iovation turned 10 this year.
The transition from single to double digits came with a complete overhaul of our workspace. As one of the first tech companies to call Big Pink home, our leadership team thought it was time to rethink the design of our corporate headquarters. iovation has been steadily growing over the last several years and adding new employees. We needed a new floor plan that would use the space on the 32nd floor more efficiently to accommodate that growth. This was also a great opportunity to update the look and feel of the space.
Of course, the decision to give our office space a do-over brought its own set of challenges. The first being where do you put close to 100 people for four months while a construction crew takes over the floor? There was some trepidation at the thought of uprooting employees for such an extended period of time.
“We talked a lot about what would happen if we moved everyone to a smaller space on a different floor that was completely open,” said Molly O’Hearn, vice president of operations. “We ended up looking like the stereotype of a start-up with long tables in one big room.”
It turns out iovationers are a pretty hardy group. Thanks to our amazing IT staff the transition to a temporary space was seamless and work went on as usual. The temporary relocation had some surprising side effects.
“It was great shaking things up,” said Connie Gougler, director of marketing. “I got to know my peers much better because we were all in one big room together. Of course there was less privacy, but that just made us all more respectful of each other’s space.”
The end result was worth the temporary displacement.
“Natural light is important in all offices but probably even more so when you’re located in the Pacific Northwest,” said O’Hearn. “We wanted to open up the space by removing solid walls and replacing them with glass to take advantage of every bit of available light. We also lowered the walls around everyone’s cubicles and added glass tops so that the light could really reach everyone.”
Meeting rooms have been transformed into light filled spaces with glass walls—the added benefit being we can draw on the walls to sketch out ideas and brainstorm. The floor plan was redesigned to make collaboration even easier with the addition of more meeting rooms of all different sizes.
Of course, we all know the true center of any space is the kitchen. At iovation it’s like having a little bit of home right in the middle of work. The redesigned space includes more seating which employees started taking advantage of right away. The large picture window gives us breathtaking views of the river and the eastside, with Mt. Hood and St. Helens prominently in the background when they aren’t hiding behind clouds. On any given day you’ll find the kitchen overflowing with employees talking about everything from home remodeling projects, wedding planning, or the logistics of the next sprint.
Ten years and counting—happy anniversary iovation!