The tech-forward financial services company took a people-centric approach to create a welcoming environment for all associates at its new state-of-the-art Columbus, Ohio campus
Unispace, a global leader in strategy, design and construction today announced the completion of Bread Financial’s innovative262,500 square foot office space in Columbus, Ohio. A tech-forward financial services company that provides simple, flexible, lending and saving solutions, Bread Financialchose Unispace to optimize its campus footprint and upgrade its workspaces to create a modernized equitable work experience for all of its associates.
Charged with the strategy, design and construction for the project, Unispace took an associate-centric approach from the jump, hosting visioning sessions, a company-wide survey and leadership interviews to understand the diverse needs and preferences of Bread Financial’s workforce. The results of these efforts made it clear that the new space needed to give associates autonomy about where they work, while fostering equity and encouraging camaraderie while in the office.
“We conducted various visioning sessions and interviews to understand exactly how Bread Financial wanted to work and built a space designed to attract and maintain its valued talent,” said Cara Ambrosino-Strickling, the lead designer on the project at Unispace. “Through our collaborative process, our team was able to recommend the right mix of innovation, problem solving and community space to create an optimal experience for its associates.”
A primary theme that came through in the visioning sessions was the importance of designing an equitable space for all associates, including those who are neurodivergent. Accounting for approximately15-20% of the total workforce population, neurodiverse employees are more likely to experience stress and anxiety in a crowded, noisy office.Thoughtful additions for neurodiverse associates included:
- Drop ceilings and specialized lighting to address common acoustical concerns of open plan design, with the addition of strategically placed plants for visual privacy.
- Outdoor space to create a soothing environment for associates to meet each other and with clients. The fresh air also provides associates with smell sensitivities a respite from office space triggers.
- A “neighborhood” layout. Pods for privacy and dedicated spaces for town hall meetings and small group collaboration supports various workstyles and encourages seamless collaboration. This change enabled Bread Financial to consolidate its campus from three buildings into two, with an entire floor of amenity space for staff to gather, eat lunch, or simply enjoy each other’s company.
- “Smartboards” (interactive white boards) in common areas and connective technology in conference rooms creates seamless interactions with hybrid teams and supports everyone’s workstyle preferences.
“Feedback on the new space has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Jason Hogan, VP of Real Estate and Facilities Services. “The office engages different preferences and needs that includes multiple types of workspaces to accommodate shifting tasks, as well as top-of-the-line technology to allow seamless collaboration with a virtual team.”
The new office space was also designed with sustainability in mind, featuring daylight LED light fixtures and lighting controls and dimming zones that capture daylight harvesting in collaboration areas. Bread Financial’s recent rebrand was also incorporated throughout the new office, pulling in colors and elements that aligned with the company’s brand and culture.
Despite supply chain delays caused by the pandemic, Unispace was able to accommodate all 11th-hour changes and complete the project on time and on budget.
Unispace is a global strategy, design, and construction leader creating people-centric spaces for a rapidly changing world. Unispace’s world-class strategists, designers, and builders work together as one single, unified team. Our goal: create spaces that spark brilliance, deepen connections, foster a sense of belonging and propel success.
About Bread Financial
Bread FinancialTM (NYSE: BFH) is a tech-forward financial services company providing simple, personalized payment, lending and saving solutions. The company creates opportunities for its customers and partners through digitally enabled choices that offer ease, empowerment, financial flexibility and exceptional customer experiences. Driven by a digital-first approach, data insights and white-label technology, Bread Financial delivers growth for its partners through a comprehensive product suite, including private label and co-brand credit cards, installment lending, and buy now, pay later (BNPL). Bread Financial also offers direct-to-consumer solutions that give customers more access, choice and freedom through its branded Bread CashbackTM American Express® Credit Cardand Bread SavingsTMproducts.
Bread Financial is an S&P MidCap 400 company headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, and committed to sustainable business practices powered by its 6,000+ global associates. To learn more about Bread Financial, visit BreadFinancial.comor follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitterand Instagram.