How to Design an Office That Makes Everyone More Productive
What we do requires people who work in strategy, user experience, design, technology, and production. Traditionally, you departmentalize all that. But I organize teams around clients, not job functions. The half-life of inspiration is very short, and if everyone who's working toward a common goal is sitting together, problems get solved quicker.
When you walk inside Big Spaceship, you'll see an open plan, with several long tables. Each cross-disciplinary team is organized along an aisle. The idea is they focus outward and then just swivel their chairs inward to collaborate. Even the physical motions are meant to be as frictionless as possible. There are also guest stools in each row, tucked under the ends of each table, so anyone can grab one and pull it up.
We also try to give people lots of mediums to express themselves. There's lots of graph paper, lots of construction paper. Instead of whiteboards, the walls are covered in whiteboard paint--there's something really satisfying about writing on the wall. It gets your inner child. There are also private and semiprivate rooms, places with couches and beanbag chairs, for individuals or teams that want some quiet.
We want to be the most collaborative agency in the world. So we try to create as many opportunities as possible for people to offer a thought on the fly.
As told to Inc. senior writer Burt Helm.