did quite a few pre-planning surveys for the design as well as to prepare for pursuing LEED and WELL Building for the project. The employees were surveyed on everything from storage needs to comfort levels with temperature and lighting to what they would like out of amenity spaces. Then there were extensive post occupancy surveys that were submitted to LEED and WELL Building. In these surveys we focused on how they were engaging with the new space, ergonomics of the new furniture, comfort in the new space (cleanliness level, temperature, glare, lighting, etc.).

Were there any other kinds of employee engagement activities?

HP Inc.’s Houston Site Council hosted several employee celebrations, including an all employee beam signing event where every employee was encouraged to sign their name to a beam that would be placed in the new building.

In addition to the visioning sessions and programming survey, the project team set up an internal Yammer site where employees could post their ideas, input regarding the project, and they created a project mock up showcasing the set-up of several spaces in the new site, such as individual workstations, lab benches, and open collaboration spaces.

Were any change management initiatives employed?

PDR worked with the project team, business relationship managers and internal communications to develop a strategic change management and communication plan that kept employees informed with key project updates and created a Change Network made up of HP employees to lead the change within the organization.

PDR onboarded and trained Change Champions to prepare them as change leads within their departments, and facilitated regular Change Champion meetings, providing them with project updates, information to share with their teams and guidance on how to engage and lead their teams through change.

Business leaders and Change Champions were educated and trained on agile working, the changing work patterns and behaviors, and the variety of new workspaces available to all employees. PDR ensured all employees were informed of the latest project information and had the opportunity to ask questions by coordinating and developing several Employee Information Sessions. PDR supported the project team in creating a Project Preview Mock-Up, where employees could experience several new workplace spaces that would be available to them in the new office.

What products or service solutions are making the biggest impact in your space?

There are many different types of products having an impact on the space:

Lighting – We used a lot of decorative lights in the space to give it a more hospitable and less standardized workplace feel. The most well received were:

  • Allied Maker lighting – blown glass and wood pendants hand crafted in Brooklyn, NY
  • Inhabit Living Adler Lights – Sculptural lights made of 100 percent recycled cardboard
  • ALW Lighting Glass Act – Organically strung lights custom colored to look like clouds and stars in an open sky above the dining room

Greenery  – People want to feel connected to nature. We used preserved moss walls and ceilings from Benetti Home for this.

Reclaimed Wood walls – Adding to our LEED credits and creating a sense of warmth – we used Terramai.

Furniture – A lot of the lounge pieces offered people a way to work differently (not from a traditional chair and desk). We also used outdoor furniture inside to give a different look and feel – as if you had left the workplace and were eating or working from your patio.

Some furniture manufacturer brands we used to do these things:

What kind of branding elements were incorporated into the design?

Throughout the entire HP Inc. workplace, any employee or visitor is welcomed with visual hints of HP’s fun and innovative brand, and feels refreshed with references to nature.

Upon arrival, one is greeted with HP’s 7-feet-tall and 16-feet-wide digital marketing immersion screen, following a series of collective smaller screens. Entering the lobby at the reception desk, 13-degree angled lines match the slant of the HP logo. The metals used at the desk are inspired by the different metals used in HP products.

Moving into the office, more references are made to brand and technology. A peg wall made from natural resourced wood stands in the cafe as an interactive art installation that often has the HP logo indented, and each color-themed elevator lobby contains an LED neon number resembling oversized computer keys.

What is the most unique feature of the space?

Within the main area, a bright sunrise color palette symbolizes HP Inc.’s products. Like the sunrises and sunsets, HP’s products are reliable, but evolving daily. After passing through the sunrise beamed ceiling, a jaw dropping set of 560 blue lights and dozens of golden starry lights resemble a magnificent sky in the dining room. Sprinkled throughout, sustainable reclaimed timber and living moss are tastefully placed on the walls and ceilings to continue the nature theme.

Are there any furnishings or spaces specifically included to promote wellness/wellbeing?

There is an on-site fitness center as well as a juice bar and health-focused café sourcing local ingredients. There is also an indoor walking path including mileage markers when Houston weather may not be conducive to outdoor activity.

What kinds of technology products were used?

