Tech companies are known to have cool office spaces and killer company culture.
Travel companies similarly are known to have interesting exotic offerings and a diverse range of products thanks to the expanding industry.
So what do you get when you mesh the two together?
Business Insider found out on a walk-through of Expedia’s Sydney office recently.
The huge Sydney digs span three themed floors, 23 meeting rooms, 19 huddle areas and 44 pods.
The design is open and light, with cool artwork and fun employee perks.
“The office captures the positive feeling you get when you travel from the moment employees or guests walk in,” says Michael Pearson, MD at Expedia ANZ.
“Whether you want to escape to the outdoors of Byron Bay, explore hidden laneways like Melbourne’s Flinders Lane, or experience the amazing food and wine of the McLaren Vale; employees and guests can easily wander through the three levels and feel like they’ve escaped to a different place.
“As Australia is one of our key markets, we wanted to make a significant investment into our home base and bring all our brands – Expedia, Egencia, Wotif, Lastminute.com.au and Hotels.com – under one roof.”
Construction on the 1 Martin Place office started in March 2016, and was completed by May 28. Staff were moved in on May 30.
Currently, it houses approximately 300 staff, but is capable of handling 370.
Here’s a look around.
The idea was to design it in a similar way to that of a contemporary hotel with minimalist Scandinavian design, lush greenery and a light-filled lobby.
Gensler, the design team tasked with the fit out, wanted to create a fun, casual and colourful workplace which would bring people together.
Gensler wanted to create a central ‘marketplace’ as the key social zone, drawing all of the teams together, surrounded by flexible workspace with lots of enclosed meeting rooms as well as plenty of informal collaborative areas.
This area is intended to reflect a farmer’s market with stalls as seating.
This level also embodies destinations known for their food, different cultures and amazing flavours.
This cafe, called Mister Piccolo, is complete with a barista style coffee machine.
As well as this, employees have access to bike space, changing rooms, and shower amenities.
The décor showcases Australian cities with hidden laneways, intimate cafés and quirky bars. The floor is decorated with vintage style street art and walls emblazoned with graffiti and travel posters.
If you don't find them here, some of the Expedia team's favourite nearby lunch spots include Gowing Bar at QT Sydney, Burger Project, Thrive and INDU.
It is fitting with the company's Global Day of Caring program which this year will see the local team take part in a beach clean-up on Manly Beach with Surfrider Australia; learning about environmental issues and helping to restore Middle Head at Sydney Harbour National Park; or helping with a home makeover with House with No Steps.
As well as the bright, cheery colours and art, this office is totally transparent thanks to its open spaces
Pearson says the open plan reflects Expedia’s key philosophies and values – 'to be transparent; and to test and learn from everything that we do'.
He says, 'we stayed away from the traditional or hierarchical design of enclosed meeting rooms and private offices and used an open plan design filled with informal areas and glass meeting rooms to encourage transparency and collaboration'.
Because of the open office plan almost everyone gets a window seat.
But Expedia also offers health and wellness initiatives. For example, employees are offered a comprehensive program to support their personal goals, a voucher to use on fitness activities or equipment to promote and encourage wellness, and some health insurance benefits.
It embodies the outdoors with faux living grassy walls, a space called ‘The Lawn’, a ‘Playground’ and ‘The Bar’. Teams often hold competitions like Olympics and cook offs.
Every Friday the company hosts a wine and cheese night. The beer and wine committee choose what the team will drink that week.
If they aren't having a coldie here, staff kick back at the nearby bars like Work in Progress, Stitch Bar, Baxter Inn, Grandma’s and The Rook.
This is where employees submit their holiday photos for them to be framed and put up on the wall. The company also has a Leisure Travel Benefit which is offered to employees to encourage them to take a holiday or go on a travel adventure.
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