Crestron’s New Work Lifestyle Leader

Anthony Morin, Crestron Electronics’ de facto quality of life ambassador, wants to improve not only the company’s facilities, but the overall employee experience

Anthony Morin begins his day with a workout at Crestron Electronics’ on-site fitness center, just one of several amenities he’s helped to create at the Rockleigh, New Jersey, campus. His office is a short walk from the gym, allowing him to grab an affordable, healthy breakfast at the building’s Crestron Market afterward. Then, it’s off to a meeting with employees to talk about his favorite topic—Crestron’s new and improved work lifestyle.

“The overall goal is to develop a collaborative, welcoming workplace for our employees so that they are excited to be here, can perform their jobs in a vibrant space, and be part of the Crestron community,” says Morin, who manages a staff of 17 and reports directly to Crestron COO Dan Feldstein and CEO Randy Klein.

Crestron, a commercial/residential automation and controls-solution manufacturer, hired Morin to revamp corporate services. This includes on-site amenities at many of the company’s 34 locations around the world. In addition to overseeing this considerable real estate portfolio, Morin also spends his time handling space selection and lease reviews.

“I really have free rein to change the workplace identity,” says Crestron’s vice president of global real estate and facilities. “The initial phase is focused on the New Jersey campus. Then, we will roll out to the rest of the properties across the globe. It has been an amazing and rare opportunity to join a growing company that is allowing me to develop the future look, feel, and experience of their facilities. Many large companies are already firmly entrenched in their brand identity. Changes like the ones we are experiencing here at Crestron are not common.”

As the de facto quality of life ambassador for Crestron employees, Morin engages in daily conversations about what enhancements make for a better workplace experience. “A lot of corporations make decisions about their work lifestyle without input from employees,” Morin explains. “I want the employees’ feedback during the design process.”

Morin is both the creative force and company facilitator of Crestron’s corporate services, with responsibilities that reach as granular a level as picking out fabrics, furniture, and finishes. At the same time, this also gets counterbalanced by broader tasks such as space assessment and lease negotiations for new office space.

Morin’s vision is a workplace that improves quality of life for all of Crestron’s employees.

“The most important aspect of my work is to develop a welcoming workplace environment that promotes collaboration. It’s a work lifestyle change for the whole company that will improve the employee experience,” he says.

New Jersey Campus

Construction: Ongoing for the next 2–3 years

Crestron’s primary New Jersey campus covers four buildings with about 360,000 square feet of work space located in a corporate park. “The façades of the buildings are in good shape. However, the interiors require a significant refresh,” Morin explains. “We are rehabilitating the campus to create a new workplace environment while also assessing space allocation to maximize our current footprint.”

Currently underway, the redesign has input from Crestron employees who are testing out furniture and workspace configurations in an on-site showroom furnished by Knoll. In this prototype workspace, Morin presents different ideas and options for the campus’ 1,200 employees to experience and provide feedback.

“Vendors bring in seating for our employees to test,” Morin says. “I’m trying to find a workstation that will open the space. The goal is to create workspaces that are unified in look, but still meet the needs of the different user groups while also being easily reconfigurable.”

Sales and Support Building

Construction: The Training Institute completed in June 2017, with second-floor renovation scheduled for completion in December 2017

At Crestron’s sales and support building, Morin, working with the architecture firm Gensler, is reconfiguring space to accommodate a new state-of-the-art training institute, relocating the existing training center from the second floor to the first floor.

The new space will feature three training areas dedicated to digital media, lighting control, and automated shade training. Employee lounge areas and a café are also part of the 12,000-square-foot renovation.

LifeCenter

Construction: Completed and open for use since December 5, 2016

Crestron’s new LifeCenter, an on-campus wellness facility and fitness center, fosters the company’s commitment to its employees’ well-being. The gym, furnished with a variety of cardio and weight lifting equipment, is open daily and is free of charge to Crestron employees. The space provides on-site personal trainers, a physical therapist, and exercise classes. The adjoining medical clinic is also staffed by nurse practitioners to attend to employee healthcare needs.

“The overall goal is to create a collaborative, welcoming workplace for our employees so that they are excited to be here, can perform their jobs in a vibrant space, and be part of the Crestron community.”

Crestron Market

Construction: All markets opened to employees on January 3, 2017

As part of this healthy workplace initiative, Morin launched Crestron’s new food service in January. Known as the Crestron Market, the dining areas offer hot and cold meals, along with snacks for sale at a reduced rate subsidized by the company. Each of the four buildings on campus, plus the two nearby locations in Orangeburg, New York, and Cresskill, New Jersey, have a Crestron Market.

“The new food service is a big hit with the employees,” Morin says. “Crestron Market, managed by Aramark, has refrigerated and nonperishable options. And the sleek modular wall system is compact and easy to use, with a pay on-the-go kiosk that utilizes a key fob for purchases. The entire program works on an honor system.” Morin also enhanced workplace coffee service with gourmet options that are all complimentary to employees.

Multi-Use Facility

Construction: Opened for business on May 1, 2017

At Crestron’s Bangalore, India, facility, Morin is building out 30,000 square feet of workspace for roughly 250 employees—a combination of engineers, sales, and operations staff. Keeping cultural tendencies in mind, but holding to a company-wide standard, Morin explains how new office space design is being approached across all properties.

“My vision is a state-of-the-art, semi-open concept workspace,” he says. “Currently, our cubicle walls are 65 inches high. The new height will land between 48 and 52 inches to open up the workspaces, letting in more natural light while still preserving a privacy element. Ideally, offices with glass fronts would be situated toward the core of the building, with workstations on the perimeter.”