Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
Aug 30th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

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.”

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

The Meaning of ‘LIFE’

With a new documentary film about his work, and huge exhibits on both coasts, acclaimed Santa Cruz nature photographer Frans Lanting is having a landmark year. But his crusade for conservation doesn’t leave much time for looking back

 

Seasons of Opportunity

Everything in our world has a specific time (a season) in which to accomplish a specific work—a “season” that begins (opportunity) and ends (time’s up). I can feel the season is changing. The leaves turning colors, the air cooler, sunbeams casting shadows in different places. It feels like a seasonal change has begun in the northern hemisphere. Christmas is in four months, and 2015 is swiftly speeding by. Soon it will be autumn and time for the many Festivals of Light. Each season offers new opportunities. Then the season ends and new seasons take its place. Humanity, too, is given “seasons” of opportunity. We are in one of those opportunities now, to bring something new (Uranus) into our world, especially in the United States. Times of opportunity can be seen in the astrology chart. In the U.S. chart, Uranus (change) joins Chiron (wound/healing). This symbolizes a need to heal the wounds of humanity. Uranus offers new archetypes, new ways of doing things. The Uranus/Chiron (Aries/Pisces) message is, “The people of the U.S. are suffering. New actions are needed to bring healing and well-being to humanity. So the U.S. can fulfill its spiritual task of standing within the light and leading humanity within and toward the light.” Thursday, Aquarius Moon, Mercury enters Libra. The message, “To bring forth the new order in the world, begin with acts of Goodwill.” Goodwill produces right relations with everyone and everything. The result is a world of progressive well-being and peacefulness (which is neither passive nor the opposite of war). Saturday is the full moon, the solar light of Virgo streaming into the Earth. Our waiting now begins, for the birth of new light at winter solstice. The mother (hiding the light of the soul, the holy child), identifying the feminine principle, says, “I am the mother and the child. I, God (Father), I Matter (Mother), We are One.”

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of August 28

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Land of Plenty

Farm to Fork benefit dinner for UCSC’s Agroecology Center, plus a zippy salsa from Teresa’s Salsa that loves every food it meets

 

If you knew you had one week to live, what would you do?

Make peace with myself, which would allow me to be at peace with others. Diane Fisher, Santa Cruz, Network Engineer

 

Comanche Cellars

Michael Simons, owner and winemaker of Comanche Cellars, once had a trusted steed called Comanche, which was part of his paper route and his rodeo circuit, from the tender age of 10. In memory of this beautiful horse, he named his winery Comanche, and Comanche’s shoes grace the label of each handcrafted bottle.

 

Cantine Winepub

Aptos wine and tapas spot keeps it casual