Transitions: Warehouse to Office Space in San Francisco

The curated cloud development community with the less-than-ethereal name of Heavybit Industries has only been in its current office space in San Francisco’s SOMA (South of Market) location since the summer of 2012, but they’ve already changed everything about the way we think of great office space.

When architectural firm IwamotoScott was presented with the challenge of transforming a three-story warehouse at 325 9th Street in San Francisco’s SOMA district into a habitable workspace to be shared by early stage cloud development teams, they knew they had their work cut out for them. The client wanted to retain the heavy urban industrial physicality of the original structure while providing architectural interventions that would impart an open, cloudlike feel to a new development community office space in San Francisco.

The vibe in SOMA (South of Market) is decidedly urban with just a smidge of industrial decay. With interior design conceptualized by the client and executed by IwamotoScott Architecture, the Heavybit Industries office offers a range of remarkable features that include bar-height work tables, a dining area with a Y-shaped tables, a stage, and a public address system. San Franciscans do quite well without cars, thank you, so the glass-and-reclaimed-wood bike room is an addition quite welcomed by the developers who do what they do in this wide open workspace. Innovation and excellence are evident on all three floors of the AIASF award-winning Heavybit Industries building.

With fewer than fifty square miles and much of that residential, rentable, office space in San Francisco comes at a super premium price. Enough so as to make Transitions from Warehouse to Office Space in San Francisco an option. If you were to embark upon a search for office space in The City on your own, you might become far more than frustrated. When you’re ready to locate great office space in San Francisco, contact us without delay. We are OfficeFinder and we can help.

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The Latest Science Of Workplace Productivity

There is a whole branch of science devoted to getting things done. Workplace productivity studies have helped prove once and for all what some of the best workplace configurations are and why. Workplace productivity is something that can be enhanced and controlled as it turns out. Understanding the elements that can be controlled is what matters.

Color And Lighting

The use of color and lighting was first perfected by restaurants and casinos as well as other places of service. When they began to realize that colors have an impact on our subconscious mind, the desired colors were implemented. gives some examples of how colors can work on the brain,

…For instance, exposure to both blue and green has been shown to enhance performance on tasks that require generating new ideas. However, the color red has been linked with superior performance on tasks involving attention to detail.

Indeed, the use of color can be shown to matter a great deal when it comes to workplace productivity.

Imagination May Emerge From Messiness

Getting onto employees about keeping a clean and orderly desk has been something that employers have been doing for a very long time. They believed that having employees who kept a desk clean were likely to be more orderly in their work and actually get things done. This however may not be the case according to new studies from the University of Minnesota.

The studies at the University of Minnesota seem to point to the idea that in fact a messier desk is more conductive to creativity. Those who were in a messier environment in the study were actually found to have more imaginative ideas.

Lowered Stress Comes From Plants 

Just by having a few office plants around, one can actually see lowered levels of stress in the lives of the employees. It has been shown time and again that just the presence of plants in the office helps to bring down levels of stress and helps employees to recover faster from illnesses that they may have. For such a cheap investment, the plants provide a huge boost to the business.

Also see 5 Important Workplace Productivity Considerations

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Vibes’ Great Chicago Office Space

From the multi-colored pinstriped wall to the meeting rooms named for colors, there’s no question that Vibes’ corporate headquarters in Chicago are designed to be high-energy. This mobile marketing company has given a lot of thought, not just to color, but also how to sustain the energy level and support the creativity of this technology company and employee engagement. Here are some of the many ways that Vibes has a great Chicago office space.

Their corporate culture is about empowerment, and also enjoyment, so they invested in making their workspace into someplace that employees would enjoy hanging out. As one staff member puts it, “there’s plenty of places to go and just kind of clear your mind.” Some of those places include relaxed breakout spaces with comfortable furniture to relax on and huge whiteboards prepared for doodling, charting and outlining the next great app.

Unusual amenities in this office space include a kegerator in the bright, airy kitchen, ping pong and pool tables in the break room, a shower for those who bike to work every day, and hammocks on the balcony (which also comes with its own staff-created anti-pigeon device). A favorite space for employees to hang out is the “hot tub time machine,” which is a low, oval couch in which staff can sit together, relax, and brainstorm.

Design elements included in the construction of the space itself include a bridge that everyone must cross between the elevator and the workspace itself, crossing high above an interior courtyard and creating “the wow factor” for visitors and clients. The design of the office spaces incorporates the Golden Spiral, which is a 3D illustration of the Fibonacci sequence. The spiral arcs, which employees traverse on scooters, lead to the War Room where that energetic creativity is turned into mobile technology.

