To bring employees closer to the company's core mission, Hyatt's new global headquarters are fashioned like its hotels as a constant reminder of hospitality

Hyatt’s fresh global HQ, situated in Chicago’s downtown Loop, is designed to give employees a taste of the hotel experience through the lens of a customer. Designed with architecture firm Gensler, the layout is modeled on the hospitality giant’s seven “touch points:” arrival, social spaces, drinking and dining, guest rooms (or work suites in this case), activities and services, meetings and events, and departure. The space prioritizes coziness over a corporate feel and draws on over 60 years of consumer research into construction and interior design. Workers are ensconced in an open floor, low-roof environment, which is said to have safe, low-stress psychological implications, further augmented by a variety of seating nooks and a broad, welcoming entrance.

Both employees and visitors are invited to work in the quarters, though much of the excitement tends to move toward the drinking and dining areas occupied by a dual-purpose coffee and alcohol bar and a cafeteria. This was no accident of course; while the food and drink area makes for a nice place to grab lunch among your coworkers, it also doubles as a trial area for the Hyatt to validate menu items for its hotels worldwide through spontaneous taste tests with its own employees.

“A lot of our employees who work in this building don’t travel to hotel properties, or spend time in hotel properties, at all. The only time they visit our hotel properties is when they’re staying in them as a guest,” Hyatt CEO Mark Hoplamazian told Fast Company. “The idea of having a daily experience, that is reminiscent of the experience people have in hotels or our hotels, is a not-so-subtle reminder of the business that we’re in.”

While the rest of the building is admittedly more traditional than the ground floor, Hyatt still makes sure to treat its employees right. The company has built out 192 private rooms for meetings of up to five people with walls made from silencing glass, in addition to 40 more formal meeting rooms that overlook the Chicago River. Office suites further decorate the headquarters with groups of 12 to 20 people sitting together in pod-style desks. The 10-story building also features lounge hubs on every floor for those who want a quieter, mini-version of the working, eating or hangout accommodations in the lobby.

The entirety of the company HQ was built for versatility and disproves the notion that work can’t be hospitable. Long marble slab tables outfitted with induction burners can transform a work surface into a buffet at the blink of an eye. Its safe to say then, that Hyatt and Gensler have succeeded in their ambitious undertaking: a hotel-office hybrid, where workers can both kick back and work, an unlikely combination.

Hyatt | Gensler


Lead Image: Hyatt Centric, The Loop, Chicago

Hyatt’s fresh global HQ, situated in Chicago’s downtown Loop, is designed to give employees a taste of the hotel experience through the lens of a customer. Designed with architecture firm Gensler, the layout is modeled on the hospitality giant’s seven “touch points:” arrival, social spaces, drinking and dining, guest rooms (or work suites in this case), activities and services, meetings and events, and departure. The space prioritizes coziness over a corporate feel and draws on over 60 years of consumer research into construction and interior design. Workers are ensconced in an open floor, low-roof environment, which is said to have safe, low-stress psychological implications, further augmented by a variety of seating nooks and a broad, welcoming entrance.