Airbnb Office Design: A Tour Of The HQ
In this post, we help give entrepreneurs an idea of how to calculate office space by using the Keyser iPhone app to reverse engineer the new Airbnb Headquarters the SoMa neighborhood of San Francisco.
On any given night, around 140,000 people are staying in Airbnb properties, which span 34,000 cities in 192 countries. Using information we gathered from a variety of articles about the new Airbnb office design, this post roughly breaks down their estimated square footage needs as it relates to their office space.
First, here’s a few pieces of information about Airbnb that will help us estimate their office space needs.
Required working environments:
– Want office space to feel like their BnB listings
– 637 employees across several departments ranging from information technology to creatives (San Francisco only).
– 3 Co-Founders
Linkedin Employee Breakdown of Airbnb:
– 640 employees in San Francisco
– Information Technology = 121
– Engineering = 37
– Creatives = 45
– Administration = 52
– Engineering = 37
– Product = 36
– Human Resources = 41
– Business Development = 20
– Finance = 18
– Other = 270 (the difference between the employee count and the LinkedIn estimates)
In this article written by co-founder & CEO Brian Chesky, you get a pretty clear sense that culture is everything for Airbnb.
Some things we take away from Brian’s article:
– The stronger the culture, the less corporate process a company needs.
– When the culture is strong, people can be independent and autonomous.
– Culture is the foundation of Airbnb.
Office Space Assumptions:
Here’s where we’ll make some major assumptions for the sake of getting a rough square footage estimate from the iPhone app.
: Let’s assume the Airbnb co-founders have the only C-Suite offices, and that the estimated 25 other Airbnb VP’s and C-Level executives enjoy Executive Sized offices.
: Engineers are pretty important to AirBnb’s success, so let’s assume each engineer lavishes in the comfort of a large office space that can be also used as a shared meeting space.
: Airbnb has some very cool information technology and it’s competing against Silicon Valley to attract the right talent. Let’s assume Airbnb offers IT people the enjoyment of the equivalent of a small office space (100 square feet). With 121 IT employees, we’ll allocate 121 “small offices” or 12,100 square feet of office space to information technology.
: Let’s assume that each business development and finance employee needs a little privacy and quiet to do their job effectively. We’ll allocate a standard sized office space for the 20 biz devs and 18 finance employees.
: Since Airbnb is undeniably unique with a distinct look to it’s product experience and marketing, let’s assume the Creative team (45 employees total) have their own medium sized offices. Let’s also assume the product employees have slightly smaller medium sized office spaces (36 total).
That’s about it for our office space assumptions. Let’s move on to our workstation assumptions based on the Airbnb employee breakdown.
With our office space assumptions, we made rough square footage estimates based on the Airbnb engineering, creatives, information technology, executive level, finance and product teams. This leaves us with the admins, human resources, and “other” departments to calculate office space requirements.
: Let’s assume that Sales is in a call center type of environment, and all 30 sales people have their own call center cube.
: Let’s assume that all 41 Human Resources professionals will occupy medium sized cubes
: All “other” 242 employees will on average occupy large cube.
Conference + Training Room Calculation
Let’s assume Airbnb has multiple conference rooms based on their employee size. Let’s assume that three of the conference rooms are “large” (Seats 16-20 people) and one of them is “medium” (seats 8-10 people). Let’s also assume that the majority of meetings take place in living rooms instead of conference rooms – just like you would experience at home.
Let’s also assume that the training room that exists at Airbnb is the extremely large town square / plaza type of space in the center of the building. This space is large enough to seat the entire company for an all hands on deck type of meeting. For smaller training sessions, let’s assume there are four small training rooms that seat up to sixteen people at a time.
The Airbnb welcome mat that greets visitors appears to be quite large. In looking at the diagrams within the Keyser app and comparing them to the Airbnb pictures, we’ll allocate two large and two small reception areas for visitors.
Copy + Storage Rooms
Let’s assume one large and one small copy room space for every 100 employees would equate to about 6 large and small copy rooms throughout the Airbnb headquarters. Let’s also make general assumptions that the Airbnb building has a few small storage closets that are filled floor to ceiling with Obama O’s and Cap’n McCain’s.
Just like the listings on their website, Airbnb has some unique areas. A large kitchen area with a walk up bar and multiple large break room sized areas exists for employees to grab a bite to eat. We’ll assume that Airbnb’s bar is about twenty times the size of an average coffee bar space.
Several wellness areas provide a relaxing escape. A library room for focus work with several rooms designed for workers to keep their workplace environment fresh.
Let’s allocate two large server rooms for the needs of Airbnb employees.
Submit and Calculate Totals
Bottom line: the new office for Airbnb is more than an office – it’s a home for the employees and culture of Airbnb.
Based on our office space assumptions and estimates, let’s submit and calculate the Airbnb office space needs in terms of square footage. The Keyser iPhone app will automatically calculate hallways circulation square footage, as well as load factor, usable space and the total amount of rentable square feet. This calculation is especially useful to help narrow down your office space search.
Without further ado, here is our reversed engineered calculation of the Airbnb headquarters in San Francisco: 169,538 Square Feet.
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