From collaboration spaces to batting cages: Here are 10 of the best offices we saw in 2018

by Alton Zenon III
December 26, 2018

Chicago tech companies really know how to deck out their offices. We highlighted a number of them this year and were blown away by some of the design elements and amenities they housed, ranging from staples like stocked kitchens to libraries and indoor batting cages. In no particular order, here are 10 of the best offices we saw this year.

 

Snapsheet's office lounge area
image via snapsheet
Two images of Snapsheet's office
image via snapsheet

What they do: Snapsheet works with insurance companies to provide drivers with digital tools to file and settle claims quickly, all online. Companies can also process claims faster with Snapsheet’s automation software.

Location: 1 N. Dearborn St. (The Loop)

Square footage: 50,000

Best features: “Our goal was to design a space that feels collaborative and functional,” Chief People Officer Sarah Doll told Built In Chicago. “From open meeting spaces to huddle rooms and from the game room to the large family-style kitchen, I think we did just that.”

Snapsheet’s ambient and spacious office also features a game room, beer on tap, a gym offering kickboxing and yoga classes, and a fully stocked kitchen. 

 

ActiveCampaign's office lobby area
image via activecampaign
Collage of two images of ActiveCampaign's office
image via ActiveCampaign

What they do: ActiveCampaign works to help small and medium-sized businesses run more effective marketing and sales campaigns through tools like automation and customer messaging solutions. 

Location: 1 N. Dearborn St. (The Loop)

Square footage: 52,000

Best features: “At the center of our space, Mos Eisley Cafe is a team favorite, where catered lunch is brought in for the team daily,” said Denise Bindelglass, VP of people. “It serves as a hub for all things ActiveCampaign, whether that means a spot for stand-ups in the morning, all-hands meetings or hanging out for after-work drinks. Other favorites include the breakout rooms named after fictional places and the game room, complete with a hidden speakeasy.”

Who doesn’t love secret areas and conference rooms named after Game of Thrones locales? 

 

Image of Uptake's office
image via uptake
Collage of two images of Uptake's office
image via uptake

What they do: Uptake offers predictive AI and IoT software to companies in the oil and gas, manufacturing, transportation and energy sectors which can help them improve their efficiency, productivity and safety.

Location: 600 W. Chicago Ave. (River North)

Square footage: 135,000

Best features: “We’ve achieved an eclectic blend of modern and rustic design throughout the office, and we always try to keep the space from feeling too corporate or sterile,” said Gillian Frackelton, senior special projects lead. “600 West Chicago Avenue is an expansive former warehouse building, and you still get that feeling from the original architecture.”

The office is full of color and couches and even has an indoor patio space. It also features a piano and mediation room for staff to use when their brains need a break.

 

Tribune Publishing's open work area for staff
image via Tribune Publishing
Collage of three images of Tribune Publishing's office
image via Tribune Publishing

What they do: Tribune Publishing is media company that manages local media publications in eight markets that include Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News, The Baltimore Sun, Orlando Sentinel, The Virginian-Pilot and others. The company moved into its current space overlooking Millennium Park only recently — this year, it moved from Tribune Tower after being there for close to a century. 

Location: 160 N. Stetson Ave (The Loop)

Square footage: Over 115,000

Best features: “Our goal was to strike a balance and honor the legacy, tradition and rich history of the Chicago Tribune as well as the rapidly evolving digital era and our need to have a modern, sleek and technologically progressive work space,” said Maya Bordeaux, chief human resources officer. “We’re honoring our journalistic roots by including tables made from old press plates, framed editorial cartoons and conference rooms named after our Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists.”

In addition to memorabilia from previous Tribune eras, the office also features an expansive rooftop terrace and a large, open-concept work area decked out with dozens of televisions for staff to stay up to date on breaking events. 

