These Organizations Are Bringing Employee Appreciation to the Forefront of Office Design

We asked two tech teams what makes their spaces special — and what they have planned for the near future.
Written by Conlan Carter
March 18, 2024Updated: March 21, 2024

No matter where someone works, a positive work environment provides a number of benefits to the overall work experience.

Excellent workspaces have a direct effect on employee satisfaction — and by extension, other elements like productivity, employee retention and a stronger hiring pool. According to the Fellowes Workplace Wellness Trend Report, 93 percent of tech industry employees would extend their stay at an organization that offered healthier workspace benefits — like fitness stipends, ergonomic seating, sit-stand desks and wellness spaces.

To attract and retain top talent, tech businesses are laying a foundation of employee gratitude into their new office spaces, providing amenities to make their employees feel valued every time they enter the office.

Two Boston-area tech companies are creating modern office spaces focused on community, appreciation and inspiration. Built In Boston sat down with Workhuman’s Vice President of Global Workplace Experience Design, Jess Klay and InterSystems’ Director of Office Development and Facilities, Kathryn Hester to get an inside look at how their teams are building the next generation of employee-centered workspaces.


Jess Klay
Vice President of Global Workplace Experience Design • Workhuman

Workhuman is the industry’s best-in-class Social Recognition® solution, helping companies meet today’s biggest human capital challenges.


Tell us about your office space. Where is it located? What are some of its amenities that put employees front and center?

We are currently in the process of opening our new North American headquarters in Framingham, MA — creating a space that supports our culture and strengthens our community. Our offices — we are co-located in Dublin — have always been a destination for connection and community.

Working from home for such a long period of time, our humans missed human-to-human interaction, but we also realized that we needed to evolve. In this new future of work design, we prioritize professional success, well-being and safety.. It was key for us to align this new office design with our vision.

In this new future of work design, we prioritize the professional success, well-being and safety of our humans.”


Our workplace experience brand narrative is Workhuman Nature, in which it was important for us to commit to connection and community, well-being and sustainability, and to always evolve and adapt. In this new inclusive design, there are over 500 different workspaces with a variety of different posturing options. The first floor is dedicated to uniquely Workhuman experiences and amenities, including a Wellbeing Center and a Gratitude Tree. As part of our incredible culture, our humans enjoy an extensive variety of offerings dedicated to their intellectual, emotional, physical and social development.


What is your favorite spot in the office? Why is it special to you and other employees?

The centerpiece of the office is our Gratitude Tree, a striking two-story, lifelike tree sprouting from the atrium. It is illuminated from above with circadian lighting and features integrated screens within its leaves with comfortable seating at the base.

Inspired by our 2018 Workhuman Live event, the concept aims to embody our recognition platform, showcasing its vibrant essence. Reflecting our Irish heritage — our “roots” — the Gratitude Tree will be crafted from oak, symbolizing the Celtic tree of life. Surrounding the tree, screens will display our exceptional employees through our own recognition platform, Spark. At its base, iPads and various seating areas, including hanging rattan chairs, encourage reflection and the giving of recognition. This unique feature is truly a showpiece and uniquely Workhuman.


Are there any office space developments that are underway?

Our humans are our most important asset. Our aim is to listen, involve and respond in a respectful and inclusive manner to support our humans, giving them the best experience possible wherever they choose to work, as we reimagine the way we work and transform to a hybrid workplace environment. 

We are committing to our employees an inclusive, equitable and scalable approach to our office design and our experiences. We are creating spaces that support our culture and strengthen our community.  This includes aligning work patterns with the work environment to enable peak performance and ensure a great employee experience sustainably. We’re creating balanced spaces, both multi-use and multi-purpose that are engaging across a range of settings and building more equitable space to celebrate what each employee brings to the table in our organization.

To meet our business objectives, we create spaces and provide services that bring Workhuman’s culture and values to life - from designing thoughtful spaces for our employees to thrive, to delivering innovative services that make Workhuman a great place to work. It’s truly in our Workhuman nature. 

We are the “Future of Work Leader” in Workplace Experiences.



Kathryn Hester
Director, Office Development and Facilities • InterSystems

 InterSystems software products provide advanced data management, integration and analytics technologies used daily by millions of people in over 80 countries.


Tell us about your office space. Where is it located? What are some of its amenities that put employees front and center?

Our office space at One Congress, located in the heart of Boston, is designed to prioritize the success and well-being of our employees. With a focus on effective personal workspaces, we have created workstations that prioritize ergonomics, privacy and accessibility. Each employee's desk area features ample work surface and storage.


Office space.


The office space sets new standards in terms of ergonomics, sustainability, accessibility and collaboration. Amenities such as wellness rooms, private phone rooms, gender-neutral restrooms, coffee bars and pantries are available on every floor, ensuring employees have the resources they need. The rooftop terrace, with its panoramic views, outdoor bar and open-air pavilions, provides a spot for relaxation and inspiration.

Our commitment to employee well-being extends to leading-edge technology, natural light and energy-efficient design. Additionally, our office features a 7,000-square-foot fitness center, equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, locker rooms and a fitness studio. We are dedicated to providing our employees with a top-notch work environment that promotes their success and well-being.

We are dedicated to providing our employees with a top-notch work environment that promotes their well-being.”


What is your favorite spot in the office? Why is it special to you and other employees?

My favorite spot in our office building is the rooftop terrace. It holds a special place in the hearts of our employees because of its stunning views of the Boston Harbor, Financial District, Back Bay, Charles River and Cambridge. This escape from the busy city provides a peaceful and inspiring environment. The area with comfortable seating, lush greenery and modern design elements creates a welcoming atmosphere. It offers a unique opportunity for relaxation, fostering a sense of well-being and rejuvenation for all employees. The outdoor bar on the rooftop is a popular spot for employees to unwind after a long workday. It offers a variety of refreshing beverages, from craft cocktails to local beers, providing the perfect setting for socializing and relationship-building.


An image of the One Congress building.


The rooftop terrace is not only special to me but to all employees because it offers a much-needed break from the demands of the workday. It provides a peaceful retreat where employees can recharge and find inspiration. Whether it's enjoying a cup of coffee while taking in the breathtaking views or having a team meeting in the open-air pavilions, the rooftop terrace provides a refreshing change of scenery.


A rooftop terrace.


Are there any office space developments that are underway?

While our company is still in the process of construction, with half of our team already working at One Congress, we are excited about the future developments that are underway. We are constantly striving to improve our office space and provide our employees with the best possible work environment.

Our dedicated team is working on implementing cutting-edge technologies, such as smart building systems and advanced communication tools, to further enhance productivity and collaboration. We are also planning to introduce innovative breakout areas and collaborative spaces that foster creativity and teamwork. Additionally, we are exploring the possibility of incorporating sustainable features like green walls and rooftop gardens to promote a healthier and more eco-friendly work environment. Our goal is to create an office space that not only meets the needs of our employees but also anticipates their future requirements. We believe that by continuously evolving and adapting our workspace, we can provide an inspiring environment that supports our employees' success and well-being.



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