All spaces are outfitted with technology to allow for agility within the office. Large immersive walls and areas to work away from desks are in all parts of the campus.

Playful spaces attract employees and encourage creativity. Therefore, gaming areas were incorporated on every workplace floor, as well as onsite basketball courts and gym. Also, space was dedicated to showcase discovery, accomplishments, and product innovation within HP.

The office provides a variety of collaborative spaces to share and incubate ideas. “Collaboration pods” were introduced to give employees the opportunity to work in different ways with different group sizes. There are set aside places for single work, small group work, large group work and open collaboration between multiple groups. All these areas have flexible architecture and modular furniture with integrated technology allowing each space to be used in multiple ways.

If the company relocated to a new space, what was the most difficult aspect of the change for the employees?

Yes, the most difficult part of the move was moving all of their materials. Once in the office, employees enjoyed the natural light and the variety of spaces to work.

How did the company communicate the changes and moves?

PDR worked with the project team, business relationship managers and internal communications to develop a strategic change management and communication plan that kept employees informed with key project updates and created a Change Network made up of HP employees to lead the change within the organization.

PDR onboarded and trained Change Champions to prepare them as change leads within their departments, and facilitated regular Change Champion meetings, providing them with project updates, information to share with their teams and guidance on how to engage and lead their teams through change.

Business leaders and Change Champions were educated and trained on agile working, the changing work patterns and behaviors, and the variety of new workspaces available to all employees. PDR ensured all employees were informed of the latest project information and had the opportunity to ask questions by coordinating and developing several Employee Information Sessions. PDR supported the project team in creating a Project Preview Mock-Up, where employees could experience several new workplace spaces that would be available to them in the new office.

Were there any post-occupancy surveys? If so, what were the most surprising or illuminating or hoped-for results?

The campus achieved LEED v.4 Gold certification, has incorporated WELL Building principles and has assigned technical Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) personnel.

Employees spend around 40 percent of their day in group activities, according to HP research, and with guidance from PDR, collaboration pods were designed with flexible architecture and modular furniture throughout the new campus, encouraging both independent and team-oriented work. The more complex an employee’s work, the better it is to have multiple settings.

Strong brand experiences throughout the office: The reception desk’s 13-degree angled lines match the slant of the HP logo, and the metals used are inspired by the different metals used in HP products. HP logo indented and each color-themed elevator lobby contains an LED neon number resembling oversized computer keys.

If change management program was in place, what were the most successful strategies?

Business units that worked closely were placed adjacent to each other in the office so that they could easily have access to one another.

Over 300 employees provided feedback for their campus, since HP is a grassroots organization they work from the bottom up – so it was important to get employees feedback.

Is there anything else that would help us tell the story of this project?

Having recently split with its sister company, HP Inc. sought a design that would reflect its future workplace, culture and history, and that of the Houston region. The challenges for HP Houston campus was to create a workplace environment that allows employees to:

  • Be Agile and Encourage Innovation
  • Enable Constant Learning and Discovery
  • Accelerate the HP Future Focus
  • Elevate Wellbeing and Sustainability
  • Embody the HP Brand

While the design solution addressed all the challenges, HP prioritized three concepts for their forward-thinking space:

  1. Reinvention,
  2. Innovation, and
  3. Employee growth.

HP Inc.’s new vibrant workplace is influencing people inside and outside of its walls.  Workers are supported with an efficient, more productive workplace, motivating them to continuously grow and affirm the company brand and continue to push innovative boundaries to create technology that makes everyone’s life better.

The building’s open design brings employees together. Employees spend around 40 percent of their day in group activities, according to HP research, and with guidance from PDR, collaboration pods were designed with flexible architecture and modular furniture throughout the new campus, encouraging both independent and team-oriented work. This variety accommodates the preferred work styles of multiple generations and creates new opportunities for collaboration.

Employees work in “neighborhoods” based on their business units. Employees from across departments come together to socialize in community spaces like centralized coffee bars and game rooms with ping pong or foosball tables. These Playful spaces attract employees and encourage creativity.

Who else contributed significantly to this project?

MEP
IA Naman

CONTRACTOR
DE Harvey

FURNITURE
Steelcase
Teknion

DEVELOPER
Patrinely Group

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