Boxing for Spaces
How technology and design are shaping the way Boxers collaborate in their silicon valley HQ.
“Smart companies understand that workspaces are a business tool.” — Harvard Business Review
When Box — the leader in cloud content management — designed their current office in Redwood City, CA, they did so with the latest workplace design research guiding their efforts.
That’s where the partnership between Teem and Box was born. Box wanted to approach their space management in a more holistic way, and needed innovative solutions for reserving spaces and helping Boxers navigate their new surroundings. The goal was to provide a frictionless experience for engaging with office resources.
Today we’ll look at Box’s forward thinking headquarters and how they worked with Teem to empower employees and building managers alike with the tools and data they need to “Work as one.”
The first thing you notice when you walk into Box’s Redwood City HQ — aside from the timeless brick, steel and glass construction — is a giant glowing Box logo underscored by a sweeping modern reception desk and angular furniture.
This bold, yet elegant architectural presentation sums up this dynamic technology leader’s workplace culture — modern, bold and humanistic.
Get a Room
Before Box and Teem started working together, receptionists delivered detailed directions for visitors, guiding them across five working floors of offices and conference rooms. If you weren’t familiar with the large office, getting lost was easy. On top of that, if you found the room you were looking for — there wasn’t a way to determine if the space was available to use, or if you were at risk of being displaced by another “more pressing” need.
The lack of clarity around the “ownership” of meeting spaces presented other issues as well. Even typically cheerful Boxers recounted arguments workers would have outside a conference room that’d been double-booked.
“I absolutely remember what it was like before we had Teem,” said Box Workplace Services Administrator Addi McClure, in an interview with Teem. “[I had] executives run up to me in a panic, begging me to find a conference room for them.”
“I absolutely remember what it was like before we had Teem, [I had] executives run up to me in a panic, begging me to find a conference room for them.”
— Addi McClure, Workplace Services
In addition to booking and navigation issues, Box also saw the need for workspaces specifically designed for different activities. These are spaces, away from an employee’s desk, where they can focus on that bit of tricky code in a Quiet Cave, or tackle a site redesign in a Collaboration Station or Breakout Room.
In short, Box knew they needed not just to add rooms and dedicated workspaces, but to also incorporate a powerful and adaptable technology layer for their cutting-edge office.
The interiors reflects the design high design standards to which Box held their designers, global design firm AECOM. “Quiet Caves” are employee work areas designed to produce a focused, creative atmosphere. Collaboration Stations and Breakout Areas feature all the equipment and room needed for your team (large or small) to finish that Q3 marketing plan.
Now, it’s fair to ask at this point whether or not a design paradigm like this produces results. After all, modern workers puttered away in cubicles for years. Why do we bother with the specialized workplaces of today?
The answer can be found in an article from the Yorkshire Post. Aire Adaptical Design, a Leeds-based company, recently transformed an old mill into a bar-themed office to house its creative teams. Jonathan Milner, joint managing director of Aire Adaptical, said a thoughtfully designed workplace is critical to their business because, “We employ a lot of designers and creatives in their early 20s and creating a fun workplace is part of attracting and retaining that talent.”
That same train of thought pushed Box to go get its own creative room — five floors of them, actually — and while they adhered to office design best practices, they still needed a technology partner to tie their people, places, and technology together.
Box Teems Up (ba dum tss)
At it’s core, Teem is much more than a meeting room booking system. It’s a collection of intelligent tools and powerful workplace analytics that help you optimize the people, places, and technology within your office.
From tight integrations with Amazon Alexa — to more easily interact with conference room displays and scheduling systems — to data-driven insights into room utilizations, meeting duration, and meeting size, Teem has the solutions Box needed to truly make their digital workplace technology the best they could possibly be.
In particular, Teem’s products helped Box in three key areas: resource scheduling, room utilization, way-finding. Obviously these aren’t the only ways in which our collaboration has benefitted both companies, but these are some of the core aspects of the Box — Teem partnership.
Rock the Casbah
Box put an impressive amount of care into their offices, including the creation of themed lounges on every working floor of their HQ. From the 3rd floor Wild West room to the Casbah on the 6th floor, the lounges function as a break area.
There are soundproof phone booths in each of the themed lounges — which an employee can use for a phone call instead of booking a conference room — however, these spaces aren’t cost-effective unless they’re being utilized at a high rate.
Part of Teem’s products involves reporting on room utilization, a number that tells you what percentage of your office’s meeting spaces — or break areas — are used on a daily basis. Reports are updated daily, through either employees checking into meetings or the use of beacons in larger areas that deliver information on how often a lounge is filled.
We have found that, for large organizations, as overall room utilization increases above 80% that productivity begins to drop — and collaboration is delayed. It’s not that the remaining 20% of rooms aren’t available, it’s that they aren’t accessible enough for the employees. Smart companies plan for room utilization to hover between 60% and 75%. Box, in this case, built their space for an expanded workforce. 40% utilization leaves room to grow into the 60–75% range as they continue to grow their company.
— dal adamson, Product Manager | Teem
Now, where am I?
One problem Box faced with their new office was the sheer size of the place. Box had already deployed Aruba Bluetooth beacons throughout their office before meeting Teem, but knew they needed to bring in a solution that would integrate with their existing hardware.
Teem’s Maps feature was a perfect fit. With the Teem mobile app, employees can quickly pull up an interactive map of each floor. From there they can simply tap on a room to get turn-by-turn directions directly to that space.
“People really loved the maps feature . . . because they even knew which direction to walk.”
— Dana Donaldson, Business Engagement & Customer Success for Box.
The Human Element
A guiding principal inside Box’s new offices is ensuring that everyone — across all pay grades and departments — have first-rate workspaces and the best technology available to do their jobs.
Teem reinforces that culture thanks to the clarity and organization it gives to an office, as well as the contention it alleviates. “There’s nothing more frustrating than finding a room when you’re in a time crunch,” said Marc Fenner, who works in Business Engagement and Customer Success for Box. “There was also nothing more frustrating than when you double book a room and you start arguing in front of the room about who actually booked the room.”
“There was also nothing more frustrating than when you double book a room and you start arguing in front of the room about who actually booked the room.”
— Marc Fenner, Business Engagement & Customer Success
Teem’s conference room scheduling system and displays eliminate double-booking and debates over “who booked the space”, fostering a much more respectful and efficient collaboration culture.
An organization’s Recapture Rate is a metric unique to Teem, but one that’ll make a huge difference in ensuring you’re getting the most out of your meeting rooms.
Recapture Rate: Percentage of meeting hours made available when Teem removes no-show and other un-attended meetings from room schedules.
A company with a high recapture rate, for example, will keep their room utilization at their preferred rate— even when people cancel meetings last minute. Teem, after sensing that a scheduled meeting has not occurred in a room, will automatically release the reservation and makes the room bookable by the rest of the organization. This automated process safeguards a company’s collaborative culture by getting the best use out of the space while not micro-managing or punishing employees for schedule changes.
Modern workplaces should be fertile ground for creative expression — free from needless processes and distractions. Teem provides focus, and works on the employee’s behalf to optimize scheduling and space utilization in the background while employees get work done. Boxers are being engaged in the grand task before them, not stuck in scheduling gridlock or navigating inefficient, dated workarounds.
See for Yourself
Between Box’s employee-centric thinking and Teem’s workplace experience and data solutions, the two have taken work out of work by creating a much more simple and engaging way for employees to book and manage meetings.
Now, I invite you to take a moment and watch this video and see how Box works with Teem to give it’s employees a world-class work environment to produce best-in-class software solutions.