Iron Mountain – Transition to Open Environment & Flexible Working
Iron Mountain faced lease expiration, a dated work environment that inhibited collaboration, and an edict to shrink its real estate footprint. The company’s global headquarters had remained at 745 Atlantic Avenue in Boston for 20 years, and its work style had evolved significantly in that time. There was a great demand on conference rooms, resulting in constant overbooking, hoarding, and underutilization. Spread across nine floors, there was no consistency in look, feel, furniture, or branding.
Iron Mountain’s challenges included talent attraction and retention, geographically distributed employees, and an unofficial mobile workforce with managers granting staff remote work privileges on an ad hoc basis. Recognizing that its workforce had evolved ahead of its workplace, the company made flexibility and mobility essential components of its workplace strategy and used a corporate headquarters relocation to One Federal Street in Boston to drive a cultural shift toward workplace flexibility.
Stegmeier Consulting Group (SCG) was engaged early in the process to inform major decisions being made by the real estate, human resources, and information technology disciplines. SCG worked closely with Margulies Perruzzi Architects in order to develop a workplace strategy that would enable improved workspace utilization, and bolster the productivity of employees (Mountaineers). Iron Mountain benefited from SCG’s comprehensive portfolio of change management services throughout the transformation process. Key activities and deliverables included: data gathering through manager roundtable discussions and employee focus groups; development of communication content and materials; working with the client’s Business Advisory Team, an employee engagement committee; conducting FlexMatch™ Suitability Assessments to determine the most appropriate candidates for remote work; facilitating the development of protocols for the new office; creating the Mobile Mountaineer Program, and associated HR flexible work policies, enrollment criteria, and performance management process; developing and delivering customized training; and hosting a Day One Concierge office to provide a special welcome to employees who had agreed to give up their dedicated workstation in exchange for enrollment in the attractive Mobile Mountaineer program.
Upon moving into its new headquarters, Iron Mountain reduced its square footage from approximately 128,000 square feet in its previous headquarters to 112,000 square feet at One Fed, while increasing its conference rooms from 14 to 31, significantly reducing the number of private offices, and adding a tremendous number of amenities. Based on Stegmeier Consulting Group’s analysis of job function and assessment of employees, 150 of Iron Mountain’s 600 Boston employees enrolled in the Mobile Mountaineer program and were provided 100 workstations for a ratio of 1.5 employees to 1 seat. Approximately 40 Mobile Mountaineers found a partner with whom to “share” a workstation on alternate days, providing both with dedicated yet shared space and affording Iron Mountain the benefit of reaching a head-to-seat ratio of 2:1 in those instances.
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