Laura Seitz, Deseret News
LEHI — Motorists driving along I-15 near Point of the Mountain can't miss the jutting facade of Adobe's new Utah home, an angled 280,000 square-foot facility designed to meet the high tech needs of the computer software giant.
Completed in about 18 months, the 38-acre campus is the third largest Adobe site in the United States. The Lehi facility has space for 1,100 employees and is 90 percent occupied. Additional phases will be built to accommodate future growth as part of the company's 20-year strategic plan, according to Jonathan Francom, director of global programs.
Adobe officials offered media a formal look inside the completed facility Thursday, offering a glimpse of how workspace translates into a company culture counting on innovation and inspiration.
Amenities include a full employee cafe, a full-size indoor basketball court; a PC gaming room called the Dungeon; rock climbing wall, an exercise facility, including a room for yoga/spinning/Zumba classes; a massage room; and full locker room facilities. A communal area features pool tables, a pingpong table as well as original artwork and a one-of-a-kind, hand-painted mural.
“We’re competing with all the other companies for the best talent on the planet,” Francom said. “These are amenities and conveniences they want.“
Because so much work is done away from the traditional work environment, Francom said, providing employees with space to “blow off steam” and interact with colleagues and business associates in a less stressful environment is a great way to foster innovation and productivity.
“It’s a multifunctional approach to attracting and retaining the best talent and then enabling that talent to do great things for us,” he said.
The building was constructed to environmentally sensitive building standards, equipped with heat exchangers that pull heat output from data room servers to warm the building. Other conservation efforts include low-flow faucets and drought-tolerant xeriscape.
The timing of the building's completion is good for employees along the Wasatch Front. Public transit options will include commuter rail from Salt Lake City and UTA bus stops. A daily shuttle bus will loop from the nearby UTA FrontRunner station to the Adobe campus. Front Runner begins fulltime operations on Monday.
Adobe has had a presence in Utah since October 2009, following its $1.8 billion acquisition of Omniture. Since the acquisition, Adobe has increased its Utah workforce by 56 percent and currently houses approximately 1,000 people at its Utah home base with space available to up to two more similarly sized facilities and a like number of employees in each, Francom said.
Headquartered in San Jose, Adobe Systems Inc. was founded in Dec. 1982 by Charles Geschke and former University of Utah researcher John Warnock. The company develops multimedia and creativity software products.
Today, Adobe employs 10,000 people worldwide with reported revenues of $4.2 billion last year. The Utah team focuses on product development, sales, marketing, as well as operations for analytics and online business optimization solutions, according to senior vice president and general manager Brad Rencher.
“We believe in focusing on the wellness of the individual (employee),” Francom said. “By spending time in the on-campus gym, I can be more effective in all aspects of my life.”
He said the overall ambiance and design of the building lends itself to “unplanned collaboration.”
“It’s not about going to a conference room to a meeting,” he explained. “As you move through the building, there are opportunities for our employees to 'bump into each other.'"
Those unplanned conversations can often lead to creativity and innovation, he said.
“(They) capture the magic of what we’re trying to do as a business and help us become more successful,” Rencher said.
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