A guide to CRA's Chicago office

A guide to CRA's Chicago office

Welcome to the award-winning Chicago office!

CRA colleagues have been working from home since mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are currently requested to continue working from home whenever possible. We do, however, miss the office and seeing our colleagues in-person each day! So that you have an idea of what to expect for when we return, we’d like to share a bit of information about the Chicago office. We look forward to going back to 1 S. Wacker Drive safely and when the time is right.

Our office is in the “Loop” (Chicago’s downtown area). Our location makes us easily accessible by train, car, bike, and foot. A perk for those who might commute by L (local subway), Metra train (trains that go to the suburbs), or bus is that CRA offers a reduced-fare program as a pre-tax benefit for those transit options.

CRA’s office is on the 33rd and 34th floors of the building, and many of our practices have a presence in Chicago including Antitrust & Competition, Energy, Finance, Forensic Services, Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment, Life Sciences, Marakon, and Transfer Pricing. Practices collaborate frequently on projects and we have a nice mix of junior and senior staff in the office.

Should you join or visit our Chicago office, you’ll get to enjoy our newly renovated space. The refurbishment showcases a balance of private and public areas; we can complete quiet work but also engage in colleague interactions when walking around the office. The renovations even earned our office an Architecture MasterPrize in the Interior Design/Workplaces category. These awards aim to advance the appreciation and exposure of quality architectural, landscape, and interior designs worldwide.

Our office also achieved a ranking on Chicago Tribune’s 2019 Top Workplaces list. The list was compiled based on employee survey feedback, which assessed factors such as work-life balance, confidence in leadership, and company values. 

Like most of CRA’s offices, Chicago has a business casual dress code. While the exact definition may differ slightly between geographies, here men wear button-down shirts with slacks or chinos, and women wear skirts, dresses, blouses, sweaters, jackets, and slacks. Many folks wear jeans on Fridays. We also have the occasional office spirit day where we’ll sport our favorite team’s jerseys during March Madness or wear ugly sweaters during holiday happy hours.

Since we are in the middle of a busy downtown, there are many local lunchtime offerings, and folks usually head out together for a bite to eat. Office go-tos include Freshii, Just Salad, and Beatnik. The French Market is also a favorite; it’s an open space built beneath a series of trains where you can grab Indian food, colorful macarons, build-your-own crepes, savory pastrami, and much more. As Chicago has a reputation for extremely cold winters, Lloyd’s Express – the restaurant in our building’s lobby – is a good choice during winter months.

When not admiring our office space or doing project work, there are many Chicago area activities that colleagues enjoy. There are the obvious “tourist” spots like the Willis Tower SkyDeck or 360 Chicago (formerly the John Hancock Observatory). Other fun attractions include Millennium Park, the Field Museum, Art Institute of Chicago, and Urban Kayaks.

While Chicago winters might be a bit chilly, our office is a wonderful place to be year-round. We hope you make your way to the Midwest to join or see us soon!