Lots of coffee and beautiful views don’t hurt either.
Over the last year or so Toyota has been undergoing a huge change: moving its North American employees into its new Toyota headquarters in Plano Texas, just north of Dallas.
The move to Texas was an opportunity for Toyota to consolidate its team from California, Kentucky and New York on a single campus. And, it was an opportunity to bring more than $7 billion in economic development to a new part of the country.
But perhaps more importantly, it was the chance to position the company’s values as a way of driving inspiration and innovation and to build a stronger team and better product.
A Campus Designed With Everyone in Mind
An advisory board of employees helped Toyota to plan the new HQ. The board weighed in on design decisions and continually pushed the company to do better, from making environmentally sensitive choices to designing in elements that are important to the quality of life at work. So from preserving a creek that runs through the property to rooftop solar panels and lots of Starbucks locations, employees needs are part of the grand scheme, too.
If You Never Wanted to Leave College, at Toyota’s HQ You Don’t Have To
The result is a corporate campus that ranks with the best of them— Google, Apple, SAS— where conveniences are abundant, work space is social, function is a focus of the space and where everyone can feel good about it.
Amenities Mean You Never Need to Leave Campus
Never mind stressing out about hitting the gym before work. There’s a full gym AT work. There are also classes, personal trainers, even massage therapists. On the day we visited many employees could be seen working out on treadmills and elliptical machines.
There’s also a pharmacy, a clinic and a credit union. The credit union isn’t owned by Toyota but rather, a local credit union that partnered with Toyota to provide services. Employees can bank, get a mortgage, finance their car and more, right on the Toyota campus.
Lots of Spaces to Work, Socially or Alone
But it’s the ‘social cafe’ of modern work spaces that knit together the office; there are Starbucks locations throughout the campus, snack shops, cafeterias and lounge areas where people can meet for coffee, a meal, or just find a quiet space to work or have a meeting. Some spaces can even be reserved for a larger meeting, from colleagues working on a project to community events such as a sports club to groups like WIIT (Women Influencing and Impacting Toyota), which seeks to mentor and develop a talent pipeline of women, and TODOS (Toyota Organization for the Development of Latinos) which focuses on development, support and community outreach. These groups and others, as well as the physical spaces where people can gather, foster Toyota’s commitment to inclusion and diversity.
For more formal meetings, there are large conference rooms each named for a Toyota model, and two conference spaces: one that often welcomes Toyota partners, non-profits and others who need a place to meet and a large auditorium that is used for everything from award ceremonies to large corporate-wide meetings.
Transparency at the Heart of it All
When Toyota started work on the Plano campus, one of the first challenges was the land: it was home to a creek that runs right through the center of the property. The plan quickly came together to surround the creek with seven buildings that house all of the headquarter’s functions: design, engineering, product testing, finance, marketing, communications and other operations. Another opportunity presented itself, too: To use the creek and gardens as a focal point. As a result, all the walls that face the inner courtyard are glass, the same glass that Toyota uses in its cars and trucks.
The Toyota headquarters is anchored by the main entrance and double-height lobby; from the lobby guests can see the entire campus and the courtyard. On one side of the lobby is Toyota’s Experience Center, which is part museum and part exhibition center. On the other side of the campus from the main entrance is the Lexus lobby and its work spaces.
From the main lobby you can see most of the buildings and much of the courtyard. You can see the sky, the weather and Mother Nature. And you can see employees going about their day, thinking about how they can design and build vehicles to take you new places.
Fast facts On the New Plano HQ:
- The campus is almost 100 acres
- 7 buildings provide space for 4,000 team members and an additional 2,500 guests, suppliers and business partners
- The campus houses 2.1 million square feet of space
- There is parking for more than 8,000 vehicles
- A test track on site allows engineers to test new developments and troubleshoot problems
- The economic benefit to Plano: $7+ billion
- The campus is built around a central creek that runs through the property
- All exterior walls are made of the same glass used in their cars
- There are tornado shelters under the building
- There are solar panels on the roof
- 90% of construction waste was diverted from landfills
- 32% of construction spending was spent with women and minority owned businesses