 

Lobby of Narrative Science's office
image via Narrative Science
Collage of two images of Narrative Science's office
image via narrative science

What they do: Narrative Science is a platform that translates enterprise data into actionable reports and stories written in plain English via its natural language generation engine.   

Location: 1 N. Dearborn (The Loop)

Square footage: 40,000

Best features: “Everyone has two seats: an assigned desk and another space that is not assigned,” said Stuart Frankel, CEO. “I don’t just mean conference rooms, either. There are a ton of informal areas where people can ideate, be creative or relax.”

Outside of the unique desk arrangement, the space — which combines a very wide variety of styles that blend together — features a library, private phone booths and a rooftop area. 

 

Image of RXBAR's kitchen and lounge area
image via RXBAR
Collage of two images of RXBAR's office
image via RXBAR

What they do: RXBAR is a nutrition brand that makes snacks like protein bars and nut butter created from natural ingredients like egg whites, dates and nuts. 

Location: 412 N. Wells (River North)

Square footage: 40,000

Best features: “The open seating, bright wall colors and views of the city from all nine floors and rooftop allow for creativity, productivity and innovation to happen, while also feeling connected to the brand and the people who work here,” said Leslie Joseph, VP of people and organization. “Team members can collaborate, learn and enjoy a glass of kombucha or cold brew from our taps throughout the office.”

As you would expect, the company that makes healthy snacks has a well-equipped on-site gym. The space features abundant natural light and the floor plans for each level are different, to prevent staleness. According to the team, each space is designed with purpose in order to serve the work styles for each group within the company.

 

Ansarada's in-office batting cage
image via ansarada
Collage of two images from Ansarada's office
image via Ansarada

What they do: Ansarada helps enterprise companies through major business events like mergers, capital raises, audits and IPOs with deal-making software powered by AI. 

Location: 215 W. Ohio (River North)

Square footage: 9,000

Best features: The company has a fully fledged batting cage inside their office. What better way to blow off steam than hitting something with a baseball bat? Their space has a rustic-yet-modern feel, with plenty of exposed wood and brick contrasted against marble countertops and sleek, black accents. Additionally, the office has a rooftop deck and a gym with showers and laundry facility. 

 

Collage of three images of Nerdery's office
image via Nerdery
Image of a couch and collectibles in Nerdery's office
image via nerdery

What they do: Nerdery is a digital consulting agency offering companies in the healthcare, retail and manufacturing sector with services like platform modernization, cloud migration and product development coaching. 

Location: 1033 W. Van Buren (West Loop)

Square footage: 24,000

Best features: “We wanted our space to be built by nerds, for nerds,” said Gregg Walrod, head of software engineering . “Whether it be the NerdWall [an interactive installation that displays information about employees on a wall], the custom gaming cabinet, the shuffleboard table that keeps score with a Microsoft Kinect or our custom-built dashboard.”

The pet-friendly office is full of collectibles spanning all of pop culture, but there is still room for a beer tap and plenty of free snacks in the kitchen.

 

Builtout's office lounge area
image via Buildout, Inc.
Buildout, Inc.'s lounge area with pool table
image via Buildout, Inc.

What they do: Buildout, Inc. is a cloud-based software platform for marketing within the real estate industry — helping companies improve their communication and property listing processes.

Location: 222 S Riverside Plaza (West Loop)

Square footage: 115,000

Best features: “All of our inside jokes have turned into decorations around the office,” said Sonni Conway, branding director. “We used the corn emoji so often in Slack that it became the theme of a conference room, and another room is designed around our co-founder Jason Tillery’s favorite hobby: taxidermy.”

The quirkiness is further expanded by the blue and yellow color scheme throughout the office, which also has a video game area, air hockey table, onsite gym and kitchen serving free meals to staff daily. 

 

Image of NEXT/NOW's virtual reality wall
image via NEXT/NOW
Virtual reality headsets at NEXT/NOW's office
image via NEXT/NOW

What they do: NEXT/NOW develops virtual experiences for users to enjoy in real places. It uses virtual and augmented reality and other digital forms of motion-based interactivity to bring company brand experiences to life at events, festivals, exhibits, museums and in other spaces. 

