photos by JULIA SPERLING
Startup offices are a lot more than exercise balls and ping pong tables. They’re productivity zones where creativity and teamwork thrive. The offices of Getaround in San Francisco, styled by A Design Lifestyle, epitomize startup style, and even upgrade it with copious color and collaborative workspaces. We caught up with Jessica Scorpio, Founder and VP Marketing at Getaround, to find out what motivated her to create a work environment like this one.
LET’S START WITH GOALS. WHAT WERE YOUR GOALS FOR THIS SPACE FROM A FUNCTION PERSPECTIVE?
Getaround has a lot of unique requirements when it comes to office space. Probably the most important functional requirement for our new space was a large, fully-functioning garage. Since our new building was originally built as a fire station, it more than meets that requirement.
We were also desperately in need of more conference rooms and places to work as small groups. Our new space has 13 breakout rooms each designed for specific types of work and meetings – everything from video conferencing to a ‘war room’ with modular furniture and lots of space to get up and move around while working through problems.
AND THE FUN PART…WHAT WERE YOUR GOALS FROM A DESIGN PERSPECTIVE?
We’ve always tried to keep our office design as clean and simple as possible. Our team works incredibly hard and spends a lot of hours in the office so it was really important that we provide a space that makes coming to work fun and provides the right environment for them to work in.
WHAT WAS THE BEST STAFF REACTION TO THIS SPACE?
Things were getting a little tight in our old office – we were running out of conference rooms on a regular basis. After we moved into the new office – it was great to see the team spread out and being able to find a space to work that suited their needs and mood.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS LOCATION?
We have always been based out of the SOMA neighborhood in San Francisco and really wanted to stay within the neighborhood when we started looking for a new office. It’s really important to us that the office is easily accessible by a number of transit options and in this location, our team can easily get to work by foot, bike or a huge range of public transit options.
WHAT COMPONENTS OF THIS SPACE MAKE YOUR TEAM FEEL MOST PRODUCTIVE?
Our workstations have always been a big hit with our team. All of our desks can easily convert to standing desks and we have a strict no nesting rule – which means there are no assigned desks in the office. Team members can just grab any desk they like when they get to the office which means you are usually sitting next to a different person each day.
WHERE DO TEAM MEMBERS TEND TO HANG OUT/BRAINSTORM TOGETHER?
It’s funny – different teams tend to congregate in different areas. Not surprisingly – the Fleet Team can generally be be found in the garage while other teams prefer to co-work in our living room-style meeting rooms.
WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL FAVORITE COMPONENT OF THIS SPACE?
Personally – I’m a big fan of the Zen Room. I meditate often and having a quiet space in the office that allows me re-focus on a busy day has been amazing.
ANY ADVICE FOR STARTUPS LOOKING TO CRAFT A VISUALLY INSPIRING, PRODUCTIVE SPACE OF THEIR OWN?
Talk with your team to identify the different needs before you start planning. Each team will undoubtedly have suggestions for what will make the new space most productive for their new team. It likely won’t be possible to meet everyone’s demands but it’s good to collect all ideas right from the start.