PE elevator entry

POWER Engineers: Designing For Flexibility

In 1976, two industrious engineers established POWER Engineers. It is an engineering and environmental consulting firm who team together to design integrated, multidiscipline solutions for their clients. POWER is an employee-owned company with more than 50 offices and nearly 4,000 employees across North America. With their services in such high demand, POWER has worked hard to house their growing team. One such addition is the new five-story location in Meridian, Idaho. Over the past few years, POWER has successfully transitioned its staff out of separate locations and deposited them in a beautiful office built for flexibility.   

Cohesion & Flexibility

Leading the charge to create a space worthy of their brand was Business Unit Director, Daniel Krancer. With a background in architecture, Daniel volunteered to support the Operations Facilities team in developing a hybrid design for the new office. With few examples of how to successfully implement a hybrid work environment like POWER envisioned, Daniel visited offices that were experimenting with a hybrid workplace. It took him all over the US and provided him with many great ideas to fulfill POWER’s vision. That vision included the concept of cohesion in the POWER team and a flexible work environment that adapts to different needs and uses at any time. 

Daniel Krancer POWER Engineers
Daniel Krancer | Business Unit Director

Designing Key Spaces

With that vision in mind, the design team tackled how to turn those ideas into physical spaces. Since POWER’s big differentiator is their people with a focus on collaboration and innovation, highlighting their culture became a large part of their design choices. They did this by first, lowering cubicle walls to encourage communication and transparency.

PE workstations

Second, they built the “Charging Station”, a large break room cafe on their main entry floor to create and showcase the energy and comradery of their teams. Third, they designed an open staircase that winds up all four production floors to keep the spaces connected. Additionally, media center walls were placed at the top of each staircase to show POWER’s innovative solutions and internal updates. The addition of a large glass-walled training room showcases POWER’s commitment to innovation and learning for clients and colleagues alike.

charging station for team cohesion
Charging Station

“There is a tremendous amount of inspiration that comes from being in a great training environment. When people walk by, they can see for themselves that our company is actively investing in training, growing, and learning.”

Daniel Krancer

Finally, a broadcasting room serves as a great example of POWER’s commitment to training their teams no matter where they are. In essence, they have created a virtual lecture hall where online participants have an equitable seat in the training. Meanwhile, the instructor can engage with each student as if they were in the room.  

Broadcasting Room
Broadcasting Room

Tech Spaces For Multiple Uses

The vision for team cohesion shines through tech-enabled spaces throughout the office. The POWER team wanted to identify purpose-built spaces, so they incorporated phone rooms, huddle, and focus rooms, and myriad conference rooms to fulfill their team’s various needs. The phone room provides employees with a few moments of privacy while the focus rooms are specifically designed for different teams to sit down, share content, and work through a project together. The huddle rooms (open and private) are designed for two to three people to share ideas, brainstorm, and generally be creative in an intimate, conducive environment. From there, the conference rooms are tailored according to the team meeting size and are useful for video conferencing and sharing content. POWER invested in their technology, so they have great cameras and screens to share content no matter the size of the space. Finally, there are design spaces that teams can reserve for a week or more to work together on a project. These rooms are full of whiteboards, screens, and anything else they need to collaborate effectively.   

Design Space at POWER Engineers cohesion
Design Space

Designing For Flexibility

With a focus on cohesion in collaboration, POWER purposely designed its workstations to be generic in the sense that few are owned by a single person. “We want people to say, ‘Hey, for the next two weeks I’m working with these eight people so I’m going to go sit by them.’ They can take over a desk, a front porch collaborative area, or a design space and work with those people.” Flexibility was fully realized in the plan for designing four categories of workstations depending on an employee’s flexibility preference. Footprint A is for employees who plan to be in the office full-time, personalize their space, and have storage. Type B is for those who will come in three days and don’t need storage but want more desk space. Footprint C is for employees coming in once a week and sharing the space with someone else. Type D employees only come in for very specific reasons and use a hotelling station for the day. Finally, reservable private offices round out the offering to support employees however they choose to work.  

POWER Large Conference Room cohesion
Conference Room

Supporting Their Workforce

With so much flexibility in where and how they work, POWER employees can do their best work regardless of location. Thanks to the vision of cohesion and flexibility, the company has created an environment that supports its purpose of “Do Good. Have Fun. Build Success”. When it comes to creating a hybrid environment that empowers employees, POWER Engineers is leading the way in what it looks like to create thoughtfully designed, exceptional spaces.   

POWER Values cohesion and flexibility
POWER’s Values

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