Fitness centers, green initiatives, and space to relax — many modern offices are adopting features similar to these which are meant for employee benefit. Innovative designs are making offices feel more inviting, which in turn can help employees be more productive.
We rounded up three of the most innovative workspaces you may not have heard of. Check out the awesome ways these companies are using office features to better the employee experience.
Etsy – Brooklyn, New York City, NY
Online marketplace, Etsy, is well known as a place to sell handmade goods, from jewelry to customized wine glasses, with many sellers using reclaimed or upcycled materials in their products. The Etsy headquarters in Brooklyn reflect this spirit of sustainability. The headquarters were designed using eco-friendly paints and salvaged wood. The two-building campus provides plenty of space for approximately 500 employees to create and collaborate over nine stories.
In a commitment to its client base, Etsy purchased many of the furnishings and décor for the office from actual Etsy sellers. Approximately 750 pieces of furniture and light fixtures were made by Etsy sellers and local artists. Several floors feature art collections made up of Etsy products, including a gallery in the lobby of the auditorium.
Etsy also focused on sustainable, eco-friendly features when renovating the building that now houses the headquarters. A large bike storage area provides plenty of room for employees to bike to work, while on-site showers are available to freshen up, and the roof features solar panels that power a small portion of the building. The rest of the building’s power comes from remote solar energy. To help reduce flooding and reuse rainwater, Etsy installed a 3,400-gallon water tank that collects rainwater. The water is then used to water the numerous plants found through the office space.
Employee engagement and education is highly encouraged at Etsy. The company hosts daily yoga and meditation sessions, as well as providing catered lunches twice a week. As a company founded for creatives to sell their handmade goods, it makes sense that Etsy hosts craft nights once a month. During the rest of the month, employees can get creative using the 3D printer or working in the printmaking studio.
American Savings Bank – Honolulu, HI
The island of Oahu is known as a vacation spot for tourists, but the corporate campus of American Savings Bank (ASB) makes their teammates feel like they’re in paradise every day at work. The newly constructed ASB Campus features over 370,000 square feet of space and brings more than 650 employees from five separate locations under one roof in downtown Honolulu. The site serves as a training location with amenities for all of the banks’ 1,100+ employees, including those visiting from the bank’s numerous branch locations across the islands of Hawaii.
True to their commitment to customers, the corporate campus has a full-service ASB branch on the first floor. The first floor also features a large multi-purpose room for community events and gatherings. Visitors can view and purchase artwork by local artists in the Lo’i Gallery. The entire campus was designed and built with the spirit and traditions of Hawaii in mind. Artwork and design concepts were provided by Native Hawaiian designers to honor the history of the area as well as the values of ASB. By design, the campus does not include a cafeteria. The idea is to encourage teammates to frequent the local restaurants in the area, to help with the ongoing revitalization of the community.
The upper floors of the building are marked by employee amenities that create a collaborative workspace. Open floor plans are flexible, thanks to the building’s concrete Pre-Cast Design. Each floor has huddle and project rooms which allow a quiet space for small teams to meet. Employees can also enjoy a breakroom and coffee hui with self-serve Starbucks coffee and tea, as well as snacks.
Relaxation rooms give employees a place to meditate or take a quick nap for an afternoon pick-me-up. For more energetic employees, the campus offers an arcade with plenty of games and ping-pong tables for friendly competition. An outdoor lanai on either end of the seventh floor gives employees access to the beautiful weather for which Hawaii is known.
As a company that feels a strong connection to the area, ASB has created a sustainable and eco-friendly corporate headquarters. The complex is the first and largest building in Hawaii to completely use View Dynamic Glass, which automatically tints to control glare and internal temperature based on sunlight. Nearly five hundred solar panels, charging stations for electric vehicles, and a robust recycling system add to the eco-friendliness of the building. More than twenty impactful pieces of furniture were created by a local artist using reclaimed monkeypod wood.
Acuity Insurance – Sheboygan, WI
When you think of innovative workspaces, your mind probably jumps to Silicon Valley or the heart of New York. Acuity Insurance in Wisconsin, however, boasts an employee and energy-friendly headquarters of over 1.2 million square feet. The building complex can support 1,600 employees, with plans to ultimately be able to support 4,000.
To foster an environment of open communication, the company has built a 2,000-seat theater with a circular design. This 360-degree seating arrangement ensures that no one is more than 65 feet from the center stage. The theater is used for a number of employee events, including town hall meetings to give employees and management a chance to have open discussions. The venue is also used for entertainment, such as comedians or live music.
High value is placed on employee enjoyment at work, so Acuity often hosts themed party days or events to help make life in the office a little more fun. In addition to occasional indoor beach bashes, tailgate lunches, or ice cream days, the company provides ping-pong tables and free popcorn to help employees let loose. The 40-foot climbing wall and fitness center with free fitness classes help encourage employee fitness. Other benefits and on-site amenities include massage therapy, financial counseling, dry cleaning, and flexible schedules.
Employees are given ample opportunities to mingle and enjoy work/life balance while working for Acuity. Family nights are hosted twice a month for employees to bring the whole family out to socialize. The company provides dinner, drinks, and the chance to relax with coworkers outside of work.
The main showcase of the Acuity workspace, however, is the 65-foot ferris wheel installed inside the building. Known as the Acuity Charity Wheel, the ride is used for family nights at the company, as well as a fundraiser for community events. The wheel runs for almost all of the events hosted at the company, from 4-H awards nights to the Sheboygan spelling bee.