From the outside, Tesla’s headquarters in Palo Alto looks like your typical suburban office park, but once you step inside, you’ll find an environment more akin to the lair of the evil genius in a James Bond movie than that of your local car dealership.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk spared no expense in constructing the company’s new headquarters with one goal in mind: keeping his employees happy and motivated. This means installing some of the most advanced technology available today, as well as creating entertainment areas similar to those found at theme parks or upscale shopping malls.
Elon Musk: The Greatest Visionary in History
Elon Musk isn’t just changing our planet—he’s dreaming up a new one. In some ways, that might be even more important. We sat down with Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to talk about how he gets stuff done—and why he thinks we need to build a hyperloop. Spoiler alert: His answer will blow your mind. While there are other CEOs who have also achieved incredible things, like Bill Gates at Microsoft or Steve Jobs at Apple, I think Elon is in a class of his own.
He has accomplished more than anyone else in history by such an enormous margin it almost defies comprehension. The sheer volume of his work would be impressive if it wasn’t so diverse in nature. No person in history has started as many successful companies as Musk or achieved so much. It really is unbelievable when you stop to think about it! As I’ve said before on my website and elsewhere if you had told me ten years ago that today we’d have electric cars driven by AI that can park themselves and Teslas on Mars I would have thought you were crazy!
The Inverted Tree Offices
Tesla is transforming itself from a maker of cars into a clean energy powerhouse, building solar panels and home batteries that can store power, and even potentially provide electricity for your house in future. The office was designed by the world-renowned architect of Apple’s new headquarters Norman Foster, who designed Tesla’s first Model S factory. To showcase clean energy, Tesla placed its latest vehicle — electric Semi trucks — in front of its solar roof tile design lab. As if that wasn’t enough to impress visitors, an interactive museum will explain how sustainable energy works. There are four floors: two ground floors and two basements with battery production on one floor and an R&D lab on another floor.
The grand vision is impressive but it’s not quite there yet. For now, some of Tesla’s offices are split between Palo Alto and Fremont, California, where Tesla has a massive battery factory called Gigafactory 1. When complete, its roof will be covered in solar panels and there will be 14 levels underground to produce enough batteries for 500,000 cars annually by 2020. But first, it needs to get done — an aim that is slipping as Tesla struggles with production challenges at home and abroad.
Picture Windows Everywhere
Tesla likes to put picture windows in every room of its buildings. The idea is to make sure there are visual cues that tell you where you are, so when you look out a window and see a car, it makes sense why you’re in a Tesla factory. Visually connecting spaces that have different purposes also allows employees to flow more easily between them and reduces their sense of being trapped inside a huge manufacturing facility. If all you see is machinery, then it feels like work, says Musk. But if what you see from your desk is life—people walking by and kicking a ball or something—it doesn’t feel like work.
Windows also help to bring in a lot of natural light, which makes Tesla’s offices feel more like an Apple store than a traditional factory. Most Tesla factories have glass ceilings so they’re filled with daylight, but Musk said he wants to take it one step further in its new Fremont plant.
Quotes on the Walls
Tesla Motors founder Elon Musk is a big fan of aspirational quotes. His factory in Fremont, California has walls covered with various words of wisdom—many from Albert Einstein. The idea: is to make employees want to be better than yesterday and push toward future greatness. I think it’s very important that you have a good feeling about your company, says Musk. Even if you hate your job, you can always look forward to coming into work in a positive frame of mind. If people are thinking negative thoughts when they come to work, then those will tend to continue throughout their day. So we really try hard to create an environment where people enjoy their jobs. And if they don’t enjoy them at Tesla, then we’ll let them go somewhere else. But our goal is to create an environment where people look forward to coming to work every day.
Beyond Tesla’s walls, Musk has found success in other aspects of his life by turning things into games. Take SpaceX, a private spaceflight company. Launching rockets into space is one of those projects where it’s really easy to get bogged down in details and fail to make progress. So that’s why he created an internal competition with cash prizes for anyone who could best estimate how much time it would take to launch a rocket. The person with the lowest guess at how long it would take to launch a particular rocket won—essentially creating a game where people were competing against themselves to do better each time around.
Fantastic Lobby For Waking Up Your Day
The Tesla lobby, modelled after a 17th-century Italian cathedral, is a fantastical sight to behold. Designed by Franz von Trapp (yes, that von Trapp) and hand-constructed from steel, glass and stone by robots on Elon Musk’s private island home of Entrepreneur Island (off the coast of Iceland), it’s about as far from normal as you can get without leaving reality altogether. According to Musk, it was important for him to create a space where employees would want to stay late—even when they really should be going home. And once you see it in person, it’s not hard to see why he had that idea.
The Tesla lobby is more than just an attention-grabbing design; it’s also a small self-contained ecosystem. The building’s design features geothermal heating and cooling, so there are no fossil fuels required to keep it warm in winter or cool in summer. It doesn’t require air conditioning during summer, as all of its glass walls let natural light flow through its hallways. In fact, even before stepping inside, you can tell it’s very different from other office buildings in Los Angeles by looking at its roof.
