Next-Gen, Now

EMC Corporation Next-Generation Offices
Various Locations, Nationwide

The success of a business can most often be measured by the strength of its relationships. At SMMA, longstanding clients have formed the bedrock for the future growth of our firm. EMC Corporation is one such client.

The world leader in cloud computing, data storage, and IT solutions, EMC faced a facilities challenge at its New York City sales office, and looked to SMMA for help. Located at Two Penn Plaza, atop Pennsylvania Station, and home to a highly mobile workforce, the space was no longer able to meet the demands of its staff. Large cubicles and private offices no longer related to the way the company viewed itself; more troubling, it could no longer accommodate the requisite seating for its employees. 

EMC sought to transform the space into a fresh environment—one that that improved flexibility, productivity, collaboration, and performance. The SMMA design team reimagined the interior layout, incorporating new furniture systems and more collaboration spaces. These renovations, coupled with protocols that converted 75% of the available seats to “flex space”—wherein, on average, each seat accommodates two employees—resulted in a 34% increase in the office’s headcount capacity. 

Collaboration Breeds Engagement

Our design took into consideration EMC's traveling sales team, which requires a remote site to camp for less than a day at a time— nowhere more so than in this NYC office. Under the “Next-Generation Office” (NGO) moniker, and using the Penn Plaza office as a testing ground, SMMA collaborated with EMC to launch a new space paradigm, emphasizing collaboration over hierarchy and allowing for the accommodation of visiting sales staff. We downsized and lowered the partitions between cubicles, increasing natural light and cross-cube conversation. We also incorporated “huddle” and “team” rooms—smaller, more efficient versions of the traditional conference room—as well as open collaboration space, shifting toward an atmosphere more promotional of teamwork and dialogue than heads-down focus and quiet.

Plug and Play

Benching stations throughout allow visiting staff to plug in and work with ease, and a coffee bar strategically located at the space’s crossroads is an opportunity for staff to mix and collaborate. The finished result: Improvements in the capacity, quality, and appeal of EMC’s flagship sales office.

As an added bonus, the efficiency gains allowed the company to avoid absorbing more expensive Manhattan real estate. The success of this project has resulted in SMMA designing NGOs in cities such as Austin, TX; Columbus, OH; and San Francisco, CA.

The New York City NGO is now more capable of accommodating workforce demand; is better suited to supporting the needs of the company’s forward-looking mobile, tech-savvy workforce; and allows EMC to more effectively leverage its global strategy.