The environments in which we spend time have powerful effects on our physical and emotional wellbeing. Mood is such an important factor in business productivity and employee satisfaction that forward-thinking companies are investing significantly in designing workplaces that maximise these.
Modern office life is being impacted by technology trends such as remote work, so it’s fitting that one company taking office design to a new level is file-sharing company Dropbox. For its first Australian office, in Sydney’s Martin Place, Dropbox wanted to combine a ‘home away from home’ concept with its company values, which include doing important things, being inventive, pushing the limits and team effort.
Designed by architecture and design agency Gensler, the layout of the office mimics the classic Aussie home. The aim of the space is to engage employees and customers of the company in a fresh way. “We set out to create a home away from home for our team that allows them to harness their full potential and work the way that they want,” says Dropbox’s marketing director Deeps De Silva.
The space feels light and airy, featuring clean, white surfaces and natural materials such as timber, as well as plenty of greenery. The heart of the space is quite literally for living. In the lounge a bright orange sofa sits facing two huge projector screens. The kitchen and dining area are complete with a long white bar and in-house barista. The ping pong table – a mandatory inclusion at tech companies – is customised with artwork by Bondi photographer Eugene Tan. The dining room flows into an indoor patio that brings the outside in.
The parts of the office built for work are no less thoughtful in their design. Open workstations with sit-stand desks, are balanced by smaller, quiet rooms for differing modes of work and conversation. “It’s a reflection of innovation, creativity and forward-thinking,” De Silva says. “It is inspired by people and the way that they collaborate and work together, and enabled by technology of the future. Most of all, our office is a welcoming home for our Dropbox family – our staff, customers, partners, clients and friends.”
The space feels at once very ‘Sydney’, very international and very start-up chic. Simon Trude of the design team at Gensler says this was deliberate. The brief was to create a space that was unique to the city, but still reflected Dropbox’s global values and DNA. “We created a space that would feel like a home for the Dropbox Sydney family,” he told Collective Hub. “The vision was to create not just an office to work in every day, not just a ‘house’ for staff, but a place for shared experience, for making memories and for storytelling.”