AMC Creates Campus Environment to Foster Mentorship and Productivity
Learn how one association management company designed its new office space to capture the feel of a college campus, to encourage learning, flexibility, and collaboration—a combo that aims to better engage employees and lead to even better service for association clients.
After seven productive years at its existing location, AMC Source of Palm Beach, Florida, decided it was time to move into a new, dynamic workspace.
In preparing for the move, it was imperative that the new campus not only meet our practical needs but also generate and cultivate a specific culture for our association management team. An unprecedented level of planning went into the overall design of our new North Palm Beach, Florida, AMC Source campus.
We wanted to instill an open, collaborative, and modern workplace environment throughout every inch of the new building, and now that the overhaul is complete, we feel our objective has been met.
Most of our plan focused on three pillars of design: being foremost a collaborative space, a fully modern ergonomic space, and a space “open to brilliance.”
We refer to the new space as a “campus” because we want to capture the essence of a collegiate place of learning within our workplace. Our new space promotes an open engagement between mentors and mentees because offices and open workspaces are positioned to encourage interaction between experienced members of staff and newer employees throughout the building.
We feel that great ideas can be inspired from casual places that make individuals feel at ease with expressing themselves, and this is the most crucial element to the culture we are trying to promote at AMC Source. We want a professional teaching environment where senior members on staff can provide guidance and conversational feedback to our early-career and rising association management professionals of the future.
Additionally, elements of collaboration also extended between management and staff in the overall design of the workplace. We asked our staff “How do you envision your ideal workspace?” Based on this direct feedback, we added mobile desks, adjustable chairs, portable computers, and remote telephone headsets to enable employees to be flexible while they work. Meanwhile, we placed printing and filing stations in central areas easily accessible by all staff and added furnishings that optimized a balance of comfort and productivity.
Fully Modern Ergonomics
It almost goes without saying these days, but we wanted our new office design to account for the needs of the modern employee: someone who may not physically be onsite but can engage with the company via all manner of telecommunications.
As such, we created a “virtual room” within our workspace, a conference room with the most advanced audio and video elements we could obtain. Combined with the highest-speed possible internet connection and cloud-based systems, we put a real and concerted effort into minimizing the distance between individuals within the conference room and those outside of it.
Open to Brilliance
We like to think of our new design as being “open to brilliance” in more than one sense of the word. Unlike our previous workspace, the perimeter of the new campus has an open feel and was redesigned to include as many windows and glass doors as possible. An antithesis to old windowless mazes of cubicle workstations, the goal was to eliminate any sort of “boxed-in” feel and to permit the entrance of a maximum amount of natural light from outside the building.
The human eye is organically designed to adjust to the changing levels of sunlight throughout the day. Subjecting it to a static level of artificial light all day long can result in frequent eyestrain and headaches, reducing productivity. Additionally, a 2013 study from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine revealed a direct correlation between natural light access and employee wellness, because “those with windows in the workplace received 173 percent more white light exposure during work hours and slept an average of 46 minutes more per night.”
Related to this notion of maximum light, we also researched optimal color palettes, opting for greys and yellows that psychological studies show promote ideas of leadership and the generation of thoughts. The colors and lighting of our campus are designed to maximize our staff’s alertness and well-being, which we truly believe will inspire other forms of brilliance from within.
“By engaging with research and speaking with professional designers, we hope this demonstrates to the groups we serve that we, too, are not above the needs for outside consultation,” says Debra Nolan, AMC Source CEO. “We feel we have succeeded in demonstrating to our client base, as well as to our staff, that engagement with experts and an openness to new ideas can benefit all.”