Call centers are notorious for their stressful work environments, yet Airbnb’s beautiful new Customer Experience (CX) center in Portland is anything but. Designed by a team led by Aaron Taylor Harvey and Rachael Yu, the Portland call center comprises a variety of workspaces to cater to different staff preferences and needs. Like Airbnb’s other offices, the creative CX center includes small-scale replicas of apartment listings from around the world.
Harvey and Yu’s design team spent one month researching the preferences of the Portland team members before designing the space for the over 200-person staff, most of whom were already Portland residents. The 37,000-square-foot office is Airbnb’s first Customer Experience (CX) center and it forgoes traditional desk space for an open-office setup. This “free-desking” approach includes both brightly lit and dark work areas, standing desks, plenty of storage options, traditional worktops, conference rooms, and lounge areas. One conference room was even created in the style of an Airbnb yurt listing in Prague.
Employees were able to directly contribute their ideas for rooms and workspaces in a series of short and intense design charrettes. Some of those ideas that were not recreations of Airbnb listings include “The Black Lodge,” a Twin Peaks-inspired work area, and “The Bluff,” a freestanding wooden structure. The call center is decorated with artwork made by the employees for an extra touch of home.
Images via Boora Architects