For Sammons Financial Group, based in West Des Moines, Iowa, the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of collaborative, comfortable working spaces, and showed company leaders that investing in a new custom-designed office building was the right move. “If we have learned anything this past year, it is that our employees are stronger together,” said CEO Esfand Dinshaw. “We look forward to our new, owned space to create a more collaborative and functional work environment for our team.”
When the project broke ground in 2019, Sammons Financial Group needed to consolidate its growing workforce, now at around 600 (of approximately 1,600 total) employees in central Iowa, who were then scattered among several office locations in the Des Moines area. The company also expects a lot of growth in the coming decade, which will mean adding — and retaining — an expanding team of employees and contractors. Sammons Financial Group leadership knew that contemporary and comfortable offices are high on employees’ wish lists, and help attract and retain strong candidates.
Sammons Financial Group’s new office space is situated on almost 26 acres of land, and includes a 220,000-square-foot, six-story headquarters building. In addition to beautifully designed outdoor spaces and walking trails, the building’s interior is full of modern, comfortable touches. The project team chose SageGlass Harmony®, a glazing solution that maintains views of the beautiful landscape around the campus, while blocking glare and allowing for precise, seamless control of window tint levels.
The office “is a second home to many of us,” said Rob TeKolste, president of Sammons Independent Annuity Group and West Des Moines site leader. “We need our office to be bright and beautiful, allowing the ability for our employees to give their all every day.”
TeKolste and other Sammons Financial Group leaders discussed the importance of natural light and outdoor views. “Natural light will really help employees enjoy the facilities,” said past-Culture Counsel chairperson Stacy Marean. “The [Harmony] glass is designed to not need window coverings, as it adjusts for glare and brightness as necessary, and also as it lets in the natural light as much as possible.”
With the installation of SageGlass Harmony, the building has greatly reduced cooling needs, and offers beautiful views and natural light — all without the uncomfortable glare, brightness, and heat that often accompany large windows. Chief Human Resources Officer Anne Cooper said, “I’ve learned that many elements make for a comfortable workstation. We care about the makeup of a workstation from a ‘chair’ perspective, and we recognize that the light, glare, and temperature all impact the comfort levels of our employees.”