Nokia's Colorful Silicon Valley Office

Finnish mobile giant Nokia’s colorful outpost
The reception area. Touchscreens scattered throughout the office track Nokia's social media buzz Photograph by Tim Griffith for Bloomberg Businessweek

Since 2010, Nokia has closed its five satellite offices in the Bay Area and relocated the employees—mostly workers from research and development and marketing—to a gleaming five-story building in Sunnyvale, Calif. There, amid Nordic modernity, they enjoy a shape-shifting office: Fewer than 10 of the 500 employees have a permanent workspace.

“It’s about the variety it gives you,” says communications manager Karen Lachtanski. “We move to new views to give a new perspective. We’re not a place with family portraits pinned to many cubicle walls.”

Employees work over lattes and fresh-made sandwiches from a cafe that brews Peet’s Coffee. Two wellness rooms, each with a shower and a napping area, help traveling executives decompress before meetings. Clusters of classic arcade games and a trophy case of obsolete Nokia models are constant reminders of the inexorable need to innovate or perish. The smallest conference rooms, lined with fragrant pine slats to evoke a Finnish sauna, double as private phone booths. “Finns love their saunas,” says Lachtanski.

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