Tech firm’s office design provides ‘wow’ factor, encourages collaboration.
THIS ARTICLE WAS PUBLISHED IN THE ‘Q’ – THE REGISTRY’S PRINT PUBLICATION – IN JULY 2015
By Nancy Amdur[dropcap]W[/dropcap]hile Xactly Corp. officials worked on designing the company’s new office space in downtown San Jose, details were kept secret from most employees.
“We shrouded the whole thing in secrecy,” said Christopher Cabrera, Xactly’s founder and CEO. “I wanted them to have this ‘wow’ factor right out of the gate.”
The company, which provides cloud-based incentive solutions and serves customers worldwide, more than doubled the size of its headquarters in April when it moved to River Park 2 Tower at 300 Park Ave., where it occupies the top three floors of the 17-story building.
It is the fast-growing company’s fourth San Jose location since its founding 10 years ago. This most recent move took it from 28,000 square feet to 60,000 square feet. It now occupies two floors and the third will be finished as the company expands. The space will hold about 230 employees.
[quote]“We shrouded the whole thing in secrecy,I wanted them to have this ‘wow’ factor right out of the gate.” Christopher Cabrera, Xactly’s founder and CEO[/quote]
“This move was to give us enough space that we wouldn’t outgrow it in three years,” Cabrera said, adding that the company, which recently announced plans to go public, started with an 8,000-square-foot office in San Jose. It has stayed in the city in part because it is “easy to get into and out of, has lots of parking and lots of freeway access.” Also, it allows the company to draw talent from many parts of the Bay Area, he said.
This is the first time Xactly designed its space from scratch, said Lorri Kershner of Santa Cruz-based L. Kershner Design, who was the principal designer on the project.
A law firm was the prior tenant in Xactly’s last space at 225 W. Santa Clara St., and although the company reconfigured that space to better suit its needs, it still carried more conventional features such as enclosed perimeter offices and cubicles, Kershner said.
“What was lacking in the last space was the ability to have some of these areas where people could collaborate,” Cabrera said. “[Employees] wanted places to huddle and have impromptu meetings.”
“In the new space, they opted for a complete open landscape,” Kershner said.
At Xactly, interactivity, connectivity and collaboration are important, so many office walls—provided by Calgary-based DIRTT Environmental Solutions—are writable and feature technology allowing for embedded flat-screen televisions, which helps create spontaneous meeting space, Kershner said. DIRTT, which stands for Doing It Right This Time, uses 3D software to design, manufacture and install sustainable customized products that can easily be reconfigured or removed.
“Every surface can be put to work,” Kershner said.
Additionally, perimeter conference rooms are all glass to enhance “the sense of accessibility and transparency,” she said.
A focal point in the new office is the cafeteria, which features polished concrete floors, booths and enough room to hold the company’s “all-hands” staff meetings. The cafeteria also includes televisions, built-in microwaves and a butcher-block island on wheels. Lunch is delivered daily, and a range of espresso drinks are available along with spa water, infused with ingredients such as fruit.
“It’s a very active, animated space,” Kershner said.
Other special features in the new space include desks that can be height adjusted just by pressing a button, Cabrera said.
The high-rise location also provides “breathtaking” 360-degree views of downtown San Jose, said Mary Jo Rose, the company’s senior director of buzz and brand.
Creating space to mirror the company’s culture was important, Cabrera said.
“One of the things [Xactly] wanted was an environment that reflected their mission and their sense of community,” Kershner said.
Upon entering Xactly’s new office, employees and visitors see a large media wall featuring a screen that details the company’s story and goals.
“For a visitor, it’s a great introductory experience,” Kershner said, “but for the employees who enter through that lobby every single day, it’s a great reinforcement of where they work and what they’re doing.”
“Our company is so focused on our culture and core values and our philanthropic [ventures], and having that messaging in a cool-looking professional way on these glass walls keeps it in their minds,” Cabrera said.
The office overall feels “inviting and easy,” Kershner said, and the company’s “playful culture” is reflected in splashes of vibrant lime green, orange and yellow accents throughout the space.
“Everything about where we work is amazing,” Rose said. The design “is cutting edge and encourages collaboration” and “gives you a sense of pride in your space,” she said.
“It feels comfortable and there’s a lot of interaction between employees,” Cabrera said. “People are happy. They are enjoying [it].”
“We had a great place before,” he added, “but now when people walk in, they’re just blown away.”