Reebok made a company gym a major highlight of its new 220,000-square-foot headquarters, which opened in 2017 in the Innovation and Design Building, a massive complex that was originally a military storehouse in the Seaport District. The company’s 35,000-square-foot employee fitness center stretches to two floors, and includes a boxing ring and an area dedicated to training for the fitness regimen CrossFit, a licensing partner with Reebok.
“We didn’t do it for altruistic reasons,” said Matt O’Toole, Reebok’s president. “We did it because we really do think our employees are better at their jobs when they have a chance to work out during the day.”
The work areas in the industrial-style space are all open, with no assigned seating and no private offices, not even for Mr. O’Toole. That’s been a big adjustment from the company’s former suburban office campus in Canton, Mass., where cubicles were the norm. The goal is to give people the flexibility to sit alongside whomever they need to be working with at any particular moment, Mr. O’Toole said.
“It’s an agile work environment meant to support a wide variety of work styles,” said Arlyn Vogelmann, a principal in the Boston office of Gensler, which designed the space. “Employees have access to focus rooms, lounge areas, huddle rooms, a cafe and touchdown spaces near the windows.”
An extensive archive of older products is available to designers who want to dig through them in search of inspiration. At the old campus, such resources were “buried and distant,” Ms. Vogelmann said. Designers can also play around with low-tech and high-tech equipment in a maker lab.
Office spaces with a variety of seating arrangements and access to workout facilities or outdoor terraces are part of a larger trend in commercial real estate, as even conventional corporations like I.B.M. and General Electric adopt more collaborative work styles. Highly designed spaces in dynamic urban settings can act as a magnet for young talent, Ms. Vogelmann said. But athletic shoe companies, she noted, also want their space to be “amazingly branded.”