Strategy We went to Etsy's luxurious office and saw why it's one of the most celebrated in the world

  • Published:

The office is filled with toxin-free paint, salvaged wood, and furnishings purchased from Etsy sellers.

One of Etsy's many open work stations. play

One of Etsy's many open work stations.

(Sarah Jacobs)
24/7 Live - Subscribe to the Pulse Newsletter!

Etsy, the online marketplace where creative entrepreneurs can set up storefronts to sell their own products, launched in 2005 with the goal of creating an online retail space that would build a more fulfilling and lasting world.

So it's no surprise that its 200,000-square-foot headquarters in the Dumbo neighborhood of Brooklyn would be filled with toxin-free paint, salvaged wood, and furnishings purchased from Etsy sellers. In August, the eco-friendly office was recognized with an Excellence Award from the Center for Active Design. It was one of seven international winners.

The roughly 500 employees that work in the Brooklyn office are free to roam the nine-floor complex, finding a comfy spot to set up camp and work remotely away from their desks.

Last summer, we got a tour of the refurbished building the Etsy team calls home — scroll ahead for the photos.

In 2016, Etsy moved from a 106,000-square-foot space to its new headquarters in Dumbo. The new space is a two-building setup that's nearly twice as big, at around 200,000 square feet.

Communal space in the "labs" area of the sixth floor. play

Communal space in the "labs" area of the sixth floor.

(Sarah Jacobs)


Etsy signed a 10-year lease on the nine-story building.

Etsy signed a 10-year lease on the nine-story building. play

Etsy signed a 10-year lease on the nine-story building.

(Sarah Jacobs)


Before the big move, the company sent surveys to its employees, asking them to name their preferences and needs for the future office. Quiet spaces such as this one were big on the list of requests.

Before the big move, the company sent surveys to its employees, asking them to name their preferences and needs for the future office. Quiet spaces such as this one were big on the list of requests. play

Before the big move, the company sent surveys to its employees, asking them to name their preferences and needs for the future office. Quiet spaces such as this one were big on the list of requests.

(Sarah Jacobs)


Creating open collaboration spaces was another important factor in the building's design.

Creating open collaboration spaces was another important factor in the building's design. play

Creating open collaboration spaces was another important factor in the building's design.

(Sarah Jacobs)


Outdoor courtyards are available for employees to enjoy the sunshine while getting some work done.

Outdoor courtyards are available for employees to enjoy the sunshine while getting some work done. play

Outdoor courtyards are available for employees to enjoy the sunshine while getting some work done.

(Sarah Jacobs)


If the courtyard is full, you can also go to the roof.

If the courtyard is full, you can also go to the roof. play

If the courtyard is full, you can also go to the roof.

(Sarah Jacobs)


You'll find kitchens and communal eating spaces packed with snacks on each floor.

You'll find kitchens and communal eating spaces packed with snacks on each floor. play

You'll find kitchens and communal eating spaces packed with snacks on each floor.

(Sarah Jacobs)


But in the official dining hall on the second floor, Etsy employees can chow down on locally catered meals twice a week. They've coined the program "Eatsy."

But in the official dining hall on the second floor, Etsy employees can chow down on locally catered meals twice a week. They've coined the program "Eatsy." play

But in the official dining hall on the second floor, Etsy employees can chow down on locally catered meals twice a week. They've coined the program "Eatsy."

(Sarah Jacobs)


Dining tables from the previous office were painted and hung on the walls as decorative art.

Dining tables from the previous office were painted and hung on the walls as decorative art. play

Dining tables from the previous office were painted and hung on the walls as decorative art.

(Sarah Jacobs)


Employees are encouraged to attend daily meditation sessions and weekly yoga classes in the "breathing room."

Employees are encouraged to attend daily meditation sessions and weekly yoga classes in the "breathing room." play

Employees are encouraged to attend daily meditation sessions and weekly yoga classes in the "breathing room."

(Sarah Jacobs)


In December 2015, the company announced a policy to have gender-neutral bathrooms.

In December 2015, the company announced a policy to have gender-neutral bathrooms. play

In December 2015, the company announced a policy to have gender-neutral bathrooms.

(Sarah Jacobs)


Monthly craft nights are a major event at the Etsy offices. Teachers are invited to host workshops on everything from sewing to weaving and printmaking.

Monthly craft nights are a major event at the Etsy offices. Teachers are invited to host workshops on everything from sewing to weaving and printmaking. play

Monthly craft nights are a major event at the Etsy offices. Teachers are invited to host workshops on everything from sewing to weaving and printmaking.

(Sarah Jacobs)


Inside the "digital lab," employees can play around with a 3D printer.

Inside the "digital lab," employees can play around with a 3D printer. play

Inside the "digital lab," employees can play around with a 3D printer.

(Sarah Jacobs)


There's also a printmaking studio.

There's also a printmaking studio. play

There's also a printmaking studio.

(Sarah Jacobs)


Curated art from various New York-based Etsy sellers graces the walls.

Curated art from various New York-based Etsy sellers graces the walls. play

Curated art from various New York-based Etsy sellers graces the walls.

