The new Rite Aid headquarters in Philadelphia’s thriving Navy Yard District is one of the first corporate headquarters to emerge as 100% remote. The Rite Aid Collaboration Center represents how the national enterprise has transformed their brand and is trailblazing the future office market as companies embrace new ways of working that blend remote first and in-person collaboration.
Understanding the Client
In response to Covid-19 Rite Aid made the decision to become a remote first workplace, and began its search for a physical location which suited this mission. With proximity to major transportation corridors and accessibility to regional and national talent, Rite Aid chose Philadelphia’s Navy Yard for its new headquarters.
As the Meyer team embarked on this fast-paced journey, Rite Aid President and CEO Heyward Donigan’s mantra was an important reminder, “We are all in this together.”
When speaking to the design process for this groundbreaking remote first environment, Meyer Principal and workplace expert Debra Breslow explained, “We designed a new type of space that doesn’t mirror anything that exists now. This is a space that is designed to promote collaboration, culture, and enhance the user experience.”
Designing A Remote First Workplace
It was essential that the design include principles important to Rite Aid – namely to promote health, wellness, and collaboration. The Meyer team needed to think about universal design – how do you make sure this headquarters is accommodating and welcoming to anyone and everyone that wants to use this space?
From the ground up, Meyer designed this headquarters on the principles of:
- Human Centric User Experience
- Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
- Sustainability & Biophilia
- Planned & Spontaneous Innovation
- Physical & Psychological Safety + Security
- IT & AV Integration Throughout (Information Technology and Audio-Visual Technology)
When reflecting on the design process Deb Breslow noted,
“We knew it was important to think about neurodiversity – to create areas that are active and engaging as well as spaces that are passive and quiet. We needed to offer a variety of spaces that reflect the diverse ways people think, interact and work together.
This included unique places for respite, prayer, wellness, nursing, intimate phone rooms, large conference spaces, and a flexible nourishment area. As workers emerge from the pandemic era, we wanted to make people feel comfortable, safe, and secure upon entry – this translated to abundant natural light, extra wide corridors, and rounded corners. A connection to nature was also part of this strategy – we included natural and biophilic elements, which studies show can lower blood pressure and create a calming and safe environment. To create a successful space IT and AV integration needed to be woven throughout. A focus on ease of use and digital equity was important.”
Bringing it all Together
The Rite Aid Collaboration Center represents the next generation of remote work and headquarter design. It offers associates from across the country an innovative and forward thinking space to meet, collaborate, engage clients and partners, and cultivate strong professional relationships that serve as the foundation for successful remote work.
Thank you to our project partners and the tremendous team at Rite Aid for making this project a reality.