The 10 trendiest offices in San Diego
Gone are the days of windowless cubicles; today’s spaces are all about open air layouts, coffee shops and speakeasies on campus, and indoor/outdoor gathering points. Smart companies across San Diego are marrying ‘fun’ with ‘utility’ to develop breathtaking workplaces that stimulate you to do your best work – and be your best self.
It goes without saying that physical space and personal happiness are intimately linked. Ample research supports this claim; Harvard Business Review connects physical environments to mood, productivity, and personal well-being – and companies are taking note.
Check out these 10 San Diego businesses taking office space to the next level:
1. UE.co, B2B software company
At UE, nothing is taken for granted: every public space, social gathering spot, and office is devised with an eye for detail.
The halls are lined with art from local San Diego artists; the food hall – with in-house chef – expresses an intentionally unique character, and the grounds are dotted with five century old olive trees.
The pièce de résistance is the UE Watering Hole, “where employees come together to collaborate, innovate, or relax at the end of the day with a pint of hosted Ballast Point beer.” With a communal tractor table as its focal point, the space functions as a lunch spot by day before transforming into a lively gathering spot for happy hour.
Take a virtual tour here!
2. GoPro, technology and hardware company
Considering GoPro’s entire ethos hinges on challenging one’s self and getting messy – it’s no surprise that their ocean-side headquarters pushes the boundaries of a traditional office space.
In designing their campus, they focused on creative and collaborative environments. From conference rooms lined with surf boards, to bike racks, gyms, and outdoor patios, every element of the space has been carefully chosen to complement and amplify the company’s outgoing, outdoorsy spirit.
3. Fashionphile, fashion technology startup
After a 2018 renovation, Fashionphile is sporting a fresh look to complement their sparkling culture. Their expansive space – 30,000 square feet in Carlsbad – is sophisticated and modern, defined by clean lines and a muted color palette. Though minimalist in nature, some key homey elements – like a living room with fireplace – make this office warm and inviting. Combining play and function, Fashionphile even incorporated a slide to transport their main product: vintage purses.
4. Illumina, sequencing and genetic analysis
Three buildings make up Illumina’s new i3 campus, wedged together in a triangle formation on 7-acres in UTC. At their center sits a 33,500 square foot courtyard featuring a bocce ball court, herb garden, performance stage, fitness area, restaurant and café.
The architect explains, “the campus turns the stereotypical concept of a suburban research park right on its head, and makes it infinitely better. Instead of a trove of uninviting office buildings surrounding a sea of asphalt parking lots, the i3 campus empowers people to connect, engage, collaborate, innovate, and—perhaps most important—be inspired.”
Over 65 phone booths, ample quiet zones, indoor/outdoor spaces, and coffee shops create a relaxed and inspiring atmosphere. Illumina’s motto – ‘work anywhere’ – can be felt throughout this spacious new campus.
5. Petco, pet retailer
Animal lovers unite! No space takes your four-legged friends into consideration quite like Petco’s San Diego headquarters. With six dog parks, numerous walking trails, and cubicles pre-quipped with animal gates, Petco’s expansive campus perfectly marries the needs of humans with those of our animal friends.
Take a closer look at their workspace in this Inc. video tour!
6. Viasat, global communications company
Viasat’s sprawling Carlsbad campus is newly-renovated, airy, and awe-inspiring. Located on 23-acres of land, Viasat’s headquarters aims to combine “playfulness with professionalism.” “It’s about creating a nice environment for employees to be in, to want to come to and be at work,” said Langan, SCA Vice President and project manager of Viasat’s recent expansion and renovation.
Its campus includes a 4-acre courtyard with hammocks and spaces for outdoor meetings, as well as a restaurant which changes appearance based on the kitchen’s culinary whims.
7. Achieve Internet, web development firm
This newly-renovated office is the perfect refuge for the modern day nerd. The walls are covered, top to bottom, in custom murals that reflect the company’s core values and interests. The murals are fun, playful, and make reference to mainstream – as well as lesser known – geek culture.
Glass walls, an open seating scheme, and a signature moss wall make Achieve Internet a uniquely fun place to work.
8. AbacusNext, cloud services for legal and accounting
Although they’ve been around for over 30 years, AbacusNext has managed to maintain an authentic startup feel and culture. Their offices are colorful, playful, and tech-oriented – as you might expect from a cloud services company.
As a unique perk, this company has a masseuse and chiropractor onsite weekly to help ease the tension of the job. Additionally, foosball, ping pong and shuffle board tables contribute to the office’s collaboration-centric, energetic atmosphere.
9. Burger Construction, San Diego commercial construction and design
For 25 years, Burger Construction has been at the leading edge of office and industrial design, and they’d be remiss to overlook the space in which their own employees work.
What we’re saying is, if you’re going to help local companies design and construct their workplaces – you better have a darn good workplace of your own.
And they don’t disappoint. Burger Construction has incorporated some of the trendiest elements from their outside designs – from a zip line, to beer on top, to game tables and interactive meeting spaces. Beautiful design meets convenience and utility in this Sorrento Valley office.
10. Red Door Interactive, marketing agency
Red Door’s reputation precedes them: featured on the Forbes list of 10 Cool Office Spaces in 2014, this company strongly believes in – and invests in – the value of smart design.
Their office is dotted with shared workspaces and ‘meeting nooks.’ Light, open, and relaxed, this space is clean and professional while retaining a unique character and culture.
We’ve all felt the impact of an elegantly designed space; suddenly, without warning or obvious cause, our nerves are eased and creativity is freely flowing. By combining smart design with technology, natural light, and designated social spaces, top companies are raising the bar on what an office can be.