Lyft Headquarters: An Inside Look At The Office

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 Lyft Headquarters in San Francisco.

Lyft Walrus Mustache

Using information we gathered from a variety of articles about the Lyft headquarters, 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 Lyft that will help us estimate their office space needs.

Required working environments:
– 2 co-founders
– 350 employees across several departments ranging from information technology to support (San Francisco only).
– Room for pink mustaches

Lyft Headquarters San Francisco

Linkedin Employee Breakdown of Lyft:
– 608 employees (an October 2014 article from ReCode mentioned that there were 350 employees. Since many of the employees listed on Linkedin are drivers (and don’t need physical office space) we’ve taken ReCode’s Lyft employee estimates from just the San Francisco area. We’ve also created an “other” category for employees that are uncategorized).
– Information Technology = 44
– Engineering = 31
– Sales = 30
– Public Relations = 25
– Creative = 36
– Marketing = 22
– Human Resources = 47
– Other = 115 (the difference between the employee count and the ReCode estimate)

Lyft Headquarters  - SF

In this Recode article, reporter Nellie Bowles describes Lyft as a “startup wonderland, with secret rooms and Nerf guns and lots of Lyft logos.”

Some things we take away from the Recode article:

– Want the office to feel like you’re entering a pink mustache
– Want the office to have an open working environment
– Want to fill the office with funky fun – the same experience as their riders have when using the service

Lyft Outdoors

Office Space Assumptions:

Lyft Executive OfficesHere’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 Lyft co-founders have the only C-Suite offices, and that the estimated 16 other Lyft VP’s enjoy Executive Sized offices.

: The engineers work collaboratively, so let’s assume 4 employees Lyft Large Officesfor every Large office space. 31 engineers with 4 team members per space would equal 8 large offices.

: Lyft has some very cool information technology and it’s competing against Uber and Silicon Valley to attract the right talent. Let’s assume Lyft offers IT people the enjoyment of the equivalent of a small office space (100 square feet). With 44 IT employees, we’ll allocate 44 “small offices” or 4,400 square feet of office space to Lyft Small Officesinformation technology.

: Let’s assume that each marketing and public relations employee needs a little privacy and quiet to do their job effectively. We’ll allocate a smaller, medium sized office space (in Lyft lingo, a smedium office) for the 22 marketing employees and 25 PR employees.

Smedium Office: Since Lyft has a funky, distinct look to it’s product experience and marketing, let’s assume the Creative team (36 employees total) have their own medium sized offices.

That’s about it for our office space assumptions. Let’s move on to our workstation assumptions based on the Lyft employee breakdown.

Lyft Office Space

Workstation Assumptions:

Lyft Support With our office space assumptions, we made rough square footage estimates based on the Lyft engineering, marketing, information technology, executive level, creative and public relations teams. This leaves us with the sales, 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.
Lyft Medium Cubes
: Let’s assume that all 47 Human Resources professionals will occupy medium sized cubes (batting taxi unions can’t be easy).

: All “other” 97 employees will on average occupy large cube (73) and small cube (24) spaces. This estimate accounts for the “other” employees who may occupy a larger space, and those who may occupy a smaller space.

Stacy Speer Lyft

Conference + Training Room Calculation

Although the photos don’t show us, let’s assume Lyft has multiple conference rooms based on their employee size. Let’s assume that two of the conference rooms are “large” (Seats 16-20 people), two of them are “medium” (seats 8-10 people) and four of the conference rooms are “small” (seats 4-6). Let’s also assume that a training room exists at Lyft, and that it seats at least 50 people.

Lyft-Large-Conference-Room Lyft-Medium-Conference-Room Lyft-Small-Conference-Rooms

Reception Areas

Lyft Reception AreaYou can’t miss the pink mustached reception area that greet visitors. In looking at the diagrams within the Keyser app and comparing them to the Lyft pictures, we’ll allocate one large reception area for visitors.

Lyft Pink Mustache

Copy + Storage Rooms

Let’s assume one large copy room space for every 100 employees would equate to about 4 large copy rooms throughout the Lyft headquarters. Let’s also make general assumptions that the building has a few small storage closets and a standard file room.

Lyft Large Copy Room Lyft Small Storage Closet Lyft Storage Room

Employee Areas

As we can see from the photos, Lyft has some unique employee areas. A dining area with multiple large break room sized areas exists for employees to grab a bite to eat. Several wellness areas provide an escape for a possible nap. And, a Willy Wonka portrait hides a secret library…

Lyft Secret Library Willy Wonka

Lyft Secret Library

Lyft Coffee Bar Lyft Secret Library Lyft Wellness Areas Lyft Break Room

Server Rooms

Lyft-Large-Server-RoomLet’s allocate two large server rooms for the needs of Lyft employees.

Submit and Calculate Totals

Based on our office space assumptions and estimates, it’s time to submit and calculate the Lyft 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.

Keyser-iPhone-App How big is the Lyft San Francisco Office

Without further ado, here is our reversed engineered calculation of the Lyft headquarters in San Francisco: 66,100 Square Feet.

[Photos By Lea Suzuki / The Chronicle + Nellie Bowles / Recode]
[Articles Referenced]: SF Gate; Recode;

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