The 'We' and the 'Me' of our New Office
Cords are still exposed.
Boxes remain splayed across the floor.
Employees still wander the parking lot, looking for their cars.
For many Intouch Solutions employees, Oct. 20 was much like the first day at a new school. They had fresh walls, new neighbors and a completely redesigned headquarters located at 7045 College Blvd. in Overland Park, Kansas — a suburb of Kansas City (recently named the Coolest City in America).
Just two miles away from our original stomping grounds, the new HQ represents more than just geography. Employee input played a factor in every stage of development, making the office a physical testament to the company ethos.
Even location is by design. Faruk Capan, Intouch CEO, polled staff members to ensure the new place would be a convenient commute for the more than 400 employees it will eventually house.
Much like the Chicago and New York office designs, suggestions were collected and used to construct an embodiment of the creative, tech-savvy culture Intouch is known for. With its custom glass, post-modern furniture and 45-degree angles (think Apple store meets season 7 of Mad Men), 7045 College Boulevard was built to bring out liveliness and cooperation.
“The previous office was very spread out,” explains Chris Jimenez, architectural project manager. “The company had to grow around it, and it lacked the feeling of a branded space. That’s why we put our main focus on collaboration.”
Teams are grouped into “neighborhoods” around the building, each with its own conference room, collaboration room and “front porch” to accommodate every type of meeting and powwow.
Employees have already nestled into the intimate pockets around the campus, conversing with colleagues about projects over beers from the four new taps. (Brews are chosen by metrics, of course.) It’s a visual indication of the Intouch philosophy that puts work/life balance at the forefront.
“Productive work doesn’t have to occur at your desk anymore,” explains Jimenez. “It happens in the café, the pub, the library … We wanted to evoke that same feel for the employees and help bring out the full potential of their talent.”
As the paint smell fades and the wires find their way into the walls, the lingering anticipation turns into excitement for the stories and memories to come.
Of course, some of us are still trying to remember where we parked.