Southwestern Energy: An Office Relocation Case Study

Dustin Staiger

We’ve been a part of quite a bit of office relocation, so you can imagine how excited we were to recently partner with Southwestern Energy when they decided to move their 1000+ employees from across 5 campuses into one centralized location.

The challenges we came across when collaborating on designs and new furniture pieces for Southwestern were two-fold: What do we do with larger, shared spaces (like conference rooms) when they aren’t being used? Secondly, how can we equip and arrange Southwestern Energy’s office to improve collaboration?

Making the Most of Large, Shared Spaces

When an office relocation process involves over 1,000 employees moving into one, new location–on the same day–you can imagine how large the shared spaces have to be. The problem with large spaces, however, that they’re empty the majority of the time. How could Southwestern Energy make use of that space instead of letting it sit empty until a large enough group needs it again?

McCoy-Rockford equipped the conference room with furniture pieces that were modular and flexible. This way, when the larger conference area isn’t being used for a company-wide meeting, the space easily transforms into smaller areas where large, but not quite-as-large, meetings or workshops can be held.

Once the new conference room was completed, Southwestern Energy CFO Craig Owen called the new space “a reflection of our incredible team of employees and our commitment to the Houston community.”

Maximizing Space for Focused, Collaborative Work

While the conference room configuration is important, the majority of the day-to-day work at Southwestern Energy takes place in the offices where employees must be able to accomplish tasks both on their own and collaboratively.

We utilized the best Steelcase offers in collaborative workstations and created a space that fits large amounts of employees while making each of them feel comfortable and productive.

Not all collaboration is the same. There are different types of collaborative work. Some projects require larger numbers of people gathered in medium-sized collaborative meeting areas with technology and tools that don’t take up much space. Other meetings, like those that take place between team leaders or one-on-ones with direct reports, require closed areas that allow for quiet conversations.

With the well-designed products from Steelcase making the most of every square foot, we were able to create work spaces Craig Owen called, “a high quality working environment that will enhance teamwork, creativity, and innovation.” 

Key Takeaways

  1. With the right furniture and design, large spaces such as conference rooms or cafeterias can quickly transform to accommodate smaller gatherings.
  2. Square footage is optimized and productivity is maximized when employees have the choice and options to collaborate.