Skip to main content
This website uses a variety of cookies, which you consent to if you continue to use this site. You can read our Privacy Policy for details about how these cookies are used, and to grant or withdraw your consent for certain types of cookies.

Office Refresh

How We Work at Isthmus

In the fall of 2019, Isthmus Engineering was a company of 28 and steadily growing. While Isthmus had a “work from anywhere” policy, team members primarily worked at our office in Lowertown Saint Paul. It wasn’t because they had to be there every day, it was because they wanted to be there. Everyone had a dedicated workstation, and for an open office layout, it was generally a very quiet and focused environment. It was also a friendly and welcoming place where our team enjoyed collaborating on project tasks, providing over the shoulder support, and connecting over lunch or happy hour on our rooftop Terrace.

Outgrowing our Space

Our team was growing at a pace that looked as though we would soon run out of space. Always looking for team input, our President, Katie Toghramadjian, launched a Campus Planning strategic initiative and turned us loose across our campus with printed floor plans in hand during our annual retreat in September. We started brainstorming, envisioning, and in some cases, dreaming big about what our space could be.

Redefining our Work'place’

Within six months, that initial planning was abruptly put on hold when we were all sent home for what we thought would be just a couple weeks. Our nimble and resilient team was up and running from 28 home offices by the very next working day. Throughout the pandemic, our team demonstrated that we could remain not only productive but connected to each other and collaborative without being together in the office every day. The driving need to create more space for more workstations for more team members had shifted and we set out on another course.

Our team agreed that we did not want to be a purely remote company. We loved our physical space and having a home base. We shifted the focus of our refresh to make changes that would accommodate a hybrid work environment — more quiet rooms and breakout spaces, shared rather than assigned workstations, and better flow throughout the building. Following a thoughtful process of developing a plan that best met our goals, we broke ground on our much anticipated and long-awaited Isthmus Office Refresh in October 2023.

Out were brown walls, extra doors, and unpractical spaces. In was a lighter, brighter, and more connected environment. Places to gather over lunch, a plan set, or a strategic initiative were created along with places to pop in for a quick call, to focus on a task, or conduct a Teams meeting.

Reimagined, Refreshed, and Renamed

Just a week shy of six months later, on Monday, April 1, the green dumpster outside our front windows was finally hauled away, signaling the official end of construction. We are now focusing on the finishing touches and assessing how our new and reconfigured spaces work for our team. We repurposed many of our furnishings including our sit-and-stand workstations but leaned into a new “Minnesota Landmarks” naming convention for our meeting, breakout, and quiet spaces that was chosen through a team survey. Now, you’ll find our team working diligently from our Midtown Greenway or Uptown workstation areas, presenting to a group in our North Star Conference Room, brainstorming in our Union Depot Collaboration Lounge, and pursuing focused work in Paisley Park. Our expanded kitchen on the second floor allows for breakroom-style space and is adjacent to our beloved Terrace which is our team’s favorite gathering spot — at least during three of our Minnesota seasons.

Our team is still empowered to decide daily where work works best for them. But we hope we have succeeded in creating an environment that our team finds inspiring and productive. A place where they want to be – not necessarily every day like before the pandemic – but when they need it to collaborate, focus, spark creativity, or sometimes just for a change of scenery.

A place that encompasses how we work at Isthmus.

Where we can share, teach, mentor, and learn.

Where we can engage in meaningful ways professionally and personally.

A place that reflects our team and that we are proud to share.