Customer highlight: Lighthouse Group

Will Payne
Feb 27, 2020

Lighthouse Group embarked on a full office transformation with the help of TRELLIS.


Lighthouse Group brought in the TRELLIS team to work with Via Design to help build their new downtown Grand Rapids office. We worked through the Living Office framework to understand what was important to Lighthouse and how they wanted to shift their culture to grow as an organization.

Lighthouse was growing and growing fast. They were quickly running out of space at their current facility, they knew they had to make a change. But building a new headquarters was more than an opportunity to add workstations, It was a chance to assess their culture and make changes that would push their company forward. 

"Lighthouse Group’s partnership with TRELLIS has been an incredible experience. The TRELLIS team has invested in learning about our culture, people and goals in order to make customized recommendations ensured our workspace moved us forward in each area. From meeting areas that are designed to support effective information sharing, landing spaces that support natural flow before and after meetings, to intentional space for focused projects, every setting has a purpose that was well thought out and designed to meet our needs." - Sarah Hudson - Operations Manager

We worked through our living office discovery process to assess the current state of their culture and dream about where they wanted to go. With these goals defined, we built them into a furniture plan that would help them achieve them. Starting with 110 workstations and plans to add up to 40 more (which they already have!), Lighthouse is loving their new space. 

"I have seen actual improvements in our bottom line from this transformation. I cannot imagine going with our first iteration of private offices around the edge and a bullpen in the middle. We are collaborating more, learning from other departments, and having more fun. TRELLIS has been an exceptional partner." Tom Helmstetter - CEO

Scroll through the photos below to see their space and some of our living office concepts in action.

Like this "clubhouse" for their sales team to host weekly meetings in a casual setting sharing different types of content. 


Or this "warm up-cool down" space for employees to chat before and after meetings (and also let the current meeting know you are on deck). 


We designed conference rooms throughout the space - mixing in both seated and standing height positions for employees to feel comfortable. Believe it or not, there's a lot of thought that goes in to meeting space posture with research to back it up. 

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All employees received height adjustable desks. After everything was installed we brought in an ergonomic expert to train users on how to set up their desk for maximum comfort and productivity. 

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One of the keys to this project's success was openness of the leadership team to think differently about how they work. They knew their transformation needed to start from the top. In the picture below you can see Tom Helmstetter, CEO, working in his new office set up out in the open. We went through a number of design iterations that ultimately led us to an open plan (with plenty of spaces for privacy on demand) that allowed teams to collaborate freely and share knowledge across departments. 

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If you walk though their space, you will see meetings happening everywhere throughout the open plan. 

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Furniture alone can't change culture. We used the office move and design process as a catalyst to think through a number of policies and behaviors that Lighthouse wanted to change. For example, they built this beautiful plaza right off the kitchen area for team members to eat lunch; strongly encouraging them to forgo lunch at their desk. This is a great way to build comradery among employees and fuel serendipitous collaboration. ( it also avoids the unwanted smells in the office...)


Lighthouse was an absolute joy to work with and we are continuing to transform their offices across the the state - just completing their new Muskegon location.

If you would like to learn more about Lighthouse and the transformation journey they are on call us or connect with us today. We look forward to hearing from you! 

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