BUSINESS

Ford's New Campus Is 'The Jetsons' Compared To These Photos From The '50s

The automotive giant is giving its Michigan headquarters a Google-style makeover.

Ford is getting ready for a major revamp of its Michigan headquarters. 

With an eye on employee wellness and sustainability, the automaker is embarking on a 10-year project to upgrade its facilities in Dearborn. It plans to unite its 30,000 employees in two main campuses, which will feature walking trails and bike paths, as well as roads for autonomous vehicles.

Renderings of the plan show large swaths of green space in addition to various types of work areas indoors. The company says it plans to build at least one conference and meeting space for every seven employees. In an effort to ensure that employees remain active and healthy, it will also offer fitness rooms and healthy dining options.

Enticing amenities and a focus on employee wellness are well-known staples of tech companies like Google and Facebook, which have incorporated rock-climbing gyms and gourmet dining options into their campuses to promote employee well-being.

"We know these principles work, and we want to drive productivity and collaboration," said Donna Inch, chairman and CEO of Ford Land, which manages real estate and construction for Ford properties. "We're trying to make our employees' lives better."

Ford's history of incentivizing worker productivity can be traced back to founder Henry Ford, who in 1914 began paying his employees more than double the average factory wage in order to get them to be more efficient at work and reduce turnover. The move paid off: The company doubled its profits less than two years later.

Now, Ford is turning to physical activity to give an extra boost to workers during the day.

"We are encouraging them to use internal staircases and walk between buildings," Inch said. "We have common areas and treadmill desks."

Ford expects the new facilities will reduce energy use by 50 percent annually through new ventilation and daylighting systems. There will also be a tree canopy and rain retention areas.

Check out the designs for the new campus below, as well what the Ford buildings looked like 50 years ago.

Ford's new campus:

Ford's campus 50 years ago:

Ford Research and Engineering Center, 1961.
Ford Research and Engineering Center, 1961.
Ford Research and Engineering Center, 1960.
Ford Research and Engineering Center, 1960.
Ford Engineering Research Center cafeteria, 1958.
Ford Engineering Research Center cafeteria, 1958.
An employee checking engine timing at the Ford Dynamometer Building, 1958.
An employee checking engine timing at the Ford Dynamometer Building, 1958.
A wind tunnel at Ford Dearborn Engineering Center, 1958.
A wind tunnel at Ford Dearborn Engineering Center, 1958.
Ford Dearborn Product Engineering building, 1958.
Ford Dearborn Product Engineering building, 1958.
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