As the global leader in big data solutions, Informatica has an ongoing process of researching and collecting data on their global portfolio of office space, building on knowledge gained from each new location. When it came time to create their new offices in Austin, Texas, Informatica went back to data that was collected by strategy consultant Plastarc, from Revel’s recent prototype planning at their recent Headquarters in Redwood City. Through post-occupancy analysis of office culture, efficiency, space utilization, and employee needs, Revel and their design partners, including local architect of record lauckgroup, set forth to iterate and maximize data-backed design and planning. Every area of the study was reviewed and implemented into the design for Austin, making it a true ‘Center of Excellence’ to rival any competitor’s workplace.
Austin is quickly becoming a new hub for high-tech companies, so competition for quality personnel is heavy throughout the growing metro. In order to attract and retain the best talent, the new office needed to murge cutting edge technology and hip – it’s Austin. Design decisions both small and large were made with this idea in mind, including everything from creating a plant room ‘retreat space’ for employee ‘pet plants’ to sourcing vintage screen prints from past SXSW festivals. Revel and the design team stylized every detail, including local art, coffee table books and playing cards.
One of the major challenges on the project was in the overall layout of the building. The building is long and narrow, and Informatica needed space for more than 250 staff workstations. Additionally, the workspace areas needed to be highly flexible, to accommodate the ever-changing team sizes of various departments as well as planned future expansion on the floor. The neighborhooding solution, including diagonal desk orientation, acoustic screens, huddle furniture and specifically designed circulation, creates a sense of intimacy and privacy for staff and their teams. For example, brightly colored felt and wood dividers with cutouts allow for privacy, but also allow staff to quickly see room availability for more efficient impromptu huddles. These dividers also create secondary circulation paths, which keep gathering staff from disturbing general workspace areas, as well as providing sound mitigation.
The ability to communicate and coordinate globally was a key success factor. A variety of meeting and non-addressed office spaces were provided with seating ratios higher than desks to ensure room availability and limit the challenge of availability and booking inefficiency. The latest wireless AV technology was integrated into all meeting rooms and open booths to allow instant connectivity with other Informatica rooms from around the floor to around the world. Each meeting space was designed to maximize acoustic performance, flexibility and personalization.
The end result was a transformative change for positive culture building, efficiency and problem solving. The Austin office has become a benchmark for the organization, leading to implement the lessons learned into the complete renovation of the rest of Informatica’s Headquarters.