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CNO Financial Group Takes Chicago Corporate Office to New Heights with Modern Design and Innovative Workspaces
June 2023

Vice President of Facilities, Matthew Woodruff Shares an Exclusive Inside Look 

By: Matthew Woodruff, VP of Facilities at CNO

Almost every day, you can find a news article about the return-to-office or work-from-home debate.  Whichever camp you’re in, we can all agree that how offices are used has changed, and this is causing both employers and employees to reestablish new working norms while continuing to maintain productivity and reinforce corporate culture.

Here at CNO, the majority of our corporate associates have changed from 100% in-person working to a hybrid schedule.  Our associates have the flexibility to decide (with their manager) their in-office days, based on their needs, the needs of the team, and the needs of the business. 

Not only are we committed to supporting this flexible and hybrid way of working, we also believe the need for office space is not going away.  Over the past few years, we have been reimagining our offices and our remote-work technology to support a balance between hybrid and in-person working.  In-person activities in our offices are purpose-driven and focus on what we call the 4C’s— connection, collaboration, concentration, and celebration.

Our new Chicago corporate office reflects just that thinking.  This month, CNO officially opened the doors at 303 East Wacker in downtown Chicago.  The overall design of our new Chicago office is a direct reflection of the feedback from our associates on what amenities and workspaces they needed when in the office.  Our new office is focused on the associate experience, provides greater flexibility, and has been designed to support each of the 4C’s.  Just take a look below at the photos:

Energy and Inspiration

Access to natural light was one of the top attributes our associates wanted in their office space. Not a surprise that natural light contributes to increased energy levels and can make associates more productive and creative.  Breaking from our tradition, we eliminated most enclosed offices, and now provide nearly every workspace with line-of-sight to a window.  From these floor-to-ceiling windows, there are views of Lake Michigan and the Chicago River and plenty of light to beaming into our office spaces.

Connection and Collaboration

We really don’t need rows and rows of desks in our offices.  Many of our associates said they want to be in the office to connect and collaborate with their team members. Our collaborative spaces allow for our associates to come together for brainstorming, strategic discussions, planning sessions or process design. With this in mind, we have a variety of collaborative workspaces to help our associates make the best of their time in the office.

Concentration and Focus

For some of our associates, doing heads-down work in the office is equally important. Whether it’s needing quiet space, studying for an exam, or merely taking a break from home distractions, our office provides private spaces to concentrate.

Celebration and Events

Our recent ribbon-cutting event is a great example of how we celebrate in the office. The space buzzed with engaging conversations, creating new connections, and strengthening existing ones. The event consisted of an array of refreshments, snacks, celebratory decorations and giveaways that reflected CNO’s commitment to fostering a culture of collaboration and inclusivity.

Our new Chicago office is an investment in our current and future associates and showcases our ongoing commitment to the balance of in-person and hybrid working.  CNO Financial’s new Chicago location is 303 E. Wacker (5th floor).  Its approximately 400 Chicago-based associates are now officially working at the new 33,000-square-foot office space.