From custom surfboards to 3D printers, here are 6 of LA's hottest tech offices

February 11, 2016
Office design is key to a growing company.
 
Inspiring spaces and unique perks help keep employees engaged and happy during their day-to-day, and their importance are exemplified within the tech industry. So what motivates executives' crucial design decisions?
 
We stepped inside the doors of , , , , , and to see how they crafted productive and positive working spaces:
 
 
 
 
 
 
Answers courtesy of Walter Driver, CEO & Co-Founder:
 
What were your considerations when picking an office space and designing its layout?
 
We were named the second fastest growing technology company in North America by Deloitte and this is our fourth office in four years, so we were keen on finding a space we could build out to complement our company culture and that would also accommodate future growth. At more than 30,000 square feet, this office is three times the size of our previous space and gives us flexibility and room to reconfigure things as we grow. 
 
What are some of the perks of working in your office?  
 
We offer free massages, yoga classes, lunch and dinner every day, and we are also a dog-friendly office. One of my favorite "perks" is actually a company tradition — each employee gets to design his or her own oil portrait on their first year anniversary with Scopely (pictured on the wall above.) Folks get pretty creative with this one.
 
Why are these important to you?
 
Scopely is a people-powered company. We want to take care of our people. To attract the best talent, we need to be the best place to come to work every day. Of course, this extends far beyond perks into fundamental decisions around the culture, management, and vision of the company, but perks are one way to acknowledge the hard work our team puts in each day.
 
How do you think office design affects work culture?
 
Things like layout and use of space in the office help define how we work. We have an open floor plan, good spots for social gatherings, and awesome outdoor space. These open spaces foster collaboration and, over time, contribute to building deep relationships that make us function at a higher level as a team.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Answers courtesy of Jeff Stibel, Vice Chairman of Dun & Bradstreet.
 
What were your considerations when picking an office space and designing its layout?
 
When we acquired the office space, we designed it from the ground up and sought to use it to define our heritage with a little of the old, a little of the new, and a little of the local. 
 
Our “old” Dun & Bradstreet heritage is reflected in the memorabilia on the walls and our DNB museum, which is the first thing you see when you enter the office. We also used industrial steel and concrete as design elements, a throwback to earlier times.
 
For the “new” elements, we wanted the office to have the feeling of a startup to represent our entrepreneurial roots. Our beachside locale is an important component of this as it contributes to a fun, relaxed atmosphere. Our open floor plan, with no offices or cubicles, enables collaboration and cross-pollination of ideas. 
 
Our company is all about acting “local” and we wanted that to be pronounced as well. We have embraced Malibu as our hometown and it is represented throughout the office. Vintage Malibu artwork lines the walls and we commissioned the mayor of Malibu who owns a local surf shop to make custom D&B surfboards, which adds a fun, cool vibe to the office.  
 
What are some of the perks of working in your office? 
 
We have a number of perks but they all derive from the same place: our employees. When an employee has an idea for something that they believe will improve their work environment, we do our best to make it happen. We want all of our activities to come organically from the team.
 
Our break room features ping-pong and pool tables, air hockey, shuffleboard, and video games. We also have 3D printers and remote-controlled drones. Our back patio has a BBQ pit and picnic tables, which have hosted employee-created clubs like Whiskey Club and Russian Club.  
 
We try to keep the whole team fed, and we offer healthy and not-so-healthy snacks and drinks at all times. We provide a catered lunch regularly, and host many happy hours and holiday celebrations. At employee request, we’ve celebrated Chinese New Year, Diwali, Persian New Year, Mardi Gras, and my personal favorite Cinco De Mayo. 
 
Staying physically active is also very important to our employees, so we created an in-office gym and have an onsite masseuse and Yogi. We subsidize Soulcycle classes, and we also provide surfboards, paddleboards, and kayaks for those who want to get outside and enjoy the Pacific Ocean. 
 
Why are these important to you?
 
For us, our focus is on learning, growth, and having fun. When people are engaged and enjoying themselves, it contributes to a positive environment. Enthusiasm at the Ping-Pong table spills over into the boardroom. Focus and intensity in yoga class transfers over to work tasks. I want my efforts to revolve around telling people “its time to go home and see your family,” not “its time to come into the office.”
 
How do you think office design affects work culture?
 
We believe that the office environment is the physical manifestation of work culture. The culture and the office are symbiotic and need to be one; they must be seamless. Everything we put in our office is carefully considered from a culture perspective. 
 
One item that has directly and positively changed our culture is the Failure Wall. It’s a large white wall in our break room that has been designated as a place where executives, employees, guests, and partners can write down times when they’ve failed and what they learned from the experience. Getting failure out in the open has de-stigmatized it, which means everyone is free to make mistakes, learn, and grow. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Answers courtesy of Javier Hall, Chief Creative Officer, and Peter Moore, Head of Recruiting.
 
What were your considerations when picking an office space and designing its layout?
 
We started with a big, open, 2-story loft. Vaulted ceilings throughout connect the main collaborative workspace on the ground floor to a mezzanine that wraps around the space above. Conference rooms, and the few offices we built, have floor to ceiling glass so meetings are transparent and connected.  
 
