Republic Services is one of the leading waste disposal and recycling companies in the country. They had call center employees dispersed in dozens of offices and wanted to create a prototype office design that could be replicated across multiple locations. The prototype would also serve as a catalyst to help change the company’s call center culture and completely rebrand the employees’ experience in the office. SmithGroup was brought on to develop this design. The first location would be Charlotte, and once established that design could be applied to call centers in Indianapolis and Phoenix. SmithGroup’s scope was comprehensive – interior architecture, engineering and specialty lighting.
The space is egalitarian, and light filled. Most of the perimeter is used not for private offices but for conference rooms, common spaces and the like. Broken into “neighborhoods,” the workspace facilitates a sense of ownership and camaraderie. The core contains a central café throughout where pods of furniture allow employees to bring their laptops and work away from their usual desks.
The Charlotte call center engendered a sense of empowerment, transparency and a customer service mindset which resulted in lowering employee turnover from 25-30% to less than 10%. Due to the success of this design, SmithGroup assisted the company in choosing locations for call centers in Indianapolis and Phoenix.
The implemented designs redefine what a call center needs to be. With connected, motivated and collaborative employees – these projects show the power of good design and its ability to change corporate cultures for the better.