Facebook’s new office in Menlo Park, California, is all set to create history as far as office spaces go. Designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry, the office, known as MPK20, features a single 430,000 square-foot (40,000 sq. m.) room which is described by CEO Mark Zuckerberg as the “largest floor plan in the world”. It also has a 9-acre rooftop park with walking trails, WiFi, and ample spaces for employees to sit and work.
The extensive office accommodates 2,800 employees, and no one has a cubicle- including Zuckerberg. He has a desk like everyone else and sits in the middle of the room. This is an inspiring break from the regular offices where the CEO and other top officials have special cabins. This open floor plan, many argue, is too avant-garde, but it undoubtedly enables employees to move around and share ideas with anyone. It will decidedly go a long way in creating an environment that boosts collaboration, open discussions, and innovation.
As no one in Facebook has an office, the conference room is the place to meet clients or gather for brainstorming. The most interesting part is that it is made of glass. According to Zuckerberg, the rationale behind this is to create an open and transparent culture where everyone can see what others are working on to encourage employees to do their best work.
The building itself is simple. The decision to adopt such a design was driven by the desire to create a space that evokes the feeling of work in progress – to convey to the employees how much is left to be done to achieve its goal to connect the world. But that does not mean that Facebook has compromised on style. The spaces are airy and colourful and feature custom art pieces and installations. Massive, stylish, and definitely innovative, the new office, in the words of Facebook’s Vice President of Human Resources, Lori Goler, is a “reflection of the fact that we are investing in our people. Our people are the most important part of this company.”
Facebook, however, is not the only tech giant to go for such an impressive workplace. Apple is currently building a campus that resembles a spaceship, and Google is working on a plan to create an office that would be enveloped in ultra-thin glass mesh! With ingenious designs and state-of-the-art buildings, these companies are surely changing the way people work.