At the beginning of this year, we took on the task of reconfiguring our office layout. The biggest change: expanding horizontally and moving the production staff upstairs. No more “Nerd Dungeon,” a term coined offhand years ago when we first moved into our current building, not knowing it would stick up until CVWmedia no longer had a basement.
As dreadful as moving can be, it’s good to reexamine a place that you occupy 40 hours a week.
We took down a wall to make an open space for the production staff in the center of our office. We repainted, rented a Rug Doctor (gross, but satisfying), and ordered less-heavy-looking desks from Ikea (hot tip: kids’ desks are cheaper and can be raised to an adult-desk height!).
Those were all positive layout and aesthetic changes, but our main motivation for the move was to communicate more effectively. Even with all the platforms we use to communicate digitally, wires can get crossed if you’re not able to speak to someone directly, in-person.
Having everyone on the same x-axis helps us be more in tune with each other and better keeps us on the same workflow page. Before, when introducing everyone to a more complicated project, sometimes there was a learning curve. Now, from a project’s genesis, we have a unified, cohesive vision. Problems are solved faster. There’s less of a hesitancy to swing by someone’s desk to ask a question. There’s more of a shared understanding when it comes to everyone else’s schedule. Plus, as a team, we were very hands-on during the move, and everyone helped facilitate the move in their own way!
Of course, anytime two different people or groups of people share the same space full time for the first time, there are hiccups. The fridge is full! We’re out of mugs! But overcoming these hiccups is another way for us to closely examine our work habits in a way we’d never have to confront if we hadn’t moved.
A couple months later, there’s art on the walls, white Ikea tabletops that we’ve managed to keep clean, and an overall more efficient work environment.