Tech companies can often feel like families, so it makes sense that their offices often feature creature comforts that make coming to work feel like heading to a second home. With Chicago tech growing like crazy, many companies are moving to new spaces or rethinking their offices to meet the needs of their tech teams. We took a look at some of the coolest office spaces in the city and heard about why employees love them so much.
Morningstar recently expanded its global headquarters in Chicago with 29,000 square feet of space for its growing tech team. With a whole new floor, teams can spread out, focus on projects and even see what others are working on to help cross-pollinate ideas.
“The new floor accommodates approximately 185 employees and is designed for the working needs of Morningstar's engineers, user experience designers, and product management teams,” said Nadine Youssef, director of media relations for Morningstar’s research group. “Features include mobile workstations for Agile software development, integrated audio/visual elements throughout the space, and dedicated stand-up and casual meeting areas. The new space conveys Morningstar's culture of transparency and collaboration and the thoughtful design is in line with the company’s deliberate focus on the user as the center of product development.”
STATS' brand new global headquarters is a space for the sports tech company’s employees to work on changing how sports are watched and played. In addition to awesome rooms for working together, an airy atrium brings in plenty of light for events and everyday work.
“The space fosters collaboration across teams with multipurpose areas including our Video Lounge, Tech Bullpen and Innovation Lab,” recruiting manager Sebastian Rousseau said. “All employees have stand up, ergonomic desks with articulating screens. The office also features a private balcony overlooking the city with amazing views at night and a glass-ceiling atrium for hosting company events and parties or if you want to sit in the sun while you work.”
Sometimes, companies grow so fast they can’t find the space to bring everyone together. For SwipeSense, that meant teams spread across multiple offices around the city, adding new spaces every time room ran out. But the company's most recent move has brought the whole team together.
“SwipeSense employees are happy to finally be under one roof because before we moved into this space we were spread out across three offices as we kept outgrowing them,” said HR manager Kirstin Nielsen. “We have a huge open space which makes it easy to communicate within teams and across departments. Having breakout rooms and call rooms was important for when teams do need some privacy or someone needs to take a call.”
The healthtech company built its mission right into its new space. Conference rooms are named for core values, like the 100K room.
“The ‘100k’ room reminds us of our value that we are ‘driven by purpose.’ Our purpose is to save the 100,000 lives lost every year due to hospital acquired infections,” Nielsen said.
Havas’ Chicago Village is embracing the way people work today, helping the company approach challenges with a fresh take on marketing. It’s enabled the 600 employees that work there to behave more like a startup and avoid being disrupted, while maintaining the resources to take on big projects from large brands.
“The Havas Chicago office is a massive open space tailor-made for our Village integration model; combining creative, media and data to help our clients' brands,” said group brand director Mariana Parke. “In other agencies, there are 'creative departments' and 'media departments,' located in different silos according to function. At Havas Chicago, every person who touches a specific account sits with his or her teammates, blurring the lines between media, data and creative. The open office space allows for a close-knit, bespoke collaboration, and fluid idea formulation — all in real time. Plus, the phenomenal artwork from artists like JC Rivera, Adele Renault and Steven Palladino [above] help inspire creativity and innovation.”
Images via featured companies
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