(Sarah Jacobs)


In fact, about 50% of the furnishings in the entire building were made by local artists and Etsy sellers.

In fact, about 50% of the furnishings in the entire building were made by local artists and Etsy sellers. play

In fact, about 50% of the furnishings in the entire building were made by local artists and Etsy sellers.

(Sarah Jacobs)


That includes about 750 pieces of furniture and light fixtures.

That includes about 750 pieces of furniture and light fixtures. play

That includes about 750 pieces of furniture and light fixtures.

(Sarah Jacobs)


Environmental sustainability was a major consideration in refurnishing the building. Etsy has been a certified B Corporation since 2012, which means that it is held to rigorous standards of social and environmental performance.

Environmental sustainability was a major consideration in refurnishing the building. Etsy has been a certified B Corporation since 2012, which means that it is held to rigorous standards of social and environmental performance. play

Environmental sustainability was a major consideration in refurnishing the building. Etsy has been a certified B Corporation since 2012, which means that it is held to rigorous standards of social and environmental performance.

(Sarah Jacobs)


Etsy collaborated with various manufacturers to ensure that everything, from the carpet to the paint, didn't contain the harmful, toxic chemicals that are commonly used in commercial office buildings.

Etsy collaborated with various manufacturers to ensure that everything, from the carpet to the paint, didn't contain the harmful, toxic chemicals that are commonly used in commercial office buildings. play

Etsy collaborated with various manufacturers to ensure that everything, from the carpet to the paint, didn't contain the harmful, toxic chemicals that are commonly used in commercial office buildings.

(Sarah Jacobs)


All in all, it vetted more than 1,500 items to avoid things that contained harmful or toxic chemicals.

All in all, it vetted more than 1,500 items to avoid things that contained harmful or toxic chemicals. play

All in all, it vetted more than 1,500 items to avoid things that contained harmful or toxic chemicals.

(Sarah Jacobs)


All of the wood within the office was either reclaimed or Forest Stewardship Council-certified, which means that it came from responsibly managed forests.

All of the wood within the office was either reclaimed or Forest Stewardship Council-certified, which means that it came from responsibly managed forests. play

All of the wood within the office was either reclaimed or Forest Stewardship Council-certified, which means that it came from responsibly managed forests.

(Sarah Jacobs)


A large bike storage room encourages employees to take a carbon-neutral commute into work. There are also showers on-site.

A large bike storage room encourages employees to take a carbon-neutral commute into work. There are also showers on-site. play

A large bike storage room encourages employees to take a carbon-neutral commute into work. There are also showers on-site.

(Sarah Jacobs)


Plants, such as the ones lining the left wall here, are fed by rainwater collected from the roof.

play

(Sarah Jacobs)


The water is kept in a large storage tank that connects to an innovative irrigation system that also helps reduce runoff and flooding in the neighborhood.

The water is kept in a large storage tank that connects to an innovative irrigation system that also helps reduce runoff and flooding in the neighborhood. play

The water is kept in a large storage tank that connects to an innovative irrigation system that also helps reduce runoff and flooding in the neighborhood.

(Sarah Jacobs)


Solar panels on the roof power about 1% of the building; however, the remaining 99% is also powered by local, renewable solar power sourced from a remote location.

Solar panels on the roof power about 1% of the building; however, the remaining 99% is also powered by local, renewable solar power sourced from a remote location. play

Solar panels on the roof power about 1% of the building; however, the remaining 99% is also powered by local, renewable solar power sourced from a remote location.

(Sarah Jacobs)


Large windows that allow ample natural light are expected to save the company approximately 80,000 kilowatt-hours of energy a year.

Large windows that allow ample natural light are expected to save the company approximately 80,000 kilowatt-hours of energy a year. play

Large windows that allow ample natural light are expected to save the company approximately 80,000 kilowatt-hours of energy a year.

(Sarah Jacobs)


Etsy also provides a gorgeous view of Manhattan.

Etsy also provides a gorgeous view of Manhattan. play

Etsy also provides a gorgeous view of Manhattan.

(Sarah Jacobs)


The office is super dog-friendly.

The office is super dog-friendly. play

The office is super dog-friendly.

(Sarah Jacobs)


Art collections consisting of Etsy products can be found on various floors, including in the lobby of the "Etsytorium," an auditorium for both private and public events.

Art collections consisting of Etsy products can be found on various floors, including in the lobby of the "Etsytorium," an auditorium for both private and public events. play

Art collections consisting of Etsy products can be found on various floors, including in the lobby of the "Etsytorium," an auditorium for both private and public events.

(Sarah Jacobs)


But you'll see lots of bold art throughout the building.

But you'll see lots of bold art throughout the building. play

But you'll see lots of bold art throughout the building.

(Sarah Jacobs)


Overall, the building aims to provide a comfortable, safe, and imaginative working environment for everyone.

Overall, the building aims to provide a comfortable, safe, and imaginative working environment for everyone. play

Overall, the building aims to provide a comfortable, safe, and imaginative working environment for everyone.

(Sarah Jacobs)