Working in the virtual world, there’s not much need for people to come over to our office. Business is conducted via the phone, website or through collaborative tools such as Go to Meeting and Basecamp and as a result we keep down our costs and everyone is happy. However, whenever we do have visitors I do feel mildly embarrassed about the impression that our rather tired looking building leaves them.
Don’t get me wrong, the location’s great if you like open views across rolling countryside and parking has never been a problem, but the current office is, to put it nicely, understated. Which is why over the last few years, we’ve been trying to track down something that we feel matches our ambitions and which will see us through the next, important phase in our development.
So after much hunting around, it was in early 2011 that Jamie and I found the perfect building.
Waterside had originally been built to provide a restaurant and two shops in the newly renovated canal basin area in central Worcester. It had remained empty since being completed in 2007 partly because it was slightly off pitch and a bit quirky. A bit like us you could say!
So we made an offer and after a stressful wait, during which the vendor changed their mind from wanting to sell to not and back again, we finally ended up owning the shell building in January 2012.
The last 12 months has been a bit of a whirlwind finalising our plans, getting the construction team together and organising the tender to do the work. Thus in early September we started the fit out, knocking three buildings into one and creating an open plan space which will accommodate up to 90 people when fully occupied.
Work has progressed smoothly to date as some of the photos demonstrate, we’re on track to complete before Christmas and move in in early January 2013.
So how are we looking for the building to contribute to the future success of Postcode Anywhere?
One of the key things for us is to help get across our personality to the people that work with us and for us, because, rather like dogs and their masters, buildings and their locations tend to give an immediate impression of the people who work there. Old and bit run down suggests to me someone who may have taste but maybe doesn’t like too much change and isn’t too fussed about their appearance. Whereas a modern, open plan building located in an up and coming area, I think, gives the impression of an owner who’s receptive to change and open to new ideas. Who is prepared to invest in the future and is bothered about their appearance.
Another key benefit that we are looking to get from the new office will be to provide a more creative and innovative environment which helps with the development of ideas and encourages greater interaction between our teams. This is one of the reasons why we have created lots of breakout spaces and creative thinking areas, such as the acres of drawing walls for our people to share their thoughts.
So we’re all very much looking forward to the big move in a few months.
I’m expecting “Waterside” as the building is called to represent a “watershed” or new chapter in the life of Postcode Anywhere.
Call it, if you like, the transition from adolescent to responsible adulthood where appearances matter and being a bit more grown up and organised in the way that we do things will be critical if we’re to make and develop relationships with bigger friends.