Location: 1200 W. Lake St. (Near West Side)

Square footage: 6,300

Best features: “Our 15-by-15 foot fully immersive virtual reality room,” said Mark Matthews, marketing strategist. “We also have a projection mapped wall, a tournament-size shuffleboard table and a giant 11-by-8 foot LED screen.”

Are you not entertained?

 

Jobs from companies in this blog142 open jobs
All Jobs
Finance
Data + Analytics
Design + UX
Dev + Engineer
HR
Internships
Legal
Marketing
Operations
Product
Project Mgmt
Sales
Content
Developer
new
Uptake
Chicago
HR
new
Snapsheet
Chicago
Operations
new
Uptake
Chicago
Project Mgmt
new
ActiveCampaign
Chicago
Finance
new
Snapsheet
Chicago
Data + Analytics
new
Uptake
Chicago
Data + Analytics
new
Uptake
Chicago
Developer
new
ActiveCampaign
Chicago
Developer
new
ActiveCampaign
Chicago
Sales
new
ActiveCampaign
Chicago
Sales
new
Ansarada
Chicago
Product
new
Narrative Science
Chicago
Operations
new
Snapsheet
Chicago
Developer
new
ActiveCampaign
Chicago
Operations
new
ActiveCampaign
Chicago
Project Mgmt
new
Tribune Publishing
Chicago
Operations
new
Snapsheet
Chicago
Operations
new
Snapsheet
Chicago
Marketing
new
ActiveCampaign
Chicago
Developer
new
Snapsheet
Chicago
Developer
new
Snapsheet
Chicago
Developer
new
Snapsheet
Chicago
Developer
new
Snapsheet
Chicago
Developer
new
Snapsheet
Chicago
Developer
new
Snapsheet
Chicago
Developer
new
Snapsheet
Chicago
Developer
new
Snapsheet
Chicago
Developer
new
Snapsheet
Chicago
Developer
new
Snapsheet
Chicago
Developer
new
Snapsheet
Chicago
Data + Analytics
new
Snapsheet
Chicago
Data + Analytics
new
Snapsheet
Chicago
Data + Analytics
new
Snapsheet
Chicago
Developer
new
Snapsheet
Chicago
Sales
new
Ansarada
Chicago
Sales
new
Ansarada
Chicago
Data + Analytics
new
Nerdery
Chicago
Marketing
new
ActiveCampaign
Chicago
Operations
new
ActiveCampaign
Chicago
Operations
new
ActiveCampaign
Chicago
Finance
new
Snapsheet
Chicago
Sales
new
Uptake
Chicago
Product
new
Uptake
Chicago
Data + Analytics
new
Tribune Publishing
Chicago
Operations
new
Snapsheet
Chicago
Design + UX
new
Uptake
Chicago
Marketing
new
Snapsheet
Chicago
Operations
new
Ansarada
Chicago
Developer
new
Uptake
Chicago
Developer
new
Uptake
Chicago
Product
new
ActiveCampaign
Chicago
Project Mgmt
new
Snapsheet
Chicago
Finance
new
Snapsheet
Chicago
Developer
new
Uptake
Chicago
Developer
new
Uptake
Chicago
Developer
new
Narrative Science
Chicago
Data + Analytics
new
Uptake
Chicago
Finance
new
Tribune Publishing
Chicago
Marketing
new
Tribune Publishing
Chicago
Operations
new
Snapsheet
Chicago
Marketing
new
ActiveCampaign
Chicago
Developer
new
ActiveCampaign
Chicago
Data + Analytics
new
ActiveCampaign
Chicago
Operations
new
Narrative Science
Chicago
Internships
new
Uptake
Chicago
Sales
new
Tribune Publishing
Chicago
Sales
new
ActiveCampaign
Chicago
Developer
new
Uptake
Chicago
Operations
new
Uptake
Chicago
Developer
new
Nerdery
Chicago
Operations
new
Ansarada
Chicago
Operations
