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  • Samsung is one of the world's largest tech companies.

  • But it's had a low-key presence in Silicon Valley, until this $300 million campus opened in 2015.

  • Let's check it out.

  • 1.1 million square feet.

  • 1800 employees and contractors.

  • $300 million total estimated cost

  • Samsung's Silicon Valley Headquarters.

  • Public courtyard.

  • Open office.

  • Open-air gardens.

  • Basketball court.

  • Gym.

  • Cafeteria.

  • "Chill Zone".

  • Architecture.

  • 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 in one of our initial designs was actually rectangular.

  • The curves weren't here.

  • It actually came together in sort of hard edges.

  • But we actually ran a computational script and looked at what a typical day would look like on an office floor, looking at how many calories each employee might burn, and how many other colleagues they might see.

  • And what we found was, was 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 the spaces and allowed them a greater opportunity for collaboration.

  • So how many calories would I burn working at Samsung every day?

  • Ah 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.

  • Productivity.

  • Does this space help with productivity?

  • It does.

  • There are a couple of things that are happening here.

  • First of all, you'll notice that you're getting a view and natural light from both sides of the space, which is important.

  • There is research that's 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.

  • Engagement.

  • 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 desks all along the outside here and then a main staircase behind me that connects them.

  • The architect tells 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.

  • And "Oh yeah, 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 encounters.

  • Yeah, I've definitely noticed there's a lot of walking around.

  • I feel like I've even done a fair amount of walking around the space.

  • Yeah I think you can get your step count up to about 10,000 without leaving the building during the day.

  • Environment.

  • 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 office's 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.

  • Amenities.

  • We wanted people to get up out of their desks and move and actually get out of the building.

  • And so rather than having 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, have it 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 during the course of the work day.

  • Employees can chose 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, and it's pretty fun

  • Impact.

  • Having this right here in the heart of Silicon Valley allows us to compete very well in that war for talent.

  • And is it working?

  • Absolutely.

  • And I think if you look at some of the Glassdoor scores and other metrics like that, I think we've made some great strides in the last couple of years, in terms of having a very open and very 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, say, creative talent that these companies are targeting, that they need basically to survive, are expecting spaces like this.

  • I think companies will, if they want to continue to attract that talent and stay ahead of the curve, they're gonna need to consider, you know, ideas like this and spaces like this.

  • Oh and also, there's these things called Nap Pods.

  • I gotta try one out.

  • I guess I kinda wanna go to sleep.

  • Not bad.

Samsung is one of the world's largest tech companies.

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Inside Samsung's Futuristic $300 Million Office | Open Office | WSJ

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    Estelle posted on 2020/01/13
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