Okta is a US-based tech company founded in 2009 that built a trusted platform to secure organisations’ customer and workforce identities. To support its vision, Okta places great emphasis on workplace strategy and its impact on corporate culture and employee satisfaction.

Before the world unexpectedly had to switch to working from home due to the pandemic, Okta was already implementing a strategy that involved a widely distributed workforce and office utilisation that moved away from the traditional. More than 30 per cent of the workforce could work remotely and the strategy was to continuously implement flexible working.

The company’s headquarters has been designed to apply Okta’s work organisation where the office must fulfil three fundamental aspects:

Optimising collaboration: There are 161 meeting rooms at the HQ where people can meet and collaborate in person, as well as with people remotely. ‘Always-on’ areas enable effective remote collaboration between the company’s multiple offices around the world.

• Community enhancement: There are 3 large cafeterias to encourage socialisation between people and there is a large hands-on area that can accommodate more than 250 people and allow for collective meetings and exchanges of opinions. There is also an area dedicated to the extended community, which includes Okta’s customers. It’s an area called the customer experience centre where customers can meet with Okta people and try out the company’s products.

• Reinforcing the company culture: Every aspect of the office has been designed and built to align with and represent Okta’s values. For example, the company believes in the holistic wellbeing of people, which is why the office is equipped with spaces to help people’s physical and mental well-being. There is a large gymnasium, two exercise rooms, a meditation room for yoga and various other facilities for the well-being of employees.

The new strategy, called Dynamic Work, not only further develops remote working but also implements and facilitates agile and flexible working styles. It is centred on the premise that creating flexibility and allowing employees to work and live where it makes the most sense to them fosters capabilities, satisfaction and productivity and enables the company to recruit talent from wider and more diverse areas and environments.

In support of this vision, Okta is developing a number of small offices in different locations called Okta Experience Centres to complement the HQ. They will be local hubs that will allow workers who have the freedom to work remotely to have a well-equipped office near them where they can go to perform certain tasks. Like the headquarters, the experience centres will focus on optimising collaboration between people, socialising and meeting people and reinforce the company’s values and culture. These small locations will also be open to customers and are designed to be similar to retail shops where people can experience products and immerse themselves in the brand culture.

Experience centres will be characterised by an informal working environment, with cafeteria facilities, technology support areas and conference facilities. They will have a compact footprint suitable for any urban or suburban area and will give employees the freedom and flexibility to work and live wherever they wish and where it makes sense for them and their families.

Editor’s Note: This article, by S. Anfossi and F. Pierandrei, first appeared in Sedus Insights (2021).