Well before the onset of the pandemic and the rise of remote working, Okta – a leading provider of identity and access management – approached M Moser with a novel idea. It centred on the goal to create a new, dynamic workplace that would redefine the purpose and configuration of office space.
Okta realised its cloud-based product meant only an internet connection was needed for employees to do their job. What was truly required from the physical workplace was a place for people to touch down, recharge, connect and innovate.
Growing quickly, Okta saw an opportunity to maintain productivity, culture and belonging while driving a new strategy for its offices. Rather than large facilities, smaller footprints would enable people to convene when and how they needed to. These dynamic workplaces would exist where the talent was and, as the teams in these locations grew, a hub would form.
- Okta saw an opportunity to test a new strategy in San Francisco. The project would act as a pilot for replacing large facilities with smaller footprint hubs.
- Bringing teams together to collaborate and innovate how and when they need. The space includes a variety of work settings, key equipment, and ample flexibility for in-person and remote working.
- Spaces match workflow and project needs with zones for various levels of concentration and teamwork.
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The dynamic workplace
Okta’s new dynamic workspace is located on a single floor of its San Francisco headquarters. It was created as a pilot and a blueprint for transforming its physical space around the world.
At its core, the strategy bucks the status quo. Instead of creating large, centralised offices, the team explored smaller, agile spaces for remote working. This would support employees to collaborate and ideate, while maintaining independence.
M Moser embarked on a discovery process to learn about Okta’s different user groups. Surveys and workshops conducted with various business units guided the workplace design. This resulted in a workplace that accommodates the nuances of team microcultures and unique workflows while maintaining a baseline that supports all types of work.
Designed to drive behaviours
The Okta project was defined from the beginning by the behaviours and culture fostered by the new environment. M Moser’s behaviour-based design approach was applied to provide an in-depth understanding of workplace performance. The team also defined how goals could be met through physical, digital and social solutions.
Relationships and team bonding are highly valued at Okta. However, key findings showed a tendency towards mostly individual work that varied in levels of concentration. Customised, semi-enclosed lounge spaces have been created as a “home base” for teams to congregate and connect. These drive collaboration and innovation. Located in different areas of the floorplate, and tied together by design elements, they replace traditional assigned departmental seating.
In addition, overlapping neighbourhoods, functional transition spaces and intentional high traffic areas drive communication and encourage cross-departmental interaction.
Effective and productive spaces
It was critical that the new dynamic work model would allow teams to remain effective and productive. Designed for flexibility and multifunction, work settings are equipped with the tools and technology to support individual and collaborative work. Spaces support workflow or project needs, rather than traditional departmental separations. A proposed, one-of-a-kind concierge experience creates a hosted and social environment that nurtures creativity and teamwork.
From social, collaborative café-like environments to “deep-work” zones, the design strives to create a spectrum of spaces for employees to explore. The open floorplan incorporates a variety of meeting rooms and alternative work areas such as lounge seating, carrels and bar seating. Each corner of the floorplate provides unique features to draw people and drive movement around the floor.
Ahead of its time, Okta understood the value of agility and flexibility in the workplace. Transitioning between in-person and remote work, and from individual to collaborative settings with ease, its new dynamic space in San Francisco provides a model to guide business transformation and inspiration globally.
To learn more about Okta’s dynamic workplace, please contact Chris Hume, Associate Director - Design.
- Status Completed
- Area 8,500 sq-ft
- Completion date 2020
- Photographer Emily Hagopian