new
Buildout, Inc.
Chicago
Product
new
Snapsheet
Chicago
Data + Analytics
new
Uptake
Chicago
Product
new
Uptake
Chicago
Marketing
new
Uptake
Chicago
Developer
new
ActiveCampaign
Chicago
Developer
new
Uptake
Chicago
Data + Analytics
new
Uptake
Chicago
Sales
new
Narrative Science
Chicago
Internships
new
ActiveCampaign
Chicago
Project Mgmt
new
Tribune Publishing
Chicago
Operations
new
ActiveCampaign
Chicago
Design + UX
new
ActiveCampaign
Chicago
Design + UX
new
Tribune Publishing
Chicago
Sales
new
Tribune Publishing
Chicago
Developer
new
Tribune Publishing
Chicago
Operations
new
Tribune Publishing
Chicago
Finance
new
Tribune Publishing
Chicago
Content
new
Tribune Publishing
Chicago
Developer
new
Nerdery
Chicago
Project Mgmt
new
Uptake
Chicago
Data + Analytics
new
Uptake
Chicago
Project Mgmt
new
Tribune Publishing
Chicago
Marketing
new
Tribune Publishing
Chicago
Developer
new
Tribune Publishing
Chicago
Sales
new
Tribune Publishing
Chicago
Sales
new
Tribune Publishing
Chicago
Sales
new
Uptake
Chicago
Developer
new
Uptake
Chicago
HR
new
Snapsheet
Chicago
Developer
new
ActiveCampaign
Chicago
Sales
new
ActiveCampaign
Chicago
Sales
new
Snapsheet
Chicago
Developer
new
ActiveCampaign
Chicago
Project Mgmt
new
Uptake
Chicago
HR
new
Snapsheet
Chicago
Design + UX
new
Snapsheet
Chicago
Sales
new
Snapsheet
Chicago
Marketing
new
Snapsheet
Chicago
Sales
new
Snapsheet
Chicago
Marketing
new
Tribune Publishing
Chicago
Sales
new
Tribune Publishing
Chicago
Developer
new
ActiveCampaign
Chicago
Developer
new
ActiveCampaign
Chicago
Sales
new
ActiveCampaign
Chicago
Design + UX
new
Nerdery
Chicago
Developer
new
Narrative Science
Chicago
Marketing
new
Narrative Science
Chicago
Data + Analytics
new
Uptake
Chicago
Data + Analytics
new
Uptake
Chicago
Developer
new
Uptake
Chicago
Data + Analytics
new
Uptake
Chicago
Project Mgmt
new
Narrative Science
Chicago
Finance
new
Narrative Science
Chicago
Operations
new
Snapsheet
Chicago
HR
new
Snapsheet
Chicago
Marketing
new
Snapsheet
Chicago
Developer
new
RXBAR
Chicago
HR
new
ActiveCampaign
Chicago
Data + Analytics
new
Uptake
Chicago
Sales
new
ActiveCampaign
Chicago
Developer
new
ActiveCampaign
Chicago
Developer
new
ActiveCampaign
Chicago
Sales
new
Tribune Publishing
Chicago
Developer
new
Narrative Science
Chicago
Sales
new
Tribune Publishing
Chicago
Sales
new
Tribune Publishing
Chicago

Chicago startup guides

LOCAL GUIDE
Best Companies to Work for in Chicago
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Software Engineer Jobs in Chicago
LOCAL GUIDE
Coolest Offices in Chicago Tech
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Sales Jobs in Chicago
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Perks at Chicago Tech Companies
LOCAL GUIDE
Your Guide to Healthtech in Chicago
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Data Science & Data Analyst Jobs in Chicago
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Marketing Jobs in Chicago