Santa Cruz Good Times

Tuesday
Feb 09th
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

 

On the Run

Is there hope for California’s salmon?

 

Chinese New Year of the Red Fire Monkey

Monday, Feb. 8, is Aquarius new moon (19 degrees) and Chinese New Year of the Red Fire Monkey (an imaginative, intelligent and vigilant creature). Monkey is bright, quick, lively, quite naughty, clever, inquiring, sensible, and reliable. Monkey loves to help others. Often they are teachers, writers and linguists. They are very talented, like renaissance people. Leonardo Da Vinci was born in the year of Monkey. Monkey contains metal (relation to gold) and water (wisdom, danger). 2016 will be a year of finances. For a return on one’s money, invest in monkey’s ideas. Metal is related to wind (change). Therefore events in 2016 will change very quickly. We must ponder with care before making financial, business and relationship changes. Fortune’s path may not be smooth in 2016. Finances and business as usual will be challenged. Although we develop practical goals, the outcomes are different than hoped for. We must be cautious with investments and business partnership. It is most important to cultivate a balanced and harmonious daily life, seeking ways to release tension, pressure and stress to improve health and calmness. Monkey is lively, flexible, quick-witted, and versatile. Their gentle, honest, enchanting yet resourceful nature results often in everlasting love. Monkeys are freedom loving. Without freedom, Monkey becomes dull, sad and very unhappy. During the Spring and Autumn Period (770 - 476 BC), the Chinese official title of Marquis (noble person) was pronounced ‘Hou,’ the same as the pronunciation of ‘monkey’ in Chinese. Monkey was thereby bestowed with auspicious (favorable, fortunate) meaning. Monkey years are: 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016.  

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of February 5

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

 

Wine and Chocolate

West Cliff Wines gets its game on, plus a brand new chocolate cafe on Center Street

 

How would you stop people from littering?

Teach them from the time that they’re small that it’s not an appropriate behavior. Juliet Jones, Santa Cruz, Claims Adjuster

 

Dancing Creek Winery

New Zinfandel Port is a ruby beauty

 

Venus Spirits

Changing law could mean new opportunity for local spirits