HubSpot is a world leader in the CRM and marketing software industry, and since 2006, the Cambridge, MA-based company has grown its urban campus headquarters and other offices to over 400,000 square feet worldwide.
The company’s founders, Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, have made people and culture one of their top priorities from the start. That focus is reflected in HubSpot’s workplaces, and the company is consistently ranked as a top place to work.
T3 is fortunate to have been HubSpot’s real estate and growth partner since they were a small startup. Helping locate HubSpot’s first headquarters in 2010, T3 has since advised HubSpot on numerous local and international office space transactions and consulted with the company on a variety of other strategic real estate growth initiatives.
We sat down with HubSpot’s Senior Global Director of Real Estate and Facilities, Ken Papa, to talk about his role and the role that space plays in building a successful company and culture. Check out the video above to hear more from Ken and to see the HubSpot headquarters in action.
What are your main goals in your role as Senior Global Director of Real Estate and Facilities?
I think the future workspace is one that puts the employee first. So my mission in my current role is to understand what my customers, which are the employees of HubSpot, are going to need two years from now, three years from now, and beyond that. My goal has always been to be ahead of the curve.
What advice would you give to others in a similar role?
Listen to your customer base—your employees. But at the same time, you need to have a backbone to be financially responsive to those needs.
You should also have a plan before you ink that first deal, and you should already know what your exit strategy is. So, I’m a little bit more bullish in certain markets where I know subletting is a hot commodity, because nobody wants to go into a market not knowing how they’re going to grow and sign a 15-year deal, 20-year deal. Nobody wants to do that, and many don’t have the cash to do that.
What are some of your favorite things about this headquarters space?
It’s a unique building headquarters. This building in particular is actually 14 buildings melted into one with the creative use of atriums. So from a facilities perspective it’s challenging, and the behind-the-scenes is challenging. But there’s a certain charm and a certain warmth to this building.
I think the future workspace is one that puts the employee first.
—Ken Papa, Senior Global Director of Real Estate and Facilities, HubSpot
How do you maintain HubSpot’s core values and branding across the global offices?
When you’re visiting a HubSpot office, you wanna feel like you’re at home. At the same time, there’s an understanding that at these different locations there are cultural impacts that differ. For example, is a nap room the appropriate thing to put in Singapore? It might not be.
HubSpot has been exceptionally successful, not only in the marketplace, but also in employee wellness and happiness. If you walk around HubSpot, people are happy. It’s just a very happy environment, people are very comfortable here.
Wellness is viewed in different ways. It’s not always gyms and treadmills; it’s also standing-height desks so people are getting on their feet from sitting all day long. It’s about presenting opportunity and giving that option to individuals that’s important.
What do you think space has the power to do for HubSpot?
You’re not successful unless you have the best people. I say it often, but what I love about real estate and office space and design is I view it as a competitive advantage. Our design here makes or breaks things, to a point. I’m not saying I’m the end-all be-all of what happens within my department, but I would be remiss to say I didn’t think it had an impact.
But it’s about people wanting to come here and work here. When you come to a place that you want to be, I think you’re going to be as productive as possible. We provide the tools to allow you to be as productive as possible. And then what happens is, when people do great work, they create great products.
T3 knows that space is the lifeblood of a business and a major platform for growth. Working as an extension of the team, T3 develops and implements a wide variety of corporate real estate solutions for organizations ranging from startups to multinational corporations. By only representing tenants—not landlords—T3 also offers a transparent, conflict-free look into real estate strategy.
The company’s real estate services include tailored brokerage, location advisory, portfolio planning, consultative insights, project management, and ongoing workplace support. Placed at the center of innovation ecosystems with offices in San Francisco, Palo Alto, NYC, and Boston, T3 has advised thousands of companies globally, including LinkedIn, HubSpot, ASICS, AutoDesk, WorkDay, and Battery Ventures.