Optiv Opts for Comfort in 1144 Fifteenth Street
BUILDING DIALOGUE: Feature
The comforts of home don’t always translate to the office, although Denver-based cybersecurity company Optiv is enticing its locally based remote workers back to the office with a brand-new, state-of-the-art, 75,000-square-foot headquarters. The new location includes many of the comforts of home. Due to significant growth, the company had exceeded capacity in its previous space. As a result, Optiv asked some of its Denver-based employees to work remotely while it looked for the right larger space to accommodate its expanding staff and to serve as its new corporate headquarters.
Optiv engaged our firm to help create a vision for the new headquarters. The company chose a prime spot in the new Class AA tower planned by Hines, located at 1144 Fifteenth St.
As Optiv looked into the future, the pressing question was how to provide for the large percentage of remote workers at the new headquarters. Should space be provided for workers who might be in the office only once or twice a week? Would it be better for the company to allocate shared space for this group, giving users the ability to manage their schedules to feel like they had a space of their own? The ultimate decision came down to Optiv’s view of itself as a growing family, and we were challenged to create a work environment that would inspire employees, strengthen the sense of community, and make people want to leave the comforts of their home-based offices.
Drawing on extensive experience working with firms that have gone through similar transitions, we focused on creating a comfortable homelike environment that embraces the Scandinavian concept of hygge (pronounced hooga), defined as a feeling of coziness, comfort, kinship and togetherness, with a sustained and satisfying sense of safety, wholeness, and a spontaneous flow of social interaction. The force behind hygge’s success in commercial workplace design is the drive to more fully engage employees in a workspace that offers personal comfort and well-being.
Optiv is a company focused on cybersecurity, and creating a secure but welcoming environment was a foremost concern. We created zones around the central connecting stair to bring employees and guests together in the three-story space, surrounded by a central area featuring several types of meeting spaces, pantry spaces and a three-story video wall at the stairs. The video wall captures the everyday environment of the world of cybersecurity by displaying calming imagery during times of low threat activity and more energized content during times of high threat activity – a means for sharing knowledge and emotions, as well as providing aesthetic interest.
Guests visiting Optiv are greeted at the welcoming reception area in the center of the three-floor office space. They can freely access the public space immediately surrounding the stairs, enjoy a refreshment and comfortably wait to be greeted by their host and ushered to one of many different types of meeting space – high-top tables, lounge seating groupings, enclosed huddle rooms with full technology support, acoustically private soft booth seating, and enclosed residential-style rooms with sofas and side tables. In this same area, guests can access hidden niches with a variety of soft seating and rolling white boards for impromptu meetings and some of the most breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains that the building has to offer.
Located in the restricted office space, which is secure for employee-only access, are a number of conference rooms for community use with open seating for collaboration. To provide everyone access to natural light and views, offices are purposely positioned at the interior of the space. Workstations that face the full-height windows enjoy an amazing 360-degree view. Featuring slide-out privacy walls with integrated storage and height-adjustable work surfaces, the workstations keep employees active and able to explore different postures throughout the work day.
Office features include demountable glass partitions and sliding glass doors that seal out the noise from the open office environment but provide full transparency and allow natural light to reach occupants. Undulating circulation corridors adjacent to the building core create pockets of found space for impromptu conversations, as well as branding opportunities for internal communication. In addition to the many amenities within the space there is an on-site fitness center.
Overall, Optiv’s new headquarters is designed to convey to staff that they are free to work anywhere they are most comfortable and productive, similar to how they might work from home. This sense of comfort, safety, connection and engagement is surely enticing the mobile workforce to the Denver headquarters, where they are enjoying pride of place and a sense of belonging.
Published in the September 2018 issue of Building Dialogue.