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Workplace brief: Rapid7

Data may tell you to buck the trends

For cybersecurity providers Rapid7, developing simple, innovative solutions for organisations has been the driving force behind their number of successful years in business. In an industry where the ability to react and adapt to often unpredictable threats is paramount, Rapid7 knows better than most how important it is to adapt a working environment to improve employee experience.

Starting both projects in 2018, Rapid7 has since created two outstanding workplaces in their Boston and LA offices. Last year, both achieved the coveted Leesman+ certification – positioning them in the upper echelon of workplaces we’ve measured across the globe.

Designing for all
These environments were designed with their employees’ expectations at the heart of the project, with Boston achieving an outstanding Lmi score of 84.0, the third-highest workplace of 2019, while LA scored an equally impressive score of 81.5.

According to Jamie Kinch, Vice President of Real Estate & Workplace Experience at Rapid7: “to cultivate working environments which reflect our employees and culture, we brought our employees into the process through the Leesman survey process, meaning we could garner a real sense of what they truly needed from their workplace.”

But for Rapid7, its workplaces were designed not only be environments which offered their employees an outstanding experience, but with their many clients and other visitors in mind too.

For Jamie, it was essential that the lobby of the Boston office “felt semi-public – a space which was not only employee-centric but also guest-centric and very active.” The lobby boasts a slick, welcoming design, where an informal setting meets a business hub. This paid off, and the results speak for themselves – 98.8% of employees in Boston agreed that their workplace is somewhere they are ‘Proud to bring visitors’.

Creating workplaces which don’t feel overly corporate is one of the central tenets of Rapid7’s approach to real estate, so naturally the same design principles were adopted for the LA office. 100% of employees in the LA office felt that their workplace supported ‘Informal social interaction’, and 89.3% agreed that their workplace promoted a positive ‘Corporate image’.

Part of the community
The impact on those within their workplaces was just the start. As Jamie explains, in Boston “something that was important to us throughout this project was to be a good partner in the local community. The area we are based in has recently been going through a regeneration, so we wanted to ensure that we had a positive impact on the neighbourhood.”

They did just that. To create a more intimate connection with the community, they worked with a local company called ArtLifting, which helps homeless people commercialise their artwork – offering them a chance to get out of their current situations. To promote the work, Jamie and his team organised for it to be displayed around the office, rotating it on a regular basis.

Initiatives like these are something the company hopes to recreate in all of their workplaces moving forward, and with 92.3% of their Boston employees feeling that their workplace ‘Contributes to a sense of community’, it’s patently clear why.

Breaking the mould
While the majority of the 2019 Leesman+ workplaces had opted for flexible workplace strategies, Rapid7 decided to buck this increasingly popular trend. Both LA and Boston have designated workstations across both offices.

Andrea Diieso, Senior Workplace Experience Manager at Rapid7, felt the decision was relatively straight forward: “Through our work with Leesman and the insights that have been shared, we knew that one size does not fit all when it comes to desk assignment.” A key benefit of going fully designated is that “it is a solution that is familiar to most employees, and there is little downside for employee experience with this tried and tested approach. We want to ensure that we start with a frictionless solution, and then use the data gained from Leesman surveys and workplace utilisation sensors to continue to find the best solutions for overall employee experience.”

And despite Rapid7 being one of the only 2019 Leesman+ organisations to be fully designated, employees’ experience was unaffected in areas you would assume a designated office would take a hit. On the contrary, 96.0% of their team in LA felt that their workplace supported ‘Collaborating on focussed work’. While 90.1% and 97.4% of employees in Boston and LA were satisfied with their ‘Accessibility of colleagues’ respectively.

Harnessing the power of data
Emboldened by Leesman data, the company was able to make the right decisions during the design process. “Working with Leesman was really a point of substantiation,” said Jamie. “The data allowed us to see we were on the right path. The things our employees had highlighted meant we were able to go back to the business with tangible examples of employee experience pressure points and design the space with that knowledge and understanding in mind.

“When we surveyed again, it was great to see the positive impact the new environment was having on employee experience.

For instance, pride was something we had previously scored low on – seeing those scores come back so high felt incredibly validating. We began seeing people bringing their friends and family into work just to show them around the office.

The data substantiated those visceral gut feelings we had while we were designing and helped us create two outstanding workplaces in Boston and LA.”

The future
Moving forward, Rapid7 wants to make full use of Leesman data and the sensors they’ve implemented to hone their future workplace strategies. But they also want to bring that back-around to existing buildings.

According to Jamie: “In Boston we set aside an innovation budget so we’re able to test and experiment to make sure that we continue to evolve that space. What we’ve seen with the sensors in our Austin building is that there are areas that don’t get used, so we’re setting up some temporary spaces for experimenting – testing where technology could be implemented to see if spaces would get used. Essentially an iterative process where we collate information from all our workplaces to gain a comprehensive understanding of how our employees are experiencing their working environments.”

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