It was a year ago, almost to the day, that we started discussing our need for a new home. Our old space, which had served us well since moving to Leeds in 2013, had slowly crept being cozy to a little too cozy as we gradually expanded the team and no amount of creative desk reshuffling was going to ease the strain.
In terms of requirements, we had 3 key boxes that needed to be ticked...
- Be in Leeds City Centre within a 15 minute walk of the train station
- At least 5,500 sq ft in size
- On a single floor and not split over multiple levels
Whilst each on their own didn't present too much of a challenge, with many spaces we saw checking off a couple, it was satisfying all three where things became tricky and meant that after a month of searching we still hadn't found anywhere completely suitable.
It was at this point though (perhaps by some kind of divine intervention) that the first floor of the building we currently occupied, Munro House, became available - a space which easily checked off our list of requirements.
That said, it still presented us with a number of challenges. It was bigger than we'd intended and also in pretty bad state of disrepair, requiring all the core services such as heating, electrics and plumbing installing from scratch before we could even start to think about more exciting things such as design and layout. You can get a rough idea of what we were dealing with in the photos below.
But, that said, we do like a challenge. So after a bit of head scratching, number crunching and negotiating, we agreed terms and off we went. Obviously not wanting (or able!) to tackle such a large project on our own we enlisted the help of the team over at Absolute Commercial Interiors who we worked with closely throughout the whole planning, design and build process to deliver the final result, and you can follow our journey in the handy little video below...
So now that the final coat of paint has dried and we're all moved in, we're just left with the million dollar question: 'Did we make the right decision?'
I'm pretty confident that I speak for the whole team when I say it's a definitive yes. Starting with a completely blank canvas, whilst no doubt daunting, has allowed us to create a space that's 100% aligned with our needs and the way in which we work. Every space in the office has a genuine purpose or addresses a particular want from the team, something which connects back to the extensive requirements phase we conducted at the outset of the project. It proved an invaluable piece of work in ensuring we considered everyone's needs and created a space for the many, not just the few. Obviously a few bits didn't make the final cut... for example, there's no slide or Tiki bar, but hey, you can't have it all :D
Since moving there's also been a noticeable, positive impact on the overall atmosphere in the studio too. Everything feels calmer and there's definitely more collaboration happening as people can now break away from their desks into mini project teams which are far more effective and productive than using tools such as Slack to communicate, which we had a tendency to do previously.
Anyway, enough talking, why not go and explore the new space over on our office page, where there's even a virtual tour to play around with. Or better still, feel free to pop up and take a look yourself if you're ever in the area!