Lifeway Christian Resources has entered into contract to sell its corporate headquarters in downtown Nashville, TN.
Leaders at Lifeway have been studying options for their 277,000-square-foot facility since the summer of 2019. The company has been using only 60% of the building’s occupant capacity even before the Coronavirus pandemic hit. As employees moved to fully work from home due to the outbreak, Lifeway decided to let go of the building and transition into a mobile work environment.
“Lifeway is moving forward, building fresh vision, and getting prepared for a new season of ministry to churches,” said Lifeway President and CEO Ben Mandrell. “This has led us to think strategically about selling our large building downtown, fully embracing remote work as the norm, and moving into a new era of creative and collaborative work.”
Lifeway will continue to use a portion of the building until they find a new location. Mandrell said he is excited about the future headquarters and working arrangement of the company.
Lifeway is moving forward, building fresh vision, and getting prepared for a new season of ministry to churches. —Lifeway President and CEO Ben Mandrell
“We’re definitely moving to a new work environment,” he confirmed. “Our new space will be designed specifically around a healthy blend of strategic meetings and team collaboration, as well as the flexibility of working from home. Like other companies are doing as a result of COVID, we’re re-imagining the corporate office for the future of work.”
Connia Nelson, Lifeway’s chief human resources officer, revealed that many Lifeway employees have been working outside the office even before Coronavirus so they are ready for the remote work model.
“We saw the need to support an increasingly mobile workforce,” Nelson pointed out. “We’ve had a robust work-from-anywhere strategy for the last few years, which positioned us well for Nashville’s safer at home orders put in place in March.”
She disclosed that working from home didn’t compromise the productivity of employees and it even gave them the opportunity to have a healthy work-life balance. “We have a number of employees juggling work with caring for family members and helping their kids with distance learning. We want to make sure they have the flexibility to still perform at their best while juggling these responsibilities.”
Nelson sees a future office space where there will be conference rooms, casual meeting spaces and drop-in work stations.
“We want to be wise stewards, so it makes sense for us to do all we can to make the best use of our resources, including our corporate office building,” Mandrell said. “We are moving away from the idea of a ‘headquarters’ to a fully mobile and agile workforce that intentionally gathers to build strong relationships, celebrate what God is doing and share ideas.”
With the move to downsize its headquarters, Lifeway also plans to strengthen its digital presence, bringing its retail business online.
In a news release in 2019, then-acting President and CEO Brad Waggoner announced that, “Lifeway is moving into a new era with a strategic digital focus that will prepare us for the future and allow us to better serve our customers.” He said, “Investing in a dynamic digital strategy allows Lifeway to better serve the Church in its mission and only enhances our ability to provide biblical solutions for life.”
Lifeway distributes resources in 164 nations and licenses resources in more than 60 languages.