IEWC advances the way the world connects, stays powered, and drives forward through the comprehensive supply chain and logistics solutions for wire, cable, and wire management products. For more than 55 years, IEWC has been a trusted partner for thousands of companies in manufacturing, infrastructure, broadcast, professional audio-visual, and telecommunications. An employee-owned company in the USA, IEWC has 24 locations in 9 countries, serving customers in 96 countries.
The Commercial Interiors Division of Milwaukee-based RCS Innovations, in partnership with Design 2 Construct (D2C), was tasked with remodeling and refreshing IEWC’s New Berlin headquarters, a building constructed in the 2000s that had been minimally updated throughout the years. RCS took full advantage of the unique architecture that was not currently being highlighted to create a more modern and bold statement. The building’s layout largely impacted how their employees worked and interacted with each other. Employees worked in siloed environments that disconnected them from others. In addition, the current layout that existed in the space limited the possibilities of collaboration and no longer suited the evolving business’ needs.
The challenge at hand was to:
- Create a more inclusive and collaborative environment for the employees
- Increase spaces to hold meetings and gather
- Create an attractive workplace for future employees and aid in retention
- Navigate a remodel during “the new normal” – supply chain shortages and an ongoing pandemic
The RCS Commercial Interiors team also saw great potential in the space and opportunities to:
- Increase aesthetic appeal and show off the current, unique architecture
- Strengthen the IEWC branding and image presence
- Implement open concept for better use of the space and collaboration
It was now the design team and general contractor’s job to usher in a new era and rethink their workspace environment so that it aligned with IEWC’s goals.
The RCS team took the time to understand the company culture by interviewing employees to hear their pain points and hopes for the space. In addition, capturing photos and witnessing how the space was used daily was crucial in developing and presenting an Inspiration Booklet. The goal of this booklet was to illustrate RCS’ vision and possibilities of what the IEWC team’s work environment could become. It was essential for the RCS team to get the concept right, so they fostered a collaborative, trusting environment through multiple meetings and revisions where the IEWC, RCS, and D2C teams concluded on how to transform their space.
Some specifics they included:
- Transition to lower cubicle walls
- Create purposeful common spaces which included casual booth seating in the Cafeteria, Coffee Bar, and other functional workroom areas
- Design and build a visually impactful wood branding feature wall
During the project, the RCS and D2C teams had to think on their feet due to supply chain issues and other factors that arose during the construction process. For example, temporary furnishings and remapped electrical solutions were provided to keep the project on time, within budget, and employees at their desks.
At the completion of the remodel, the IEWC team noticed how the transformation of their space cultivated conversations between their employees. More specifically, the transition to the shorter cube walls organically eliminated the hesitancy and resistance to chat with one’s neighbor. The walls also improved sightlines so that natural light could better cascade throughout the space. Larger teams are meeting more openly in the common spaces, such as the Atrium, Coffee Bar, and Enclave Breakout spaces.
The previously unused Atrium space can now seat the majority of the employees, allowing for company-wide meetings. In addition, more private and inviting spaces were added to encourage employees to gather and chat for impromptu meetings. The IEWC team was overall impressed with the work the two teams accomplished as their employees could communicate and work more efficiently and collaboratively.
Beyond employee satisfaction, guests are now greeted with a highly stylized brand element at the entrance of the building. The entry introduces the IEWC office which boasts self-motivated, passionate, and engaged individuals, ultimately creating a stronger partner for their customers.
“The RCS team took the time to understand our core values and that our building is an extension of our culture. They were able to transform the building to complement these things. They made our space casual, yet contemporary and inviting for both customers and employees.”
MIKE VEUM – Chief Executive Officer, IEWC
“The before and after were off the charts. We’re all very proud of it. What helps make a project successful is that you respect and trust one another.”
MIKE KRENZ – Project Manager, Design 2 Construct