Silicon Valley Culture Impacts Today’s Workplace Design

Silicon Valley has become synonymous with creativity, collaboration and innovation. Home to Apple, Facebook, Google, Netflix and more, there’s no surprise that this area of Northern California has such an impressive reputation. These tech-driven companies have changed both daily life and modern workplaces around the world.

In a 2016 Harvard Business Review article “What Makes Silicon Valley Companies so Successful,” the authors identify leaders enabling collaboration as a key factor of success. They state that Silicon Valley has  “a culture where teams self-organize; people from various functions come together to work on specific projects by habit, not by exception; and good ideas gain momentum organically by attracting talent from around the business.”

This grassroots collaboration that drives innovation is made possible by the informal gathering spaces such as cafes and lounges. According to Forbes, Google cofounder Sergey Brin requested that employees be no further than 200 feet from food at any given time to encourage staff to interact with people from other areas of the company. Brin understood that casual conversations often spark ideas or generate solutions.

Architects, designers and companies have incorporated Silicon Valley design practices into workplaces around the world. Spaces that evoke the feeling of a “third place” such as cafe, library or restaurant, are prevalent in office design. Work cafes in particular have become a central hub of the modern office as a place for employees to meet in groups, conduct solo work or socialize with peers.

Coalesse furnishings have found a home in many Silicon Valley offices for their ability to create spaces that encourage creative collaboration and social connection. The most visible space is now that of the Bream-Hall office on HBO’s hit show, Silicon Valley. In the current season, you’ll see a variety of Coalesse lounge chairs in private offices and the collaborative Potrero415 table in the office conference room, see below.

        A pair of Coalesse Visalia Lounge Chairs are featured in this office.

    Coalesse Bob Chairs opposite the desk and Millbrae Lifestyle Sofa offers comfort inside the entrance of the office.

     Coalesse Potrero415 Table in the conference room at Bream-Hall.

To learn more about the set design of Silicon Valley’s offices, visit 360 Latest News on Steelcase.com or take a 3D tour of the office space.

The Silicon Valley culture of collaboration and innovation has impacted companies around the world. While it’s difficult to replicate the California spirit unique to the San Francisco bay area, designers can bring these insights to workspaces everywhere.