by Tom Turner
Moves, no matter how large or small, offer a chance to make a change, try something new or start over completely. Once we decided that it was time for DSi to move offices, we went straight to the drawing board on how to meet our physical needs as well as less tangible ones. In addition to more space and expanded security features, we wanted the office to reflect and reinforce our company culture.
DSi’s company values are most readily evident in our four conference rooms. Each named for a core value, the rooms also serve specific functions:
- The “Make It Happen” room is the largest and most technologically advanced, with drop down microphones, a 70-inch television for video conferencing and custom wood conference table from a friend’s personal collection of 300-year-old reclaimed wood. Utilizing the latest video conferencing technologies, the “Make It Happen” room is ideal for working with out-of-town clients and remote offices.
- Our “Extraordinary Dedication” room was designed specifically with inter-departmental meetings in mind. Cozy and sun-filled, the room has cushy chairs with arm desks instead of a large conference table, making it ideal for collaborative projects.
- The “Win the Right Way” room functions as the executive wing conference room, given its proximity to the executive team’s offices. Situated on the building’s corner, the “Win the Right Way” room has windows overlooking Church Street, St. Cloud Corner and the historical Downtown Presbyterian Church.
- Lastly is the “Do the Right Thing” conference room, which is the first room you see when entering our offices. Its proximity makes it convenient for hosting client meetings and reinforces the importance we place on doing the right thing for our clients and employees.
We wanted the new space to have an open feel, but given the nature of our work, the office can’t function in an entirely open space. So, when we saw opportunities to foster collaboration within the design, we jumped on them. Instead of utilizing one design style, we incorporated several that would best serve our employees. We have traditional office rooms as well as open air spaces and “roombicles” – cubicles with doors for additional privacy.
Ask anyone and they’ll tell you the best part of the new office is the lounge area. The lounge includes a full kitchen, tables and booths, arcade game machine and a ping pong table.
Already we’ve noticed that instead of rushing off to grab lunch or sitting alone at their desk, employees eat together. When folks need a break, they’ll watch a casual (or heated) game of ping pong or mill around the large kitchen island. In addition to promoting congregation and community, the large lounge space allows for whole company meetings that were impossible in our old office. The lounge’s large garage doors open up, providing enough space for company-wide “all hands on deck” huddles. Instead of just a few representatives from each department, everyone is privy to departmental updates and announcements, sharing updates on quarterly company priorities as well as departmental KPIs. We also have DSi core value “Applause Boards” in the kitchen, which recognize employees doing exemplary work. The “applause” comes in the form of a nomination from a coworker based on something that employee did that was an example of living a DSi core value. With the additional room, everyone can now be present to give and receive nominations.
While the lounge televisions frequently land on HGTV and ESPN, they also promote DSi’s personal and professional development programs. Whether flashing DSi University announcements or progress updates pertaining to the Extraordinary People Program, employees can see how to get involved and what others are doing by looking at the screens. These programs are an integral part of DSi investing in our human resources to build better employees and a better company.
In today’s workplace, keeping quality employees requires more than just salary. Both the physical space and company culture employers provide are critical. Increasingly, workers want to contribute to something that holds a greater importance. That’s the pinnacle of satisfaction. As DSi grows and develops as a company, we want our employees to do the same. We’re always asking ourselves what the industry will look like in three years, five years and how we can build a company that will absorb, respond to and get ahead of changes. It all comes down to having a great team in place, and having a fantastic space to house that team sure doesn’t hurt.
To see more photos of our new office, click here.