I am guilty of navel gazing today as I wanted to share a Friday update of progress we have made in our new office.
We made the (incredibly adventurous) office move over the Christmas period. I say ‘incredibly adventurous’ as we migrated from Office B to Office A in the same building – they are about 2.5m from each other and essentially identical, just a mirror image of each other. We have been based in this beautiful old military stable for 12yrs and always wanted to buy our old office, but it has never been for sale. Office A became available, so we jumped at the opportunity.
We have subsequently been on a bit of a journey deciding how best to use the space. We haven’t finished that journey yet, but here are some photos of progress to date.
We started out thinking that we should get some office pods, as so much of the work that we do is now based around video calls. Although ridiculously expensive (for a fairly ugly box), the ability to have more private spaces is attractive. Cue the first of my police crime scene efforts, outlining where a couple of meeting pods could go:
Whilst we mulled over the pros and cons of getting meeting pods, I started a mild addiction to pipe / timber construction and built some bespoke shelves to go at the end of our desks:
We also got a bit trigger happy ordering plants and transformed one half of the office into a plant shop:
During this period, two things happened.
1] I officially became obsessed with pipe / timber construction
2] We decided against the office pods
I had no choice with point one. Honestly, it is an addiction.
Point two was primarily a result of the desire to have a collaborative office space. We are going to box in the upstairs space to create a quiet meeting room to add to the existing meeting room (which has been massively improved with some enormous acoustic light shades), so we do have space for more private conversations but I have learned over the past couple of years that our best work is done when we are together. Maybe I am just
an old git old fashioned, but I enjoy the buzz of a vibrant agency and think that it is really important not to lock yourself away in a box all day. We have an open plan office on purpose and we want to enhance collaboration rather than run away from it.
We therefore went back to the drawing board and created more scene of crime outlines of a more open approach to the space, centred around a large meeting table, with an informal reception area at the front:
This felt good, so I got to have more fun building a frame for the table. No ordinary frame though as we have plenty of height to work with and Ali is obsessed with canopy tables, so I went big:
A big thank you needs to go out to The Metal Store who have been brilliant at being my dealer and feeding my habit! A one stop shop for anything that you need for projects like this.
I had deliberately planned the actual work surface to be fairly high, so that we can use it as a standing desk if desired. That demanded some high stools to add to the mix:
The next stage in the project was the work top. Luckily, our very own Ashleigh Brown‘s family run a local carpentry business, so more thanks to Stour Valley Joinery for knocking the following expanse of wood together so quickly:
It really is a big hunk of wood and quite a weight, so I was pleased that I had built in a couple of extra legs to support it in my pipe planning phase…
I spent last weekend high as a kite inhaling wax fumes as I sealed the work top and started work on the end panels:
Add in some lights, a mesh at either end some more plants and it is starting to look the part:
We are really pleased with it and extremely happy that we went down this route rather than the office pods. It fills the space nicely without being too imposing and we now have a really nice area for informal meetings, standing desks or just somewhere to work away from your desk. I suspect some Friday afternoon beers are an inevitability at some point, as it does sort of feel like a nice pub garden…
So there you have it, a quick visual story of our journey so far. If you are in the area, come in and say hello to see what you think of it in the flesh. In the meantime, here is a photo of Ruby, the sun worshipping office dog giving the sofa the official seal of approval:
Have a wonderful weekend everyone :-)