2 Chicago Office Spaces Focusing on the Employee Experience

How these Chicago-based tech companies show a commitment to employee wellbeing through intentional office design.
Written by Taylor Rose
March 19, 2024Updated: April 2, 2024

Game rooms, onsite gyms, art installations, patio spaces, standing desks — there are a lot of theories about what makes a good physical workplace, and ample research to back it. 

Working in natural light, for at least part of the day, is documented in hundreds of studies to improve moods, increase productivity and improve restful sleep. The color blue is cited to help employees feel more relaxed at work. Research in universal design encourages employers to assess features of office accessibility like adjustable furniture, gender neutral bathrooms, different sources of lighting and elevator doors that stay open longer. There is even extensive research on kitchens and frequently shared meals at work; the American Heart Association validated it by finding that 69 percent of workers said “taking a break to have a meal with a coworker reduces their stress levels.”

There is one throughline in every single study, paper and report — employee-centered design choices do make a big difference. Built In spoke with two Chicago teams who are developing their own theories about office design and taking the time to create a workplace that puts employees first. 

 

 ALIS by Medtelligent
ALIS by Medtelligent

 

Joachim Canete
Quality Assurance Engineer • ALIS by Medtelligent

ALIS by Medtelligent provides assisted living intelligent solutions.

 

Chicago Office Location: River North, less than three minutes from the Chicago and Franklin ‘L’ stop

 

What are some amenities at Medtelligent that put employees front and center?

On top of empowering employees with all the necessary tools to succeed, there are many resources available that promote general wellness. Namely, a dedicated ‘Zen’ room for the occupant to unwind, process, or engage in self-care in private, along with numerous multiseat desks for collaboration and conversation. And best of all, we have a spacious and well-furnished kitchen for communal meals and celebrations.

 

What is your favorite area in the office? What draws you to it?

My favorite space in the office is the kitchen. The windows are east-facing, and I find joy in being warmed by the morning sun. It’s quiet in the early hours, but as the lunch hour approaches, the kitchen space fills with energy as my coworkers make their way to the tables and take lunch together.

My favorite space in the office is the kitchen. The windows are east-facing, and I find joy in being warmed by the morning sun.” 

 

ALIS by Medtelligent
ALIS by Medtelligent

 

How is your office space changing or evolving?

The most notable office space development is the implementation of a structured plan to accommodate resource accessibility with the intent to shed light on availability. Be it office supplies, conference rooms or call boxes, an organized tool to meet everyone’s needs efficiently will empower all of us to plan more strategically and work more openly.

 

 

Wolverine Trading
Wolverine Trading

 

Clare Kalimuthu
Facilities and Events Coordinator • Wolverine Trading

Wolverine Trading is a company that offers asset management services.

 

Chicago Office Location: The Loop, at 175 W. Jackson Blvd. with three office spaces located on the second and third floors

 

What are some amenities of Wolverine Trading’s physical space that you value as an employee?

Some amenities include our in-house kitchen with free meals, snacks and drinks. We also have wellness rooms and an education space for our employees to continue their education on site.  

Our office location is perfect because it is close to all public transportation and all the exchanges. Our building also has a gym that employees have access to at a discounted rate, which is a great perk. I attend the classes and go up to the gym multiple times a week.

 

What spot in the office is special to you?

My favorite spot in the office, hands down, is our Wolverine Kitchen. We have amazing chefs and a great staff that prepares breakfast and lunch for all employees every day. One of our chefs specializes in pastries and makes the best baked goods. On top of having a great food selection, the kitchen staff is also the perfect place for us to host events and gather with coworkers to enjoy a great breakfast and lunch.

My favorite spot in the office, hands down, is our Wolverine Kitchen. We have amazing chefs and a great staff that prepares breakfast and lunch for all employees every day.”

 

Are there any improvements in the works? 

We are always looking to improve our office spaces and employee satisfaction. We continuously have projects in the pipeline. Some of our most recently completed projects include expanding our engineering space, reconfiguring our WEX space and offering standing desks to all employees. We are always engaging with employees for ideas to improve our space.

 

Wolverine Trading
Wolverine Trading

 

 

Read MoreReturn to Work Pushes Tech Companies to Rethink Office Designs

 

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