Companies move and expand offices all the time.We’ve written some pieces on how to prepare for it (see our office move checklist) and design a space for your employees, but it’s better to hear it directly from someone who did it. Here’s a quick Q&A with Contently, who helps brands do great content marketing at scale and their advice when it comes to moving offices.
When you raise a round of funding, what goes into the decision making process about office layout or adding space types?
The decision-making process with regards to office layout is just that, a process. We have added, re-configured, re-configured again, knocked down walls, put up walls, painted, and repainted; all in an effort to accommodate our growing Contently team. When it comes to conference rooms, our work is never done.
Is there anything about the company or the office that makes it unique in terms of how employees use the space or the way it was/is designed?
The way we utilize our rooms is pretty typical. Some of the rooms are smaller, one person call rooms designed specifically for members of the Sales and Accounts team. Other rooms are larger, tech-heavy rooms to accommodate clients and the occasional board meeting.
How did something like Robin help with or compliment how you think about the space inside the office?
We went with Robin for several reasons. We loved how we can put custom images on each tablet to coordinate with each room. All of our rooms have different names and themes (think: Robot, Grizzly, Oz, Pluto, etc.), and it was important that we keep the quirk, even in the midst of an office environment that was becoming more structured and procedure oriented. We also have two different types of tablets, a few IPads and a few Amazon Fire tablets, so we needed something that would work seamlessly with both. Lastly, Robin is compatible with Gmail Calendar, which meant we didn’t have to overhaul out entire scheduling system – which likely would have been a non-starter.
What advice would you give to others who are growing quickly, and trying to get a grasp on how their office and each space type can be best used?
My advice to others is this: be vigilant. Someone once told me it takes an average of six months for someone to fully adopt a new product. If you are impatient like me, that is way too long. To shorten this time, think of ways to get people involved and invested; examples include a room-naming contest for a new room or asking the team to contribute decorations befitting the theme of the room. Don’t be afraid to communicate to people in person either. If you walk past a room and notice that someone hasn’t checked-in, point it out to them. It is easy to ignore an email, less so when it is an actual human talking to you.
The 10-minute rule with the tablets is my newest love. I didn’t enable it for a while, just to get people used to the idea of the tablets, but now that they have been around a while I enabled that feature. I put up a pink sign above every tablet that read
NEW FEATURE ALERT: If you do not check in within 10 minutes of your scheduled start time, you will automatically be booted from the room”.
Again, easy to ignore an email, harder to ignore a big pink sign right above the tablet. The 10-minute rule is my version of tough love. If people get into trouble even once because they forgot to check in, and now someone else has the room, they likely will not make the same mistake twice.