Monday, May 12, 2014
UFO or APPLE ???
CUPERTINO, Calif. (AP) — Apple's ring-shaped, gleaming "Spaceship Headquarters" will include a world class auditorium and an orchard for engineers to wander. Google's new Bay View campus will feature walkways angled to force accidental encounters. Facebook, while putting final touches on a Disney-inspired campus including a Main Street with a barbecue shack, sushi house and bike shop, is already planning an even larger, more exciting new campus.
More than ever before, Silicon Valley firms want their workers at work.
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has gone so far as to ban working from home, and many more offer prodigious incentives for coming in to the office, such as free meals, massages and gyms.
This spring, as the tech industry is soaring out of the Great Recession, plans are in the works for a flurry of massive, perk-laden headquarters.
"We're seeing the mature technology companies trying to energize their work environments, getting rid of cube farms and investing in facilities to compete for talent," said Kevin Schaeffer, a principal at architecture and design firm Gensler in San Jose. "That's caused a huge transition in the way offices are laid out."
New Silicon Valley headquarters or expansions are under way at most of the area's major firms, including eBay, Intel, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Netflix, Nvidia and Oracle. Many will be huge: Apple Inc.'s 176-acre campus will be one of the world's largest workplaces. On the outside, many of the new buildings boast striking architectural designs and will collectively be among the most environmentally friendly in the country. Inside, there are walls you can draw on, ping pong tables, Lego stations, gaming arcades and free haircuts.
Critics say that while some workplace perks and benefits are a good thing, the large, multibillion dollar corporate headquarters are colossal wastes of money that snub the pioneering technology these firms actually create.