Creative office space, like the one pictured, isn't going away anytime soon, says Haeg.

Part 2 of 2

SAN FRANCISCO-In part one of the two-part interview with Jenny Haeg is the founder and CEO of Custom Spaces Inc., she discussed the importance in looking at off market spaces, thinking outside the box, maintaining a company’s culture, and the push for bike parking. In part two, Haeg touches on tech company space evolution, where creative space is headed, and why the San Francisco market is a good option. How is tech companies’ use of space evolving over the next few years?

Haeg: People are spending more time in the office than at home these days, so creating a space that feels like home where people are excited to be and are comfortable spending long hours is important. A lot goes into making this happen, such as having an open feeling space where the employee never feels isolated but feels that they are part of a team, working together. Having a large open kitchen is a big part of creating that feeling. A kitchen in a home is often times the place where everyone comes together to hang out and so recreating that within an office space is becoming more and more important.

There is also a movement towards a more open, flexible work environment. Embracing the sharing, creative and collaborative culture that most of these tech companies have, they are moving towards creating offices that allow for this. For example, a lot of companies are moving away from dedicated desks or are choosing desks that employees can move around as needed depending on the project they are working on at the time or the group of people they need to be close to. The idea is that an employee can create a team space at will by moving the desks around to fit the need of the moment. Do you see the creative-space trend diminishing at some point in the future or expanding?

Haeg: Not at all. In fact, lately I have actually seen a lot of professional services firms adopting the open, creative feel when considering building out their office space. I recently helped one of the top law firms open a new San Francisco office in a beautiful brick and timber space in SOMA with high exposed ceilings, lots of natural light, concrete floors and all desks, no cubes. The spaces feels very welcoming, open and collaborative, a place where you would enjoy spending those long hours. What are your thoughts on the San Francisco market? Are you noticing a trend of tech firmss move to from Silicon Valley to the City? What are the pros and cons?

Haeg: I think the answer here is really different for each company and depends highly on their specific needs, but in general I believe San Francisco is an amazing place to be starting a company. With all of the collaboration that goes on between the larger tech companies and the smaller ones it makes so much sense for them to be close to each other, to run into each other when walking down the street or grabbing lunch. The VC’s are also slowly following. I have seen a trend of VC’s looking to have a presence in the city because it is so much easier to have their portfolio companies drop in or for them to visit those companies and for the companies, it is always nice to have your advisors/mentors nearby. What is next for Custom Spaces?

Haeg: Custom Spaces will continue to help companies find that special space that allows them to flourish and build upon the unique culture they have already created. 

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