RALEIGH — Bandwidth has helped power working from home by supporting big customers like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, but Chief Executive David Morken says he wants his 1,000 employees based in Raleigh to work in-person five days a week.
“We are often described as Silicon Valley’s phone company,” Morken said Monday. “What we do is we provide the phone numbers that people use to dial into those conferences, and we connect you to those conferences so you can be a participant.”
Morken said his company’s continued growth depends on creativity that can be achieved only with in-person collaboration.
“To win and to continue to serve more and more people, we have to be creative,” he said. “We are a challenger company taking on Verizon, AT&T, Century Link/Lumen. We have to be creative. The creative spark happens when we are present [and] in the moment, and your presence is valuable.”
On Monday, Bandwidth broke ground on its new $100 million campus on a 40-acre property at 2201 Edwards Mill Road.
The plan includes two five-story buildings covering a combined 450,000 square feet. Beyond that, the campus will include an Olympic-size soccer field, a basketball court, walking trails, an amphitheater and gym facilities.
“The bar has been raised for going back into work in person full time. We are raising the bar,” Morken said. “We are committed to a culture which includes a 90-minute workout lunch and intramural athletics.”
“It gives people a space to have good work-life balance while at work,” Bandwidth Vice President Judy Covington said.
But it’s an on-site Montessori School for employees’ children up to age 5 – at no cost to employees – that Morken calls the beating heart of the headquarters project.
“What we are declaring is we think the future work environment should accommodate those who are growing a family,” he said.
“There are a lot of new parents here at Bandwidth and a lot of people at that age group who are thinking about having children and who are very excited about the type of school that it is and being close to their kids at work,” Covington said. “Having that option available and free is always good.”
The real estate division of Capitol Broadcasting Co., the parent company of WRAL News and WRAL TechWire, is on the development team for the project.
Bandwidth Inc. (BAND) was founded in 1999 and went public in 2017, valued at around $300 million. By 2019, the software communications company was valued at $2 billion.
Last year, Bandwidth acquired Voxbone, another player in the software communications space, which puts the company’s services in 60 countries.
The 1,000 Raleigh-based employees are currently spread among three buildings on North Carolina State University’s Centennial Campus. The new global headquarters makes room for 2,500 positions.
Morken said 200 jobs have been added annually in recent years, and he expects the job growth to continue at a similar pace in the years ahead.
“What has changed is we are now serving the entire world,” he said.
Construction of the new campus is expected to be finished in 2023.