Sr. Director, Global Real Estate & Workplace at Verkada
When is a staircase more than a staircase? When it becomes a symbol for your company culture.
The open, spiral staircase in Verkada’s San Mateo headquarters spans three floors and connects both wings of our building. To us, it represents connection, a free flow of ideas and information and an easy way for employees to move up, down, and across our space. It also represents our truly collaborative company culture.
We have been intentional about creating an office space that fosters more opportunities for chance encounters and collaboration. We’ve done this because we believe that, when you’re growing as rapidly as we are, it’s beneficial to have people working and solving problems in-person. And while this mode of work isn’t for everyone, we know there are many people who are eager for more in-person collaboration. We’re committed to developing a place that makes that fun.
The bottom line: The office should be a place that people want to visit. It should be welcoming, dynamic, and encourage collaboration. To that end, our team has worked hard to shape our office environment to reflect the culture that we’ve built. Here are a few efforts were most proud of:
The Verkada coffee shop – For too long, our office coffee space was limited to a single small table with a limited amount of equipment that made it hard for employees to make their favorite drinks. We built out a full-blown coffee shop in our lobby, which features professional-grade coffee machines, juicers, and other drink machines.
We developed the coffee bar to be a “third place,” somewhere employees can go to work away from their desks. Our teams gather there when they’re looking for a change of scenery, a place to catch up with coworkers, or even when they’re just looking for a break.
Sales Speakeasy – Hidden behind a bookcase is a speakeasy-like space where our team can work, connect, and entertain. Within it, employees can find unique snacks, a pool table, a sound system, and even big screen televisions. Like our coffee shop, this is another example of how we’ve built spaces that offer employees opportunities to engage and connect.
Our team wanted to design these spaces to feel distinct from the rest of our office. People spend a lot of time here, so it’s important to offer them spaces that offer a change of pace and vibe.
The Wall of Fame – We recognize employees who reach major milestones with their own custom portraits, which are displayed in a permanent gallery space and lounge in permanent space in our headquarters.
We are a global company, so it’s important to give each of our offices the opportunity to put a regional spin on their spaces. Depending on the office, this recognition comes in different forms. In our Austin office, for example, we’ve swapped portraits with signed guitars; in Salt Lake City, we plan to offer employees custom skis and snowboards.
When done right, these office environments help people connect, create, relax. Our philosophy: if you want your employees to come to the office, you first must make your office a place that’s worth coming to.