Natural flow – between groups and between floors – was crucial. The central design feature is a tree-lined boulevard that diagonally connects the main entrance at one end, up a tiered grass covered hill, to the second floor mezzanine at the far end. The hill is a gradual and inviting transition between floors – and doubles as seating for informal breakouts, and whole-company gatherings.
 
We wanted to bring the warm California outdoors inside and create green space. Big 2-story glass garage doors connect our landscaped terrace outside, to our main space and cafe just inside. The tall ficus trees that line the boulevard form a natural continuation between the landscaped outdoors and the green grass hill that ascends to the mezzanine.
 
What are some of the perks of working in your office?
 
We provide and endless supply of free snacks (including gluten free options), freestyle coca-cola machine, sit/stand desks, flexible seating and meeting space, outside patio, the DSC Fit work out program, free DSC products for employees, haircut Fridays, food truck Tuesdays, and car wash Fridays.
 
Why are these important to you?
 
We value our people and want to provide them with an environment that is open, fun and collaborative. We offer these perks to make the working day a little lighter, and support the different ways our people want to work. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Answers courtesy of Josh Yguado, Co-Founder/President at SGN. 
 
What were your considerations when picking an office space and designing its layout?
 
At SGN our jobs are all about telling a story, and our workspace is no different.  We wanted an open-layout that allows anyone who comes in to immediately feel our collaborative vibe. Our team has more than doubled in size in the last year, so we needed a space that would accommodate our rapid growth. Culver City has become the epicenter of new media in Southern California. We’re really happy to be surrounded by many of Southern California’s top tech companies all within a four block radius.
 
What are some of the perks of working in your office? 
 
Our goal is to hire the most innovative and creative talent in the industry. We wanted to provide an environment that would help promote those qualities. In addition to our benefits package, we keep employees healthy with organic office snacks and catered lunches three times a week from some of LA’s most delicious restaurants and food trucks. SGN is pet friendly, has available stand-up desks, lounge areas, whiteboard walls for brainstorming, and an open floor plan convenient for zipping around on a scooter or skateboard. We love our company culture, and support it with monthly team happy hours, company retreats, regular volunteer opportunities, and sponsored sports leagues.
  
Why are these important to you?
 
We appreciate how hard our teams work everyday. Adding these “perks” gives everyone a chance to showcase their individuality and get to know each other better. We want each team member to feel comfortable and look forward to coming in every day. It’s not uncommon to catch people playing board games in the lounge, or organizing a movie night with the garage doors open on warm evenings.
 
How do you think office design affects work culture?
 
Our office design reflects who we are as a company: creative, fun, growing, and innovative. Designing the space was a team effort and reflects the industrial history of the area. The desks are all natural oak, mixed with heavy duty iron and steel; modern but warm. Our layout reflects the collaborative nature of the organization with half a dozen conference rooms, couches, bean bags, and flexible work stations throughout the office. The open floor plan makes communication and collaboration feel natural, and has helped us to build one of the most creative and successful mobile game studios.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Answers courtesy of Jody Mulkey, Chief Technology Officer at Ticketmaster.
 
What were your considerations when picking an office space and designing its layout?
 
We wanted to create a space that encourages creativity, collaboration and flow of information. We are very proud of our open floor plan experience as it has made communication between teams easier. We have also seen an increase in energy across the floor. The conversations that happen among our team has made much more of an impact than we expected.
 
What are some of the perks of working in your office? 
 
At Ticketmaster, we seek to provide our employees with a culture of wellbeing while helping them to live and breathe live experiences. A few of our office perks include free tickets to events, healthy snacks, and adjustable desks that go from sitting to standing with the touch of a button. On top of that, we provide a pet friendly environment.
 
Why are these important to you?
 
We are focused on creating a workplace that encourages an understanding of our customers (clients and fans) as well as one that makes the environment fun and full of energy.
 
How do you think office design affects work culture?
 
Great design is an integral part of the work experience which directly impacts the culture. Our workplace was designed to be comfortable, practical and inspiring while at the same time directly reflect our core values: Be Transparent, Help Others Succeed, Simpler is Better.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Answers courtesy of Daniel Broukhim, Co-CEO and Co-Founder.
 
What were your considerations when picking an office space and designing its layout?
 
We wanted an office with great lighting that had a large open communal area but also enough private office space where people could work more individually if need be. The office was already designed when we found it, but it fit our culture as it was minimalist and sleek. 
 
What are some of the perks of working in your office? 
 
We provide catered breakfasts and lunches each week, as well as free subscriptions to our seasonal boxes, but the largest perk is being surrounded by so many talented people. We're also relatively flexible with regard to face time and work schedules. People are in the office because they want to be there, and as long as they are doing their job, we encourage people to work remotely if they feel that is the way they can be most productive. 
 
Why are these important to you?
 
It's important for members of the team to break bread with each other so that they get to know each other on a personal basis. A flexible work environment is important because we do not want to have an overall rigid culture that alienates team members with different work preferences. We want to create an environment where a large group of people feel that when they join our team, they can be hugely valuable contributors regardless of their working style. 
 
How do you think office design affects work culture?
 
I think maintaining a clean and tidy office environment sets the tone for the level of professionalism that we hope to achieve. While we have a fun and open environment and are flexible about how and when people do their work, we expect everyone to really pour their heart into FabFitFun and take pride and ownership in their work and our product. 
 
 
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