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“Is one of the world s largest tech companies. But it s had a low low key presence in silicon valley. Until this 300 million dollar campus opened in 2015. This design is about connecting people and the design started as really two separate buildings and then we ultimately landed on this idea of these two story bars that would connect the building on both sides and really define this courtyard space originally this courtyard and one of our initial and one of our initial designs was actually rectangular the curves weren t here it actually it actually came together in sort of hard edges.
We actually ran a computational script and looked at what a typical day would look like on a on an office floor. Looking at how many calories each employee might burn and how many of their colleagues. They might see and we found was was that by studying that if we began to round these corners and actually create two story spaces behind these curved sections of glass that improved people s visibility and actually drew them out into those spaces and allowed them a greater opportunity for collaboration so how many calories would i burn working at samsung. Every day probably just in the course of a normal work day i have to remember what the script said but it was between seven and eight hundred does this space help with productivity.
It does there are a couple things that are happening here first of all you notice that you re getting a view and natural light from both sides of the space. Which is important. There s research..
That shown how natural light and views help people focus and process information in a more effective way than if they re in a more closed environment. So right now we re in one of the main workspaces in the building. It s sort of an open two story design with the deaths. All along the outside here and then a main staircase behind me that connects them the architect ells.
Me that the goal of this was to sort of get people up out of their desks. Moving around. And then just also to be able to see people and see which of their colleagues are free. So they could go have a conversation have you actually seen people connecting and having these impromptu meetings or is that a sort of goal that isn t playing out in real time.
I think it was a goal. But i ve actually seen it and i ve experienced it myself. And so for example..
I have lots of meetings all over the building from any point during the day and i m always bumping into somebody from another department. Somebody in my organization. Then oh yeah oh and by the way. And you sort of find yourself.
Having these. By the way conversations and so i think the design of the building. Really facilitates people to get up and move around a lot and then that s where you have those those encounters. Yeah.
I ve definitely noticed there s a lot of walking around. I feel like i ve even done a fair amount of. Water i think you can get your step count up to about 10000..
Without leaving the building during the day from here. You can really get a good sense of the building design. You can see the public area down below the first floor closed office spaces. Another open air walkway offices open air walkway and then the top of the building and really what you re seeing is the offices commitment to getting people outside with the public area below and the open air floors here.
No samsung employee is more than one floor away from being outside. We wanted people to get up out of their desks and move and actually get out of the building and and so rather than having the the cafe actually inside of the building. We consciously pulled it out across the public space so rather than this being kind of a more of a typical cafeteria. We wanted to give it having more of a dynamic and lighter feel and it goes back to that whole idea of encouraging people to come and spend time here and potentially engage other workers that they might not normally.
See employees can choose from around a dozen types of global cuisine prepared fresh each day and then there s the other perks on campus tennis. Courts full court basketball. A gym..
A garden massage rooms. A coffee shop and the chill zone so this is the chill zone there are foosball tables ping pong tables arcade games sports playing on the wall back there basically there s a lot of not work happening in this room. It s pretty fun having this right here in the heart of silicon valley allows us to compete. Very well in that and that war for talent and is it working absolutely i think if you look at some of the glassdoor scores.
And other metrics like that i think we ve made some some great strides in the last couple of years in terms of having a very very open and collaborative environment that we ve created here for our employees. Do you think. Other companies in silicon valley. Other tech firms will create spaces that are more like this.
I think they re gonna have to because the younger it s a creative that these companies are targeting that they need basically to survive our expecting spaces like this i think companies will if they want to continue to attract that talent and and stay ahead of the curve. They re gonna need to consider you know ideas like this and in spaces like this oh and also there are these things called nap pods ah not bad ” ..
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Samsung s North American headquarters was designed to integrate into Silicon Valley, not wall employees off from it. Take a tour with WSJ s Adam Falk as he checks out the workspace, including its elevated, open-air gardens.
Photo: Verus Productions
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