Part of Silicon Valley folklore are the humble beginnings of many of the greatest tech startups. Apple, the most valuable tech company in the world, started in a Los Altos garage. Facebook has a market cap of nearly $300 billion but started on a college dorm room. The list of companies that started out in unassuming “office space” could go on for miles.
But as small companies begin to grow and start to generate real revenue or raise big venture rounds, their offices grow. These startups will transition from tiny, sublet offices into offices that are as equally big as they are breathtakingly beautiful.
What are some of the coolest startup office space design ideas? Who has the most beautifully designed office in tech?
Here’s a look at the most exciting startup offices tech has to offer and what you can learn from their office space designs.
Pinterest, a visual bookmarking tool and social network, is one of Silicon Valley’s most notable consumer facing unicorns. It has raised $1.32 billion in venture capital, which has afforded the team the luxury to build a large and modern headquarters.
One of its office space design elements that’s loved by many on the team is the open common area. It’s located in the center of the office and known for its collaborative qualities. In Pinterest terms, the space is known as the hub of “knitting.”
If creativity is key to your company, make sure there are designated areas for free flowing thought and collaboration. Great ideas don’t come from behind a cubicle wall. They come from group of brilliant minds that come together in open discussion.
The highly valued and ever controversial startup is so large, it has “three legs” to its headquarters. The company currently has a half-million square-foot office on Market Street in San Francisco. It also has a 423,000 square-foot office space in San Francisco’s Mission Bay. Just recently, it announced a 330,000 square-foot space in Oakland.
With so much square footage, Uber has a lot of office space design work on their hands. It’s newly opened San Francisco hub has a “futuristic styled” fifth floor, according to employee Andrew Chen. This design aligns well with Uber’s relentless push to changing how we commute. The best part of the new space is that all of the conference rooms are named after sci-fi novels.
Not every inch of your office needs to be filled with bright florescent colors to add personality to it. Uber’s fifth floor design teaches us that you can have office space filled with black that not only keeps pace with the company brand, but has a fun story behind it.
Asana is a task management startup, founded by Facebook co-founder, Dustin Moskovitz. With nearly $40 million in funding, the team moved into its San Francisco headquarters a few years ago.
The Asana office elicits adjectives like clean, modern, and quirky. While the office has open work spaces for employees, there are also nooks and crannies that offer a unique look into company culture.
One corner offers a Pinterest-like feel, with eccentric accessories and a rolling bar cart. Elsewhere is a piano with a giant ball of yarn, which looks like it hails from a modern museum rather than a tech office.
While this office space design may seem odd, it clearly goes well with Asana’s new direction of focus, energy, and desire to make its team smile.
The value of happiness cannot be understated at a company. Whether you work for a cool tech company, or you work somewhere more traditional, it’s still important that your office space design creates an atmosphere of happiness, like Asana.
Pandora is one of the many pioneering companies in the music streaming space. Despite having a $2.6 billion dollar market cap and a stable financial situation, it never forgets where it came from and what got them to this point: music.
The Oakland headquarters of Pandora has the expected open office design of a tech startup. There are no private offices. So phone booths and meeting rooms are crucial. These conference room names are based on musical groups and albums. There’s a series rooms named after each Beatle while another series of meeting rooms are named after the Simon and Garfunkel album Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme.
If your company has a flat managerial hierarchy and wants to eliminate offices, your office space design can reflect that. But be sure to include plenty of private meeting areas and phone booths so that employees can still have privacy. Too much open space can cause unnecessary distractions.
Stumbleupon is known for helping individuals discover the web, by “stumbling upon” new websites they might not have previously known about. That’s why Stumbleupon’s modern San Francisco office is accessorized with items related to famous scientists and their discoveries.
Stumbleupon’s office space design also has an eco-friendly component to it. While it’s not hard to promote a greener lifestyle by encouraging employees to bike to work, Stumbleupon takes it two steps further. Not only do they offer bike racks in the office, but the office also has a locker room with showers.
If you’re looking to make your office more environmentally friendly, adding bike racks and showers can encourage your team to keep the car in the garage and bring out their trusty two-wheelers.
While many offices have the same open office design, that doesn’t mean all offices are the same. Each office has its own distinct feel. If these five fabulous tech offices teach us anything, it’s that your office space design can have a huge affect on company culture and morale.