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Feb 13th
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If You Build It…

plantronicsA twirl around Plantronics’ new and improved offices

Plantronics, Santa Cruz’s largest commercial employer, is making changes to its world headquarters. The headset manufacturer unveiled the new improvements to its Encinal Street offices this week, updating its old workspace to keep up with the company’s evolving business philosophy.

Plantronics has maintained its headquarters in Santa Cruz since it first began in the garage of an airline pilot in 1961. Since then, the company has progressed right alongside American history. They were the first headset in outer space. Neil Armstrong spoke his famous words “That’s one small step for man, on giant leap for mankind” into a Plantronics headset. Today, they’re one of the most looked to manufacturers of Bluetooth headsets in the world. So it’s only logical that the company would need a modern space to reflect their modern clientele.

The updated workspace is sleek and shiny—a place anyone would be grateful to call “work.” The new space was designed to open up communication between employees in the hopes that better collaboration will lead to better products.

“The purpose of coming into a workspace is to collaborate,” says Pat Wadors, the senior vice president of Human Resources. “I’m hoping more people will want to sit and chill and talk and collaborate.”

With this in mind, the team responsible for the re-design lowered cubicle walls and created a number of “free spaces” unlike the conference rooms seen at most companies. You won’t find any oversized conference tables here; instead you’ll see brightly colored ergonomic chairs, plush couches made from sustainable materials, and walls and flooring designed to muffle sound.

“People end up helping each other more than they ever would because they can hear what’s going on and connect the dots,” says Wadors. “If people are just sitting in their own room, they’ll never know what dots to connect.”

The sprawling space is overwhelmingly white without being sterile—more like an Apple store than a hospital. Pieces of vibrantly-colored furniture, like a circular magenta couch breathe life into the white space.

But it’s the small details that really make the new workspace enticing. Chairs are equipped with swiveling table tops, making them appropriate for both righties and lefties. Desktops are adjustable, allowing employees to sit or stand, depending on their mood. Employees can stash their belongings in storage lockers, so they’re not tied to a desk and are free to move around the revamped space. Sections of the walls are actually whiteboards, letting employees jot down notes wherever an idea strikes them. People have already begun using the amenities; “This is hip!” and “I love this design” were scrawled on the boards around the office.

Wadors hopes that the new workspace will encourage Plantronics employees to spend more time at the office and inspire them to work together more creatively. The natural light, comfortable furniture and artistic installations are all designed to make employees feel comfortable enough to hang around the office, even if they don’t necessarily need to be there.

“It’s got to compete with Starbucks,” says Wadors. “I want people naturally drawn here.”

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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

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