Why a wacky, lively, fun workplace can be a formula for success
Hoboken, New Jersey
Design and build a new corporate headquarters for a company that Walmart later acquired for $3.3 billion — sounds like a ‘vanilla’ project. No chance when the company is Jet.com, the ecommerce retailer that set out to shake up the online grocery industry and challenge Amazon head on. Founded in 2015, it grew rapidly and sold to the world’s biggest retailer just 13 months later. Behind that success is a company culture and work style that’s dynamic, engaging and fun — more start-up than corporate giant. Jet.com had its own personality and when Walmart acquired it, the strategy was to create a path forward that ‘let Jet be Jet.’
The corporate headquarters in downtown Hoboken reflects that personality — it’s quirky, bright and friendly with bold graphics throughout and the signature color is purple. There are pool tables, free snacks, arcade games and stunning views of Manhattan across the Hudson River. The emphasis is on a space that’s lively and fun but it’s hard-working too, the kind of atmosphere you’d find in any fast-growing start-up. Teamwork and collaboration have been crucial to the company’s success, so the new headquarters had to make that a core element. A boardroom with sophisticated videoconferencing has its place, but there is more emphasis on equipping huddle rooms where small teams can hold informal meetings at short notice. Mobility within the office is the norm – working at the desk, in communal areas or in huddle rooms. There are also quiet spaces known as the Fortress of Solitude where employees can get away from their desks. Accessible, user-friendly presentation and collaboration technology is everywhere – in huddle rooms, open work spaces with shared resources, customer experience labs and lounges and on the digital signage that makes internal communications and data sharing equally accessible. This is a lively, fun environment that fuels success.
Jet.com wanted to create an environment for collaboration and productivity in its new headquarters. Employees working in small teams or communicating with suppliers, partners and customers needed to access real-time data and presentation and collaboration tools wherever they were working. That meant the audiovisual systems had to be easy to set up and use with consistent interfaces and user experience throughout the building. The technology solution had to be flexible enough to work effectively and control in many different work spaces from large meeting rooms and a boardroom to small huddle spaces and open communal areas.
Collaboration would range from informal one-to-one or small team meetings to training sessions, formal videoconferences and large all-hands events. LED wall signage displaying sales data or communicating internal messages didn’t just have to be functional; it had to reflect the bright bold graphic treatment of the whole area by integrating technology seamlessly with the architecture of the building. The project had to be completed against tight deadlines so that employees could hit the ground running when the initial headquarters build was complete.
Jet.com’s headquarters proves that workspaces can be lively, fun, collaborative and productive.
The holistic solution covered space design, audiovisual engineering, project management, commissioning plus systems and user training. The project covered audiovisual installations for a boardroom, 16 huddle rooms, 4 large meeting rooms, a customer experience lab and lounge area and a projection area for all-hands meetings, together with data-fed LED walls for sales figures and announcements. Plug-in functionality and intuitive set up created a productive collaboration suite.
Integrating technology with the headquarters’ unique architecture provided jet.com with a seamless solution that reflected the culture of the company - hard working but fun. By careful planning and completion in self-contained phases, the solution enabled employees to collaborate effectively from day one in a flexible, dynamic, engaging work environment. Systems and user training ensured that users and support teams could get the greatest benefit from the installation.
"This was a design-build opportunity for a high-profile .com company and location, which incorporated a true collaboration with interior and construction design, along with a detailed hands-on approach with the client. The result created a unique, innovative and forward-thinking agile workspace a few years ahead of the concept taking hold in larger collaboration implementations – an overall success of planning, design and functionality." - Steve Vincent, Account Manager, Electrosonic