What It's Like Inside Etsy's New Arty, Sustainable Headquarters

New hires take an audio art tour of the Brooklyn space.
What It's Like Inside Etsy's New Arty, Sustainable Headquarters
Image credit: Adam Friedberg
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This story appears in the April 2017 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Etsy’s new Brooklyn headquarters is less than a year old, but it already feels lived in. It has colorful, comfortable alcoves set off from main workspaces, and Etsy sellers’ artwork dots the spacious concrete halls. (There’s even a mural constructed from old office desks and a chess table, made by a seller who uses a pedal-powered table saw.) But it’s also technologically intricate; among its features, it tracks real-time energy, solar and water usage. The office constantly uses hardware and software to make everything run more efficiently, according to Josh Wise, director of workplace ecology. And, he hopes, more creatively. Staff (pictured above, from left to right) share their thoughts.

Related: How Squarespace Designed a Sophisticated Headquarters Where Grownups Get Things Done



Rebecca Miller

Manager of Internal Communications

“Working in a space that isn’t just sustainable and thoughtful but also beautiful raises the bar on a subconscious level. I’ve worked at places where the bathroom stalls aren’t even functional. You can’t feel good about the impact you’re having on the business and the world in a space that isn’t even functioning properly.”

Eric Beug

Office Hacker 

“Most people assume ‘hacker’ means network security. My job is far more creative. On the stairwell, there are looms that have touch sensors that play noises, an interactive art installation. We have an Android app that lets our crew weigh all of our office waste to try to get granular metrics. We built a module in the bike room that measures how many people are cycling to work.”

Related: This Office Has a Bar -- But Staff Don't Go There Just to Drink

Jason Shen

Product Manager

“All the people we work with on products are clustered together in pods. But the floors are set up so that I’m bumping into people I don’t necessarily work with day to day but I need to check in with in the long-term. I’m running into the right kinds of people at the right times.”

Marisa Hall

Culture and Engagement Coordinator

“My team is responsible for keeping everyone at Etsy happy. I focus on onboarding. We do an audio art tour every week for new hires -- they get to learn the history of the building and see the art created by Etsy sellers and staff members. They end up in the Etsy Lab to create art pieces that are added to a mural on the second floor.”

Elizabeth Barthelmes

Sustainability Manager

“We’re in a healthy space. We call it ‘biophilic’ design: Everywhere you look, you should see some sort of green, outdoor space. Having a chance to breathe fresh air and get some sun can really facilitate inspiration.”

Roxie Karpen

Senior Manager, Global Market Research

“I love all the couches and space where you can just hang. My favorite spot is the green sectional couch by the library area. Most of the books are supplied by different teams and staff writers. It’s like having a living library.”

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Dayna Ison Johnson

Trend Expert

“My favorite place is the hanging bamboo chairs, which are like swings I used to play on as a kid. That’s when I had the most creativity. There’s not a day that I walk in here and don’t have a smile on my face.”

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