OMNI Cribs S1E2 | Corti HQ
Learn why a tech startup would chose to prioritize creating a beautiful office environment — and how easily it can be achieved with “Furniture as a Service”.
Corti is an AI company with headquarters in the heart of Copenhagen, Denmark. The company has developed a ground-breaking technology that detects cardiac arrests by listening in on real-time audio streams, such as 911 emergency calls. Corti’s AI assists emergency medical dispatchers by serving as a co-pilot and helps to get patients the right treatments faster.
Corti’s employees are predominantly machine learning PhDs, data scientists, engineers, and developers, and most of the work is done on computers or in meeting rooms, where complicated algorithms are discussed in front of whiteboards full of mathematical models.
Since CEO, Andreas Cleve, founded Corti in early 2016, the company has grown and moved offices four times. The hassle of setting up a new office always fell on the management team, which was already extremely busy developing the technology, managing the ever-growing teams, dealing with funding rounds, hitting targets, and fighting for the right talent.
Andreas: “Competing for the right talent is one of the most important components of our work at Corti, and a big part of the perceived value of joining a startup like ours is the culture and ambience of the company, which also has to be in stark contrast to the corporate setting that many might be dreading. “
Each time, the company moved to enable further expansion, the layout would be different, and the old furniture would not fit, or the teams had grown, so they needed more workstations and meeting rooms. It was time-consuming and created dilemmas as to whether they should live with a budget office with many thrown-together pieces of furniture from prior moves, or if they should invest in more appealing office furniture that would exude the kind of culture the company wanted to be known for.
Andreas: “Before OMNI, we would spend a ridiculous amount of time trying to figure out how best to set up our office with each move. We would spend late night hours researching what furniture to buy and agonizing over how much money to spend, and it still wouldn’t come out right. We felt guilty about the time it took away from our actual work, but if you are fighting to onboard talent on a shoestring budget in competition with companies offering 7-digit salaries, massages, and barista coffee, and you invite them to interview in an office space that conveys impermanence and stinginess, you are already losing.”
When Corti moved to their current headquarters, Andreas tasked OMNI with the entire office setup and on a strict budget. Within a week, OMNI had developed a “Mad Men” office concept with two large work rooms, inspired by the New York City Library, two meeting rooms, inspired by war rooms and mansion libraries, a green and natural lounge, as well as an impressive living room to receive guests in.
OMNI circumvented budget restrictions by scouting affordable vintage furniture, which was reupholstered, while also building custom pieces, such as a 7.6m long work desk with roomy storage built into each station to hide all wires and remove any clutter from the surface. The desk was replicated in the next room, named the Laboratory, as a standing desk with high stools.
Andreas: “The typical concept of staying in one’s own little cubicle-like workstation is still a chronic part of even the most modern office spaces, but OMNI came up with a concept that nudges employees to move around and plug into different stations, get to know each other better and cross-pollinate ideas, and this really resonates with our values and vision for inspired work.”
To ensure the office felt personal, OMNI made agreements with different artists and sourced unique lamps, posters, and ceramics. And they also had the Corti team vote for their Top 3 heroes (Alan Turing, Claude Shannon, and Ada Lovelace), who were enlarged and framed for the War Room.
Andreas: “It was such a relief to leave the office interior design and especially the logistics in such competent hands. We couldn’t believe how much OMNI really understood us and our culture, and it was so exciting to see how much they were able to do for us.”
Andreas Cleve emphasized three major outcomes as a result of using OMNI:
Andreas: “I can’t believe I haven’t delegated this job before. Letting OMNI take care of the office setup allowed me to focus on all the work that I needed to do to build the company, and I saved myself from so much hassle.”
Andreas: “OMNI gave our company a beautiful home — we simply don’t want to leave the office! It is really quite astonishing. People stay much longer and invite their friends and family to see the office, because they are proud of where they work. When stakeholders and new candidates come to visit, they are always completely stunned by our space.”
Andreas: “We have been complimented a lot on the fact that we have reused a lot of high-quality vintage furniture instead of just buying new discount furniture that looks like everything else and won’t last for very long. Our company builds technology to help save lives, so we are naturally very happy that our office is set up in a way that is conscientious of the environment.”
Photography by Karstensen Fotografi/Ourcreativeplace