It’s an exciting (and temporarily cluttered) time for teams in all of our 352 offices. From Tampa to Gainesville to Atlanta, we’re on the move…literally. In all three markets, we’re packing up and moving to offices that better reflect and promote our culture, and will give us space to grow.
Because we’re growing like crazy.
A (New) New 352
We’ve added multiple development teams, marketing experts and support engineers in recent months, and our current offices are bursting at the seams. We needed more than just a little elbow room, we needed flexibility for continued growth over the next several years. Even more important than that, we wanted working areas where our people could thrive.
When we rebranded, we called ourselves a new 352. We’ve talked recently about how that change has given us a happier workplace, and yesterday Geoff showed how we abandoned a traditional approach to web projects and have seen incredible results. But, even though we’ve become an agile, team-oriented company, we’ve still worked (and occasionally played) in traditional offices.
Collaboration and communication are critical to our success, and traditional office environments don’t always promote those. When people stow away in individual offices, they don’t exchange information and share ideas as freely as they do seated next to each other. They’re slower to ask for assistance and more likely to proceed under false assumptions. These certainly don’t match the tenets of agile web development and marketing.
With that in mind, we decided to make a dramatic change, shifting to open office floor plans in all three of our offices. With an open floor plan, people aren’t segregated by walls; they share a large communal space. In our case, areas within that space were then set up for each of our development and marketing teams.
Our new offices foster better communication within teams and create constant opportunities for collaborative collisions across teams. Collisions occur when one group or individual overhears another discussing a roadblock or discovery. They chime in with insight or experience that would have otherwise gone unheard. Collaborative collisions are incredibly valuable for a company like 352, where creativity and innovation are keys to producing the best work.
Location, Location, Location
Having determined that open floor plans were critical to living our values and growing our business, our current offices were no longer the best fit. So, we went office hunting. We spent months searching for just the right spaces in Tampa, Gainesville and Atlanta. Not only were we looking for offices that could deliver open floor plans, we also wanted locations where we could feel at home. We wanted to be within walking distance of restaurants, coffee shops, bars and gyms, to create a culture around our offices where our teams can enjoy the community and conveniently socialize outside the office.
Our Tampa teams were the first to make the move, now calling the Kennedy Center (also known as the L-3 Communications building) on West Kennedy Boulevard home. They’re in a temporary space for a short time while their ideal office floor plan is being built-out on the third floor…in suite 352. Yes, really. The building is directly across the street from Westshore Plaza with a mix of shopping and dining and moments away from several other area hot spots.
Meanwhile, our Gainesville and Atlanta teams are simultaneously moving this weekend, which has our support people hustling like crazy to ensure all the technical aspects (servers, Internet connections, phone lines, etc.) are 100 percent up and running in both locations by first thing Monday morning. Good thing we have the best support folks in the biz.
In Gainesville, we’re moving into a combined retail-office plaza called Tioga Town Center. It’s actually just a few blocks from our current Gainesville office, but oh what a difference a few blocks makes. Our first-floor space is custom designed for our use, from the flooring to the lighting to the ring-shaped artwork hanging from the ceiling. The plaza offers a perfect mix of amenities, from Starbucks to Gainesville Health and Fitness to World of Beer – that’s for after hours, of course [Editor’s Note: After hours may or may not start early on Friday].
In Atlanta, our new home is the iconic Biltmore building in Midtown. The former hotel has been completely remodeled in recent years and its grand ballrooms hosts numerous events year-round. It’s one of the most prominent social and business epicenters in Atlanta. The location is ideal, in close proximity to an array of entertainment venues and directly across the street from one of the best computer programming schools in the country – Georgia Tech.
Everyone at 352 is excited to settle in to our new spaces and experience the benefits they bring. Stop by some time, but maybe give us a few days to get everything unpacked first.