Leaving the chaos of Times Square and pushing through the revolving doors into the award-winning lobby of Viacom’s headquarters at 1515 Broadway, it’s obvious you’re entering a place where entertainment is made. Batteries of televisions line the walls. A pair of supersized monitors pounds through highlights and previews of major television and movie properties. At the end of the elevator banks, supersized, vertically oriented glass shutter doors blink through updates of what’s happening all around the company. Through those doors is a cavernous event space. To the right is a humming, bright cafe.
It’s design-first environments such as this lobby that helped Viacom make Glassdoor’s list of 16 companies with “jaw-dropping offices.” It’s a workspace, Glassdoor says, that is, “truly fit for the stars.” And these spaces reflect a company ethos that prizes environments tailored to accommodate the sort of high-octane creative work that is our lifeblood.
“The editors at Glassdoor are experts on workplace culture so it’s an honor to be included on this list,” says Vice President of Planning & Design Yetta Banks. “Beyond creating a pretty place to work, the goal for this project has always been to create spaces that encourage creativity, collaboration and play. Viacom is all about driving culture and conversation and it’s important that this mission is reflected in the way that we work.”
The gradual upgrades to Viacom’s offices have been ongoing for some time, and reach well beyond our New York City headquarters. In recent years, the company opened an 88,000-square-foot Viacom International production studio in Miami:
… massively expanded its Nick animation studio in Burbank:
… and opened a new eight-brand West Coast headquarters in the bustle of Hollywood:
Meanwhile, a non-stop series of projects has steadily transformed 1515 Broadway well beyond the lobby. The company converted an old mail room into a cavernous meeting space called The White Box; installed a fitness studio, updated employee print center, and the aforementioned lobby-level cafe; vastly expanded the second-floor studio to accommodate MTV’s revival of TRL; and renovated more than a dozen floors that house our finance, information technology, content distribution and management, MTV and Nickelodeon teams. A renovation of additional floors is in the planning stages.
These step-by-step changes have drastically transformed the day-to-day experience of navigating the 53-story tower, multiplying the number of common areas and inviting light and color to commingle with the otherwise prosaic office workstations. One especially significant addition was an airy, glass-walled conference center, complete with amphitheater, that stitches the building together on the once-staid 31st floor:
“Viacom’s brands are unique – they each have their own distinct DNA, history and culture,” says Banks. “The 41st floor for Nickelodeon, with its life size SpongeBob coloring book murals and oversized tic-tac-toe pieces, couldn’t be more different from the MTV floor, with its neon signs and music quotes – but they’re both dynamic spaces that bring their brand to life.”