Co-Workers On-Ramps Encouraging You to Move Faster
If you’ve ever spent time in a typical office, then you know that most of your day is spent in front of a computer, often without much social interaction. This will not be true for Tesla employees, who will actually be encouraged to walk around and interact with their co-workers as much as possible. To do so, they’ll get offices—or pods—that are physically connected to each other. Employees can also choose to sit at completely open desks that allow them to work alongside any other employee at Tesla HQ. It’s important to note that while physical collaboration is encouraged at Tesla headquarters, it’s also something employees must opt into—they won’t be forced into it.
Tesla will also encourage increased interaction through various policies. For example, there will be no private offices at Tesla HQ, as all of them have been converted into meeting rooms that are used to hold brainstorming sessions and other collaborative activities. There’s no profit-sharing or big bonuses—the focus is instead on a more relaxed and collaborative atmosphere that allows employees to work alongside each other in a number of different ways.
In fact, given how many meetings take place at Tesla HQ due to its open layout, employees spend an average of 75 per cent less time in meetings than they would at traditional offices. Even Tesla CEO Elon Musk will have an open deck that’s available for anyone to use if he’s not using it!
The factory will have an employee lounge featuring amenities such as a restaurant, gym, and even shopping. Tesla is serious about its workers’ well-being and recognizes that happy employees work harder. Elon Musk has said he wants to design a building where people want to spend time even when they’re not at work! Tesla employees are known for their high morale because they know how important their work is. Staffers describe working at Tesla as inspiring and the coolest job ever. In fact, many Tesla employees reportedly quit lucrative jobs in Silicon Valley in order to join Tesla full-time.
Tesla isn’t just making cars; it’s creating an entire ecosystem of products and services—and that includes everything from solar panels to supercharger stations. It might seem like an overreach right now, but in five years or so, it could be second nature for customers to buy a car from Tesla one day and then go home with solar panels on their roof. In fact, you might even be able to charge your car using energy from your own solar panels!
The Walking Desk (No Shoes!)
People have long debated whether shoes are good or bad for us, but a recent study has revealed that when we wear shoes on a regular basis, our bodies actually grow feet that adapt to their confinement. Shoe-wearers often experience uncomfortable pain and/or deformities. Fortunately, there’s a simple solution for relief: try walking around in your bare feet for about half an hour each day! It’s hard at first (and looks kind of silly), but you get used to it quickly. To take your barefooting to new heights, go out without any shoes at all!
Going barefoot is great for your health, and it can also help keep you fit. Most people don’t walk enough, so transitioning to a barefoot lifestyle can be a great way to add exercise to your day. Simply walking around in bare feet for 30 minutes each day will get you moving. Walking strengthens your muscles and bones, improves balance and reduces aches and pains associated with ageing. You’ll feel more energized from walking barefoot as well. Going barefoot is also linked to lower rates of stress, anxiety and depression due to an increase in serotonin levels caused by walking on soft ground or sand-like surfaces that provide better traction than shoes do!
10,000 Sq. Ft. Factory Floor Design
Tesla’s indoor-outdoor office concept is designed to keep employees alert and engaged. By opening up meeting rooms and offices in a courtyard, Tesla says it helps reduce communication barriers between departments and prevents employees from becoming isolated by their individual offices. A cosy living room with a fireplace offers a place for meetings, breaks or even occasional entertainment—Tesla says its employees regularly host parties there. The building was designed with energy efficiency in mind: Musk said it will be cooled entirely through passive means such as shade from its solar panels. The factory itself is expected to generate more than half of its electricity needs through rooftop solar arrays and has been dubbed the gigafactory because it will be able to produce more lithium-ion batteries annually than were produced worldwide in 2013.
The lobby of Tesla’s headquarters is a grand space with a lofty ceiling and sweeping staircase. The company says it wants to make visiting employees feel like they’re entering an important, exciting place—similar to walking into Disney World. When somebody comes in, they should be saying, ‘I can’t believe I get to work here,’ Musk said during Tesla’s October unveiling of its Model X SUV. The entranceway has enough room for two Teslas side by side for visitors and employees to admire as they walk in. Inside Tesla’s Factory – Third Paragraph: It also makes sense from an efficiency standpoint.
Secret Door to Outdoor Patio
The patio is almost like a secret hiding place, but in some ways, it’s just a welcome escape from Tesla. Designed by Frances Anderton of Gensler, it features three large glass walls that overlook Elon Musk’s favourite place to kick back: Los Angeles’ skyline. During sunset hours (Tesla’s official start time), you can enjoy beautiful sunsets with a cocktail in hand as you watch out over LA. Want to go inside? Tesla employees can use their thumbprints to open and close a door that leads straight back into the Tesla factory. In fact, they do!
Elon Musk has always been a big proponent of open office spaces, which is something that sets Tesla’s headquarters apart from other tech companies. Workers are encouraged to put their heads down and immerse themselves in work; there is no cubicles or closed offices insight. But Musk didn’t want his employees to feel like they were working around each other, so he made sure every employee has some privacy as well. To do so, he asked Frances Anderton of Gensler to incorporate indoor/outdoor transitions into her design.