How to make your workspace work for your company
Whether you are dreaming up the ideal office, or simply looking to revamp your current space to accommodate a growing team, you’ve probably asked yourself some of these questions:
- How can I ensure our office reflects who we are and what we believe in?
- How do I make the space comfortable and engaging (so that everybody loves it)?
- Can I make it dynamic and flexible enough that I can easily accommodate change?
We’ve been down this road and that’s why with this post, we want to share some of the things we pay close attention to, and that make our office special, in the hopes that it might be helpful to other companies.
Our team is part of the product we are building, so our values were the guiding principles behind every decision.
“We didn’t look at other offices a lot, rather we assumed a “functional-first-mentality”, almost product-like, to make sure we created spaces that were custom-fit for our way of working” Martin Añazco — Co-founder (Moving Squad)
We’re All Entrepreneurs 💪 (even if we upgraded our office)
The main reason for moving offices was space: our previous office was not big enough for the number of Jamppers we were at the time (which is a pretty good problem to have 😉).
However, there are culture-related challenges that come with moving into a larger space. There’s a common, and not totally unfounded, fear that as you get bigger (and better), you lose the start up spirit/attitude you once had. We wanted to ensure this didn’t happen, and since actions speak louder than words, we did 3 important things to ensure our office embodied our bootstrapping attitude, while still looking top notch.
- Everyone moved their own stuff: On moving day, we all met outside the now “old” office to get our boxes and get moving (pun intended).
“We turned the move into a “Jampp Event”, to embrace our entrepreneurial spirit — “we never say that’s not my job” — but also to make sure everyone felt like they were a part of it. We had “I helped Jampp move” t-shirts, and balloons, and we cut the ceremonial ribbon and everything.” — Tatiana Kramarz — Regional Lead (Moving Squad)
2. We included Jampp memorabilia: our history is an important part of who we are, our shared milestones and learnings are a measure of how far we’ve come. Having memorabilia around the office is also a way of sharing that history with new Jamppers.
3. The office is a “work in progress”: Even after the move, there were still some things that needed to be finished. Nothing too disruptive, but just enough to show that moving in and taking the new space to the next level was (and still is) a process.
We’re guided by the belief that the best idea always wins, regardless of your role or seniority, so there are no individual offices, we all sit at the same table -so to speak. We have meeting rooms, but they are all glass.
There’s recently been a lot of discussion regarding open-space layouts, but again, this is something each company needs to evaluate based on their needs and ways of working. At Jampp, the 1st floor where we have all our desks is very quiet. We thrive on silence to keep us focused so, for us, startup does not equal ping-pong tables and balls bouncing off the walls (mind you: that’s not to say it may not work for others, it just doesn’t work for us 😌).
As long as we keep the noise levels to a minimum, the open-space layout is a way to sit together and think together, sharing our accomplishments and learning from our mistakes.
However, where there’s silence there should also be room for (noisier) interactions…
[Steve Jobs] had the Pixar building designed to promote unplanned encounters and collaborations. “If a building doesn’t encourage that, you’ll lose a lot of innovation and the magic that’s sparked by serendipity (…) [he] designed the building to make people get out of their offices and mingle in the central atrium with people they might not otherwise see.” — Walter Isaacson in The Real Leadership of Steve Jobs
…and that’s why we created a few spaces on the second floor to help spark conversations between Jamppers, fostering creative thoughts:
- 📚 Library: Because… hungry for knowledge, but also we believe spaces like this instill a laid-back feel that encourages people to sit and converse and interact with other Jamppers they usually don’t talk to.
- 🍽️ Dining Room/ cafeteria: It’s one of our most multi-purpose spaces, we use it for meetings and geek meetups and well… lunch too 😉
- 🛋️ Office corners: It’s good to have a few comfy spots / alternative workstations, both for meeting with other teammates or simply take a break from sitting at the same desk for several consecutive hours.
We Delight in Every Interaction
“With our new office, (and every office) our goal is to transmit the Jampp spirit that’s a part of all our products: it’s a direct reflection of our personality and values, it tells people who we are, where we are going, who we are hiring…” — Diego Meller — Co-founder (Moving Squad)
Tech-loving, hard-working geeks, creative minds and entrepreneurial spirits should feel right at home 🤓
- ☕ Open Kitchen Spaces: Fully stocked with the team’s favorite snacks and duh, coffee. They’re a great space to refuel, chat and/or to just sit and work if you need a change of air.
- ☎️ Phone Booths: We spend a great deal of time in calls with customers and global Jamppers, so having a practical/ comfortable space (with good acoustics) is super important.
- 🗒️ Whiteboards. Originally, we hadn’t planned to have one in every meeting room, but when we saw the rooms with whiteboards where the most coveted… they became a must-have! After all, inspiration often strikes while brainstorming with others and the boards come in pretty handy when thinking together about user journeys and data flows.
Think BIG and Long Term (and We ❤️ What We Do)
For us, there’s only one way of creating successful products and that’s with passion, whether it’s passion for problem-solving or writing beautiful code, it’s the driving force that allows us to think BIG and long term.
So the challenge was not building a great office for our current team… but rather, designing a space for our team today and in the future too. After all, there’s no point in designing an office that will only accommodate your team for 3 months… once you find the right space, you want to use it for as long as you can.
We Don’t Rest On Our Laurels
We know that each team’s needs will certainly evolve and that’s why it’s important to keep an open mind about the spaces we’ve created. As our product evolves, so will our office.
“We’re convinced that the office should be a space where Jamppers feel comfortable and at ease and this is an ongoing challenge: pay attention to how the team uses the spaces and ask for feedback” — Julia Rodriguez Ribas — Customer Experience Manager (Moving Squad)
5 Key Takeaways for Companies Looking to Design Custom-Fit Offices for their Teams
- 🔄 (Re)group yourself — At Jampp we love squads because they have the best of both worlds: small teams create a sense of ownership and are big enough for exchanging ideas, but small enough for quick decisions and getting shit done 👊
- 💡 Adopt a “functional first” mindset — take a moment to think about your company, how do your teams interact? How do you want your space to feel? What should it reflect?
- 🏠 Keep it in-house as much as you can, but if you need to outsource part of the work to a studio, make sure they understand your vision and your work dynamic. (It’s a good idea is to invite them to your current office and show them what works and what doesn’t.)
- 🙌 Involve the whole team: Moving offices is a big deal, it’s important that the team feels part of that growth. For example: when we arrived at the new office, we all signed our names on the kitchen mural and took some “first day” photos that are now displayed on our living room wall.
- 🔮 Think long term — if everything goes as planned, your team will keep on growing and the way they work together will continue to evolve. Eventually, you’ll need to reflect these changes in your office, so keep an open mind and ask for feedback 💬
Jampp has a lot of unique ways of doing things and our culture and our office are a reflection of that. If you want to learn more about what it’s like to work at Jampp, follow us on Instagram at @gojampp and if you share these values, visit our Jobs page, we are looking for amazing people to join the team 😉
*Special thanks to our Moving Squad and Lucia Oddonetto from our Internal Coms team who helped piece this post together.