Walgreens wanted a fresh start with their new workspace spanning multiple floors of a historic Chicago building, once known as the world’s largest post office. The massive structure that stood unused and empty for nearly a quarter of a century is being transformed into new downtown office space with 15-foot high windows, 20-foot-high ceilings and cool amenities such as a bocce court, a quiet library lounge, a 3-acre rooftop garden, and smart elevators. Upon leasing 200,000 SF of workspace, Walgreens identified innovation and collaboration as key to their remodel efforts. Walgreens wanted an interactive layout which also supported focused individual work. Walgreens primary acoustic challenge was ensuring the large, wide-open work environments were not distracting to team members.
A firm believer in acoustic comfort and speech privacy, Walgreens standardized Lencore as their sound masking provider in corporate locations, clinics, and pharmacies throughout the United States prior to the Old Post Office buildout. Having reviewed the costs, features, and performance of several options, Lencore was the clear choice, providing a high performing sound masking solution that supported fine tuning capabilities to work in a uniquely tall and open environment, in conjunction with mechanical sounds already present in the space. Another key differentiator for Walgreens was the ability to control the sound masking in multiple locations from one dashboard through Lencore’s graphic user interface, System Manager. This was important to Walgreens as the use, and users, vary over the life of the facility.
Lencore’s i.Net system provided that healthy acoustically comfortable environment Walgreens was seeking for their new space. The comfort of the sound was key to achieving this goal. Whether at full, or reduced occupancy due to the pandemic, Lencore sound masking provided an even and consistent background sound level across all open office areas. The resultant effect was a space that was able to balance privacy and interaction while opening up lines of communication within the workplace for greater productivity, efficiency, collaboration and innovation.
“A series of studies conducted over the past 12 years has convincingly documented that conversational distraction and uncontrolled noise is the primary cause of productivity loss within offices. More than 80% of the workers believed they would be more productive if their workspace provided more acoustical privacy.”