Space to Innovate: Inside 4 Boston Tech Offices That Inspire

by Kelly O'Halloran
August 28, 2019

The office once represented simply the building that people work from — cubicles, executive offices, a front desk and maybe a kitchen. But throughout the past decade, and much in thanks to the tech industry, the office space has transformed into an extension and reflection of the company within. 

The following Boston tech offices are prime examples of this cultural shift, showcasing work environments that have employees eager to come into work, collaborate and celebrate their missions. Take a look. 

 

draftkings boston office

draftkings office

draftkings office
photos via draftkings

Just a short walk from Boston Public Garden, the new DraftKings office takes up 105,000 square feet in Back Bay. Mack Freedman, a senior manager of global real estate for the fantasy sports provider, highlighted how the theme of sports incorporates itself throughout the building. 

 

What's the coolest or most unique feature of your office? How does this reflect the culture at DraftKings?

The coolest part of the DraftKings office is our seven sports-themed huddle rooms designed after our original daily fantasy sports product offerings. The open spaces are scattered throughout the office and used for collaboration and wayfinding. For example, there is a conference room block with rooms named Gretzky, Howe, Miracle and Crosby. Attached to this block is the open, unbookable NHL huddle area. This area is complete with an “ice-blue” painted floor and hockey faceoff circles, lights that look like melting ice, a cage feature to represent the netting and actual scratched glass on the wall to mimic the feeling of really being inside the rink.

 

There is a full LED football field lighting fixture with more than 400 color combinations that changes color statically and dynamically.

What's your team's favorite part of the office and why?

The cafe is my favorite part of the DraftKings office. There is a full LED football field lighting fixture, with more than 400 color combinations, that changes color statically and dynamically. The cafe leads to the food and beverage areas, which provide our employees with everything they need from hot coffee to cold brew, to unlimited snacks and beverages, to every beer and wine you can imagine. You will find employees utilizing the cafe to hold an impromptu meeting, eat their lunch or just take a break. We also recently added a 10-person — five-versus-five — video game that's been getting a lot of use!

 

acquia office

acquia office

acquia office
images via acquia

In the heart of the Financial District with spectacular rooftop views sits the Acquia headquarters. Aaron "Checo" Pacheco, a product manager for the digital experience platform’s Acquia Cloud solution, shared how their office reflects who they are and what they value most. 

 

What's the coolest or most unique feature of your office? How does this reflect the culture of your company?

I happen to love the main entrance to Acquia HQ in Boston. We have a beautiful wall with multiple screens on it that really make our lobby come alive, and on any given day, it'll either show the logo of a customer who is on-site visiting us or it'll show pictures of an Acquia employee or a team event we want to highlight that day. I think it really speaks to the kind of company we are because it shows how much value we place on both our customers and our employees.

 

Our roof deck has a breathtaking view of Boston and the water, and my team just loves to head up there for lunch so we can relax and enjoy the weather.

 What's your team's favorite part of the office and why?

Our roof deck has a breathtaking view of Boston and the water, and my team just loves to head up there for lunch so we can relax and enjoy the weather. Even though it's still part of the office, when we're all eating together and having conversations on the deck, it actually feels like we're all just a group of friends meeting up for a casual lunch with an incredible view. It's my absolute favorite place to go whenever I'm not at my desk or in a meeting.

 

markforged office

markforged

markforged office
images via markforged

Markforged’s office wouldn’t be complete without a collection of 3D printers for employees to use anytime they wish. The makers behind the industrial 3D printing platform ensure every colleague has a chance to innovate using their technology in a weekly competition called “Part of the Week.” Head of People Operations Emma Plouffe has the scoop.

 

What's the coolest or most unique feature of your office? How does this reflect the culture at Markforged? 

The Markforged office is a unique space with 3D printers found on display throughout the building. What makes this even better is that our employees have unlimited access to the printers, which range from desktop 3D printers capable of printing in carbon fiber all the way to the Metal X system, which can print in stainless steel and tool steels. Every Friday, employees compete in “Part of the Week,” where they show off their newly printed creations and compare them against their colleagues. Having the printers accessible to all employees and hosting this friendly competition each week empowers the designers, dreamers, tinkerers and engineers of Markforged to learn and grow, ultimately helping the company gain insight into the power of its 3D printing technology.

 

Every Friday, employees compete in Part of the Week, where they show off their newly printed creations and compare them against their colleagues.”

What's your team's favorite part of the office and why? 

The Markforged team particularly loves the “backyard” of its Watertown headquarters. This area sits alongside the Charles River and serves as an open space for employees to socialize, brainstorm and discuss company initiatives. Every Thursday in the summer, Markforged hosts “Summer Thursdays.” We have employee “Grill Captains” who are in charge of cooking food for everyone attending. The majority of our employees can be found connecting with one another over rotating beverages and friendly games of cornhole, Connect Four and badminton.

 

cantina office

cantina

cantina
images via cantina

Design and development agency Cantina moved offices from Boston’s Seaport Innovation District to the Downtown Crossing area this past winter after tripling its staff. Lead Designer Alice Chiang praised the new site for its studio makerspace and communal area.

 

What's the coolest or most unique feature of your office? How does this reflect the culture of your company?

We have a studio makerspace, which is an area for exploration and innovation. It is an area where people can prototype and experiment with foam core, paper, 3D printers and any other materials on hand. This space is shared with our AR/VR studio as well, so these projects can easily co-exist and overlap. This unique space reflects our “experiment and fail” mentality and how Cantina encourages us to explore and expand our knowledge.

 

We have a studio makerspace, which is an area for exploration and innovation.”

What's your team's favorite part of the office and why?

Our team’s favorite part of the office is definitely our Cantina Lounge; it’s a communal area where we host internal events, meetings and our weekly design talks. You’ll often see us there every Friday afternoon hanging out after a design talk, having a beer and discussing various topics about design and tech! 

 

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