Studies show bringing plants into an office can make a workplace more productive, and Chicago logistics startup project44 is putting that theory to test at its office in the Loop.
Inside project44’s office on the 32nd floor at 105 W. Adams St. are interiors full of live plants, fish tanks and abundant natural light.
The office features full-size windows and floor-to-ceiling walls donned with real plants. Walls are white-boarded to inspire ideas. Conference rooms are named after modes of freight transportation to keep the company connected to its roots. Names include Truckload, LTL, Small Package, Air Freight and Intermodal.
The company also has a “swear jar,” and employees who speak using out-of-date company messaging are encouraged to put money into the jar.
The office was designed by CEO Jett McCandless with ideas from employees, aimed to provide multiple ways to release stress and keep a work-life balance, said Ally Lynch, the head of marketing at project44.
The 4,500 square foot space currently houses 50 employees but may not be able to accommodate the company’s plan to double its headcounts within the first half of 2018. The company has located to a new space that’s four times in size on the second floor in the same building. The new office, which has a private gym, will be open next spring.
“A company is only as good as its people and we wanted a space that would creatively combat the workplace pressure common to technology startups,” said Jett McCandless, CEO of project44, in a statement. “While certain stressors can be unavoidable, we aim to create an environment that will help our team react better to those events.”
Project44, a Chicago logistics and SaaS technology startup, was founded in 2014. It provides a cloud-based platform to improve the visibility and connectivity in supply chain management. It raised $10.5 million last September and plans to grow its headcount to 65 by the end of the year. It is now hiring a mix of roles including accounting manager, sales engineer and principal engineer.
Check out project44’s nature-inspired office:
Correction: This post has been updated to note the correct use of the company’s swear jar.