Our philosophy is present in one table.
I am a strong believer that how you work affects your outcome. I also strongly believe that it is a must to work together personally. I have nothing against working from home, in a hotel lobby or anywhere else in the world. I love it – from time to time.
However, much more than that I like to work and learn from “real people.” Especially if you work on larger projects, it is a must that the core of the team works together in person.
I have seen a lot of offices and worked in quite a few over the last 20 years. Most of the time they were rather small boxes, where I sat together with 1-2 others. Or they were open space offices, with a lot of people in one room, but at separate tables.
We, as the founders, really liked the idea of openness. We are open towards our team; we share a lot of our thoughts, of financials, and so on.
Thus, when we looked for an office more than two years ago, we wanted to find something that supported the idea of openness.
When we saw our new office the first time, we really liked it. It was just one long room, with no walls, but with windows on both sides.
We produce digital “products,“ so we don´t have much need for storage space. This is a big benefit for our open plan office, as we don´t need much.
As the room was really long, it immediately hit us that we wanted to have one long table as the center of the office.
All of us sitting and working on the same desk felt like a good idea. No “executive offices,“ no “developer” or ”design” departments; just everyone sat on one long table.
We started with six people on the table. Now we have space for 18, and at least 16 spots are permanently in use. Each space on the table is equipped with an Apple Thunderbolt Display for us to hook our laptops in. Most of the time, we don´t change where we sit. But it is possible, and we adjust positions when a project requires us to.
How has our experience been after two years? Well, yes, sometimes the office can be loud, and sometimes it makes it hard to concentrate. (We all got ourselves some decent headphones to enjoy the silence and some music whenever we want to).
But, that´s the only downside. The benefits outweigh this, by far.
Our table became a place for openness. We discussed things “over the table.“ We worked together much better. We shared thoughts and ideas across “departments.“ We became much quicker. We had fewer meetings as most of the things can be discussed right away. On top of that, we became much closer on a personal level, as well.
We, as the “leaders“ of the company, also understood our company much better. We were not the captains on the bridge, who were far away and guarded by a secretary, with everyone else down in the machine room. We sat right in the machine room. We heard and felt every minute of what was going on. We also learned a lot, just by “being there.“ We were much more accessible for everyone and were able to take decisions within minutes, right in the process when they are needed.
Change is happening so quickly; so many new technologies are evolving. That is why we need to be quick, and this table helps us to achieve this. I would say that without the underlying concept of this table, we would have never been able to finish projects for Red Bull or Harrods in such a short time and on such a high level.
Thanks to Julian Baumann for all the great pictures he shot from our office!