By Julie Hyson
JLL’s new light and technology-filled office at One Front Street in San Francisco shows what’s possible in a re-imagined workspace
Over the last few years, JLL has helped some of world’s biggest and most dynamic companies find and create amazing workspaces. So, when after several years of occupancy, JLL got the chance to re-imagine its own space ⸺ in the heart of San Francisco’s Financial District and just a few blocks from the new Transbay transit center ⸺ the company had plenty of inspiration from which to draw.
The design team also had plenty of experts to call on for ideas.
We asked: What do we need to do to make our working lives easier, encourage collaboration, communication, productivity, job satisfaction, balance?
“Every design decision hinged on the perspective of 110 employees with individual working styles and needs, not a business objective,” explains Mike Seifer, JLL’s managing director. “We asked: What do we need to do to make our working lives easier, encourage collaboration, communication, productivity, job satisfaction, balance? These were our key drivers as we planned out the space,” he adds.
The result of that process is an open, airy, collaborative 37,000 square foot space spread over two floors at One Front Street. The floors are connected through an interior staircase with a design and color palette in homage to one of the city’s most iconic structures: the Golden Gate Bridge.
It’s a fitting centerpiece and the design theme that channels San Francisco in an office where a significant slice of the employee base commutes from Marin County, across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco.
Unlike the firm’s former space, which had interior walls throughout, most of the interior walls in the new office were removed in favor of long, clear view corridors to floor-to-ceiling windows. This offers up abundant natural light in the space as well as great views of downtown and the San Francisco Bay. The space’s open, creative floor plan also encourages human interaction.
Yet, if there is one element of the M Moser Associates directed design that dominates the space, it is technology. One of the first things you notice is the absence of paper on desks, which part of an ongoing digital transformation underway across all industries. The space also has larger collaborative workspaces with wireless content sharing and WiFi capabilities to encourage employees to make the most of their digital tools.
Desks rise and fall with one-touch technology allowing employees to sit or stand while working without disruption. The space also utilizes Solstice Pod software throughout, which allows JLL employees to create and push digital content and communications to wall mounted monitors dotted throughout the office. Three’s also surround sound technology in the space’s event/pub area, a place where employees can gather after work and socialize, play pool, watch TV or listen to music and unwind.
“We went into this office remodel wanting our new space to reflect the people who work here while driving employee engagement, empowerment and fulfillment,” says Chris Roeder, the firm’s international director.
The chief expression of this, which is also the productivity centerpiece of the entire space, is the Mezzanine Room, a multimedia presentation and communications center at the heart of the office that utilizes Oblong software, five TV monitors and two cameras to create a visual collaboration experience in real time with clients and other JLL offices around the world.
Afterhours are another important element of the daily routine. Helping to build an easy-going culture, the firm installed two light-filled cafés, several lounge areas ⸺ one with an indoor putting green ⸺ as well as quiet rooms to give employees the ability to choose where they want to eat and meet, blow off steam or entertain clients inside the office. And, in a final nod to the city’s own unique culture, history and traditions, conference rooms carry names like ‘Summer of Love’, ‘City Lights’ and ‘Gold Rush’ and are decorated with artwork evoking the sights and sounds of the city.