LinkedIn’s new Campus in Omaha sought to rethink not only the way people work, but also incorporated large sustainable goals, from art to community engagement to kickstarting the tech industry.
Synthesized from the best ideas across the globe, LinkedIn’s new workplace strategy, culminating in the complete redesign of Omaha as the company’s first purpose-built location for the future, where employees are empowered to choose from a dynamic set of spaces and services to support their best work. With 200,000 square feet of non-assigned, team-based neighbourhoods and a host of new space types meant to support entirely new ways of working, LinkedIn’s Omaha office is designed as a fully hybrid work environment filled by autonomy and choice.
This experience-led, choice-filled, and nuanced workplace is a great example of the future of work since the pandemic began, and the concepts it illustrates are starting to align with conversations about using the disruption of the past two years to make radical change in workplace models. Rather than the old, one-size-fits-all seating strategy of the past, teams are assigned to neighbourhoods within the building that contain a variety of work settings, from spaces that support individual focus and privacy to areas that support small-group collaboration and brainstorming.
At the neighbourhood intersections, and aligned with key entry points for seamless wayfinding, areas called “team anchors” provide individual and team storage elements, impromptu team space, enclosed meeting rooms, phone booths, and other shared resources. More importantly, these spaces serve as welcoming front doors to each neighbourhood, providing an orientation point, a cultural heart for team tchotchkes, and a space for transitioning one’s frame of mind. Three guiding principles were carried throughout the design of the interiors and brand moments:
COMMUNITY AND HERITAGE
LinkedIn’s new Omaha campus is designed to be shared with the local community. For that purpose, InCommon was created, a community event space which welcomes visitors from the surrounding areas. In addition, local stories are celebrated throughout the brand moments layered within the space, spotlighting Omaha’s legacy of innovation and creativity. Keeping this local mindset in mind, 70% of the furniture throughout the space is US-design and manufactured.
The interiors were designed to reflect the simple, straightforward and humble nature of the locals. Simple forms inspired by the local architecture and landscape patterns were created, celebrating honest materials and a commitment to craftsmanship.
THROUGHOUT THE BUILDING, KEY RESOURCES ARE DISTRIBUTED
to encourage employee wellbeing with an emphasis on movement, neurodiversity, fresh air, access to light, and a host of supportive new space types. Respite rooms are new, tech-free spaces with ambient light and sound that support creative, calm, or active ways to reset one’s state of mind. New deep focus spaces provide distraction-free heads-down spaces, while a golf simulator brings teams together for some friendly competition.
SURPRISE AND DELIGHT
Designed to create a sense of discovery at the turn of every corner, amenity spaces are strategically placed throughout the site to encourage exploration across multiple buildings and floors. Combined with the unique colour combinations in the finishes, an unexpected experience is created as one moves from space to space. The brand moments throughout the space are also designed to promote a sense of discovery.
The food program is designed around a food hall, with multiple, easily changeable kiosks that allow employees to customize their experience. A barista bar, fitness centre, and training facilities on the second level activate a vertical coworking space and encourage casual catchups between team members who might not see each other frequently.
Intended to not only support the local employee base, the space also supports visiting colleagues and partners as a place to drop in and work without disrupting the team neighbourhoods. Lastly, the “Almanac Outpost” concept adjacent to the bridge that connects the two buildings is purpose-built to provide another unique venue in which to work, grab a bite, or connect with colleagues.
Project: LinkedIn Omaha
Design Studio: Gensler
Photo Credit: Jason O’Rear