So if you’re looking to increase the color and energy levels in your office, think about what Vibes has done with their offices. And if you’re looking for great Chicago office spaces in which to make those energetic transformations, contact us today.

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5 Important Workplace Productivity Considerations

Workplace productivity depends on more than pep talks, motivational speakers, and the occasional pat on the back. While these can help, there are five important Workplace Productivity Considerations to consider when selecting office space that can help boost productivity. As you view your office space, or as you shop around for new space, think about your employees and these five factors:

  1. Furniture

While no sensible worker expects to have the ultimate in creature comforts at their work station, furniture should be comfortable enough for an employee to work in reasonable comfort for their entire shift. Chairs and desks should accommodate people of vastly different sizes, especially if you have a very tall employee. A worker who is 6’4 will have a hard time sitting hunched over at a workstation that is too short for him. Likewise, an employee who is under 5′ tall will be uncomfortable at a workstation that requires her to have to crane her neck to see see anything. Both of these situations can increase downtime for health issues and result in both reduced workplace productivity and workers’ compensation claims. A height-adjustable workstation is the best solution, but if that’s not possible, furnish your office with chairs and desks that can be adjusted to a great degree.

  1. Spatial Awareness

Hand-in-hand with the comfort level of office furniture is the amount of space your furniture and other fixtures are going to take up. Many employees do not work well if they are crowded at their workstations. They lose time having to maneuver through a maze of cabinets and cubes just to get to the printer. You need to have ample storage, but you also need to have ample room for that storage. Also be sure you have a conference room for groups to meet in. In a crowded office, even the simple act of three people stopping in a pathway to exchange and compare notes on a project can cause a serious road-block.

  1. Noise Levels

You can’t get away from noise. Every office has at least a low-level of ambient noise. While noise affects everyone differently, and low-level noise isn’t enough to cause hearing loss, it can still lead to stress. While there are numerous ways to help an employee deal with this, such as allowing personal decor in their work space to help create a “sanctuary”, you can also help matters by making sure that no unnecessary noise intrudes. Noisy areas such as equipment rooms and server rooms should be able to be sound-proofed or have the attendant noise greatly muffled. (Larger server rooms can have decibel levels that exceed those put out by rock concerts measured right next to the amplifiers! Make ear plugs available for those who have to go into your server rooms!)

  1. Lighting, Natural and Artificial

The relationship between lighting and productivity is well-known. A study published at NCBI shows that a difference of 400 lux (a unit of lumens, or visible light, within a square meter) can affect productivity to a significant degree. A mixture of natural light coming in through windows and artificial light, especially in the form of desk lamps, will help improve productivity. When searching for office space, consider how the light enters at various times of the day.

  1. Temperature, Actual and Relative

Temperature has the biggest effect on productivity. However, it is quite the juggling act. An employee who spends a good part of the day seated at a desk will most likely feel colder than the employee who is constantly up and moving, who will feel warmer. Some seated employees can feel cold with the room at 84 degrees Fahrenheit! While allowing personal space heaters or fans might not be cost effective (especially when considering energy costs), you might consider this Cornell University study that shows an effective temperature of 77F (no warmer or cooler!) increases productivity and reduces errors by 150% and 44% respectively.

In Conclusion

The trick to finding an office space that will suit your needs without sacrificing workplace productivity is to find a partner with the contacts and the know-how to help you get the office space you need. To see how we can help you, contact us today!

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Efficient Office Space Design: It’s About Your Employees

A new age is upon the business world when it comes to office space design. Efficient use of office space is the name of the game when it comes to developing an office that really gets things done. However, the efficient use of office space may come in more creative ways than you have imagined.

The Example Of GlaxoSmithKline

One modern example of a company that has changed the way in which business is done is GlaxoSmithKline. Listen to what has to say about what goes on at GlaxoSmithKline,

“Many employees work at computer terminals standing. Everyone is encouraged to float — in the cafeteria, on top of the deck beside a green roof filled with indigenous plants, on a sofa in a quiet room or in the lobby.”

If a company as large as Glaxo is embracing the idea of a more open and efficient office, then shouldn’t you?

Employees That Are Happier

Resources should be spent to make employees happier. A happier employee is a more engaged and productive employee. Believe it or not, employees are dramatically impacted by the physical environment in which they work. They want a place where they feel comfortable and where they can focus at the same time. Creating an office around this idea is what is necessary to create a happier workplace.

An Office Redesign Does Not Have To Be Expensive

Contrary to popular belief, a redesign of the office does not have to be expensive. Instead, office redesigns can be rather minimalist in their design as less clutter has been something praised and admired in modern times. After all, the fewer distractions in an office, the better. Starting from scratch may be an expense now, but it pays dividends down the road.

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