6 Tips for a Smooth Transition from the Warm Care of Accelerators to Washing your Own Dishes.
Written by Erin Bronstein, Pixoneye’s Office Manager and the pillar of success in Pixoneye’s move from Microsoft’s accelerator to its very own first office space.
Accelerator, Incubator, Fun Maker.
Need to schedule a meeting? They have an app for that. Technical difficulties? They have someone on call for that too. OUT OF PAPER IN THE PRINTER? They’ll refill it. Don’t get me started on the water bill… (cause’ I never worried about it). So many luxuries that go unnoticed until the day you move out and have to fend for yourself as a baby start-up walking on its own two legs. Now don’t get me wrong, sales, R&D, revenues, marketing — all very important, but without a sturdy base it’s all just fun and games!
For others that may follow in our baby steps, I’ve compiled a list of things to remember when finally moving to your own office, in the hopes that the transition is smooth and the outcome grand…
- Location, Location, Location
(Don’t all blogs on this subject need to start like this?)
Accessibility is the name of the game. For us it was important to find a new office that would be easily accessible for employees that are coming from various locations- (talent is everywhere in our little country). As a growing company, we looked for a place that would be cozy enough for our current team, while big enough to add more. Also, we wanted to stay close to “civilization” and the heart of business life in the Tel-Aviv/ Ramat Gan area. Residing in walking distance from a selection of restaurants, having a company card at the nearby grocery store and bakery, and having a train station around the corner… All crucial ingredients for an easy work week.
2. Vision is Value
On the one hand, who doesn’t want to reside in a fancy building with a doorman and receptionist to wow guests and show off what big shots you are? On the other hand, what you find out from going from one office viewing to the next is the crazy difference in price and quality you find on two sides of the same street.
The important thing you need to keep in mind is value. Don’t be afraid to get down and dirty and do some fix-up yourself. We took an old apartment with moldy rugs and closed spaces, and with a little vision and elbow grease, we turned it into a modern work space. Not only did we save more than a rented space in an office building, but with a parking spot included, we ended up getting more too. Moral of the story: Be creative. Find value, or else make it yourself.
Mom, Dad, that friend who is throwing out his old couch — especially in the beginning stages there is no need to buy the fanciest decor and furniture or spend tons of money on redecorating. The dynamic ever-changing plans of a company like ours is based on the simple fact that we don’t know where we’ll be tomorrow, let alone the end of the year. Be conscious of where the money is going and if it’s worth it. Know the right people to talk to and to keep happy. If the landlord, for example, is happy with you — you’ll be happy with your office, and will always have someone to turn to.
4. Renovation Innovation Information
(try to say that 3 times fast)
Much like any new apartment, the first and best pro-tip is… wait for it… IKEA. For another shocking piece of advice- just like you don’t go grocery shopping while hungry, you shouldn’t go to buy furniture with just a vision.
We initially designed the office and its desired furnishings on a free design website (we used home.by.me) once we had the main idea of how we wanted the office to look, we wrote a shopping list and went with it.
Most of the furniture was bought based on ease of work — except the chairs, they are the most important thing you buy for your employees and much discussion was put into it.
5. Laying the groundwork for teamwork
Everyone brings something of his own to a new workplace. We loved “Happy Hour” at The Microsoft Accelerator — so we decided to uphold the tradition and bring it to our work week. Whether it’s giving out “Mishloach Manot” on Purim and deciding that everyone is coming dressed up, or celebrating a worker’s one-year anniversary with the company–especially when it comes to a small company–atmosphere is important. We made a tradition that anyone who flies for a trip has to bring back some chocolate for a sweet treat to the office…
5. My house, My rules
All day Sunday-Thursday we’re in these closed quarters together. We all want to feel at home as possible. Don’t be afraid to talk about chores, to ask if anyone wants a particular brand of coffee when making a grocery run; this is not contradictory to laying down rules. Plastic and paper in the proper recycling bins, storage room is off-limits without permission, WASH YOUR DARN DISHES! Moving to a new office meant having to reinforce procedures that didn’t exist beforehand, and knowing how to face the confusion can be a challenge. Show that you really care about the place and others will too.
Whoever is in charge of keeping track between where the best place to buy paperclips is, when the cleaning guy is supposed to come, and who to call if the new air conditioner is leaking — we salute you! You don’t have to excel at excel to keep tabs on all the important information you need to remember or save for future reference. Channel all this acquired knowledge to further and productive use.
To Sum it Up
To anyone looking for where to post their flag, remember that in the end, you’ll need somewhere practical, comfortable and — as with many things in life — with a little vision and creativity you might just get lucky!