Inside The Dropbox San Francisco Headquarters

Posted by Jonathan Keyser on Feb 17, 2015 10:32:45 AM
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In this post, we help give entrepreneurs an idea of how to calculate office space by using the Keyser iPhone app to reverse engineer the Dropbox San Francisco Headquarters.

dropbox headquarters san francisco

The design for Dropbox's China Basin headquarters can be summed up into one word: innovative.

Using their core product as the design inspiration, the Dropbox workplace is, according to Custom Spaces, "a simple, well-executed container that maximizes functionality and allows for customization without compromising honest aesthetics."

Our design reiterates our belief that all spaces – particularly the all-too-often neglected office – deserve real materials and attentive, appropriately-scaled interventions."

Dropbox Office San Francisco

Here's a few pieces of information about Dropbox that will help us estimate their office space needs.

Required working environments:
- Wants to continue the charged and collaborative newsroom feel of the former Dropbox open office space
- Needs to plan for projected growth that could more than quadruple staff.
- Likes team groupings of open workstations and shared common areas

Dropbox Open Office Space

Linkedin Employee Breakdown of Dropbox:
- 801 employees in San Francisco
- Information Technology = 168
- Engineering = 92
- Product = 56
- Sales = 43
- Human Resources = 28
- Operations = 23
- Administrative = 19
- Marketing = 17
- Creative = 16
- Other = 315 (the difference between the employee count and the LinkedIn estimates)

Dropbox China Basin Office

Office Space Assumptions:

Here's where we'll make some major assumptions for the sake of getting a rough square footage estimate from the iPhone app.

dropbox-large-offices: If cubicles are the suburbs, then Dropbox HQ is downtown. Let's assume that with the exception of the executive offices, all departments work in confined spaces in teams of 4. Think about how a coffee shop works. That's how we envision the Dropbox office space operating to keep the collaborative newsroom feel.

: Engineers and Product Teams enjoy a large office space that can be also used as a shared meeting space.

dropbox-small-offices: With 168 IT employees, we'll allocate 42 "small offices" or 4200 square feet of office space to information technology.

: Each operations team shares the equivalent of standard sized office space while sales and human resources teams split the equivalent of shared small cubes.

: Since Dropbox has a distinctive look to it's product experience and marketing, let's assume the Creative and Marketing teams share medium sized offices.

: Admins share the equivalent of a medium sized cube, while all other employees share the equivalent of a large cube.

Dropbox Conference Room

Conference + Training Room Calculation

dropbox-large-training-roomWith several meeting spaces and informal lounges, the need for conference rooms is limited. Let's account for one large conference room (seating 16-20 people), two medium conference rooms (seating 8-10 people) and four small conference rooms (seating 4-6 people).

Also, let's assume that Dropbox has a large training room that can accommodate up to 150 people at once.

Dropbox break up room

Reception Areas + Fitness Room

dropbox-large-fitnessLet's assume that Dropbox has a large reception area welcoming guests that takes up about 1,125 square feet.

Also, since we know Dropbox employees can take a break at the gym, let's account for 1,000 square feet for a large fitness room.

Dropbox Fitness Gym

Copy + Storage Rooms

Let's assume one large and one small copy room space for every 100 employees would equate to 8 large and 8 small copy rooms throughout the Dropbox headquarters. Let's also make general assumptions that the Dropbox building has a couple small storage closets.

Employee Areas

Dropbox believes that all spaces – particularly the all-too-often neglected office - deserves attentive interventions. A large kitchen area with a walk up bar exists for employees to grab a bite to eat. We'll assume that Dropbox's bar is about five times the size of an average coffee bar space, and that the large break room is designed to seat up to half of the 800 Dropbox employees at any given time.

Dropbox Kitchen

Several wellness areas provide a relaxing escape. A couple well designed lounge areas are reserved for workers to keep their workplace environment fresh.

Dropbox Wellness Area

Server Rooms

Lyft-Large-Server-RoomLet's allocate two large server rooms for the needs of Dropbox employees.

Submit and Calculate Totals

Bottom line: the Dropbox headquarters is more than an office – it’s an open space planned to achieve the company’s desire that everyone maintain a connection to overall density. It's organized, but intensively active and vibrant.

Based on our office space assumptions and estimates, let's submit and calculate the Dropbox office space needs in terms of square footage. The Keyser iPhone app will automatically calculate hallways circulation square footage, as well as load factor, usable space and the total amount of rentable square feet. This calculation is especially useful to help narrow down your office space search.

Keyser-iPhone-AppOffice Space Calculation Final Dropbox

Without further ado, here is our reversed engineered calculation of the Dropbox San Francisco headquarters: 85,002 Square Feet.

[Articles Referenced]: Custom Spaces

Quickly calculate how much office space your company needs with Keyser’s 1st of its kind commercial real estate iPhone app.

Topics: Technology