Designing a Headquarters in the Cloud

The Zillow Group

Designing a Headquarters in the Cloud

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated workplace trends that had been steadily gaining ground over the last decade. True to its nature as a disrupter, Zillow used this moment to completely reinvent their workplace and create the Cloud HQ, allowing them to be untethered from specific locations.

NBBJ hosted focus groups, leadership conversations, and conducted demographic analyses with Zillow to define the workplace that would meet their vision of the Cloud HQ and business goals. A customized location suitability tool defined the best workplace scenarios based on range of criteria. The result is a combination of physical prototype spaces and digital support packages that remove the advantage of geography, create strong social and learning places, support career needs, build a strong talent base, and reinforce culture.

Innovation


What is a Location Suitability Analysis?

Knowing where to build in the Cloud HQ can be overwhelming, particularly when considering new types of workplaces. The Location Suitability Analysis Tool establishes a consistent set of criteria that are relevant to Zillow’s business model and connected to reputable sources such as the FAA, the US Census Bureau, and Zillow’s own real estate data. Using an interactive rubric, the team can weigh each variable depending on the prototype and show a range of locations that align with the defined workplace criteria.


Impact


Striving for a more inclusive, personalized, flexible, efficient, and healthier way of working, the Cloud HQ will allow Zillow to build a more diverse workforce, no longer requiring people to choose between a great job and a location that suits their life.


Supporting all career stages is a recruitment and retention strategy that pays dividends:

Through our conversations with Zillow, we uncovered that not everyone is truly on a level playing field. Younger staff are just starting their careers and struggling to build skills and connections. Older leaders not only have the benefit of tenure and strong connections at Zillow and in the industry, but also the benefit of being further along in life which makes working from home much easier. We were able to identify the stages of a career at Zillow, the needs of each stage, and ultimately envision the places the support those needs.