We worked from our Great Eastern Street studio for four years and over time it became a perfect embodiment of who we are. Everyone who worked at AL has left their mark in one of our bathrooms (no! not that way… see what I mean below) and every little squeaky floor board made us feel at home.
But as our team grew, what used to be cosy became increasingly squeezed. What used to be buzzing became increasingly droning. What used to be a nice chat over Friday Team Lunch, became no place to sit! WE NEEDED MORE SPACE!
In the winter of 2016 we finally concluded that we would need to find a bigger, better, bouncier home for our growing company and so began our quest for the perfect studio.
But what is perfect? Well, here are a few qualities we were seeking:
a blank canvas that we could configure to our needs, but not lacking in character
beautiful space, more flexible than our current setup, with space for plenty of meeting rooms
dedicated project spaces, without cutting teams off from the rest of the studio
basically stay in the same convenient location, but with some extra room for us to grow into
and tons more wishes (see below)
On top of all of these conflicting qualities we were seeking, we all had different opinions of what lived up to them. Remember that recent blog post about hybrids working at AL?
Well, as much as differing perspectives and view points can promote amazing work, it can make choosing a new office damn hard. So how do a bunch of innovation people solve this tricky problem? They workshop the crap out of it! Here is what we did:
1. We gathered input from the team about what it takes to help us work at our best
2. We brooded over potential office layouts that would provide the essentials like meeting rooms and a kitchen, while making the best use of the remaining space - while doing the splits and using confetti, of course!
3. And then it seems we did a lot of really hard thinking
4. But we didn’t stop there. We kept iterating on potential office designs. Tirelessly commenting, improving, and furiously post-it-noting our evolving designs.
While all of this was going on we had a busy fit-out crew turning our dreams into reality:
And, as of today, we’re in the building! In our true Beta fashion, we’re still iterating and improving our surroundings. Here’s us, working away in our new studio, on Day One:
We are certain that our new space will become home in no time. As soon as Zoe hits play on one of her famous playlists, as soon as someone throws a dubious suggestion into the Bookclub channel, as soon as another fresh new illustration drops… it will feel as if we’ve always been here. And as soon as someone sneaks Craig David onto the Sonos yet again, I’m sure we will be as quick to complain as ever.
Want to come visit? We’ll be hosting our next Pi People meet up in our studio as soon as we’ve straightened out any remaining wrinkles, so sign up here and be first on the guest list!