When it comes to companies that have a certain level of cool, we know that music streaming service Spotify has it in spades. From knowing their way around a killer Saturday house party to lazy Sunday playlist, a company that’s as creative as Spotify, we’d expect an office to match. Unsurprisingly, their global HQ in Stockholm has that trademark ‘cool’ oozing out of every corner.
“All of our offices have something that makes them unique, whether it’s the location, specially designed meeting rooms or famous artworks,” Nadia Lalami, Spotify’s global head of facilities, confirms. For Stockholm, a 65-person capacity auditorium and fika (Swedish coffee and cake breaks) is just the beginning.
What sort of offices have you personally worked in previously? How do they differ to Spotify’s offices? Most of the companies I’ve worked for previously have had more of a corporate culture. The environment was more standard and simple compared with Spotify, which is more playful and colourful in style. Another big difference is that, at Spotify, we adapt environments to suit the needs of each department since they are so varied. The engineers require a different type of environment than, for example, marketing or the support departments. To ensure collaboration and co-operation across teams, all Spotify offices have lots of common areas for employees to meet up.
What is Spotify like to work for as a company? I have been working for Spotify for almost five years now and can honestly say no two days are alike. Spotify is a fast growing company with lots of different cultures, which makes it very unique. The diversity among our employees influences our culture globally. To fit into such a fast paced environment, you need to be alert at all times since change is a part of everyday life. My work at Spotify is challenging, but it has given me the opportunity to build an organisation from scratch and develop an office environment that works for our employees globally. It has been a fantastic journey, and I’m very proud to be part of Spotify’s success.
How do you think the office reflects but also leads the staff culture of Spotify? We have a relaxed culture, partly due to the different play areas we have which encourage our employees to just hang and enjoy day-to-day work life. Spotify HQ has a LAN room, games rooms, a recording studio and lots of common areas that employees can use, 24/7. We also regularly arrange activities for our employees including concerts, sporting activities, and out-of-office excursions. Everyone in the business is encouraged to join in.
Are there any particular rituals the staff in the Sweden office have built into their workday that are particularly unique? In Sweden, fika (which means having a break – usually a coffee and pastry break) is important part of our daily routine. We actively encourage employees to take breaks away from their desks to clear their minds and connect with other people in the office.
Tell us about some of your favourite features of the office. In the Stockholm office, we built an auditorium that fits 65 people. It’s been custom built using a technique that allows us to adapt the room for different purposes. We use it for movie nights, press events and bigger meetings. It’s cool and very cozy. We designed it ourselves – I’m really proud of it.
The LAN room is also a fantastic feature. It includes 12 professional gaming computers and employees can play against employees in other offices.