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Based on employee feedback, Ives Ratkovich and Marvin designed a transparent, collaborative environment, “where there’s good communication, and there’s nothing held back, no secrets,” said Ives Ratkovich.
As in the entry, moveable furniture can be positioned in ever-changeable vignettes throughout the office encouraging fluid movement and frequent communication. Delicate chain or net curtains suspended from the ceiling can be used to create breakout areas, then retracted to open the room again. Collapsible glass panels wall in the four large meeting areas. “It’s about building general spaces, so employees can work throughout the day where they need to,” said Marvin.
The workstations, powered from a fixed location, are permanent, but the benching system—long tables with short dividers, lined with rows of rolling chairs—can easily accommodate expanding or contracting teams, support mobile and non-mobile workers and promote the sharing of ideas.
Even Velti’s general counsel, chief financial officer, chief marketing officer, chief technology officer and chief product officer share a designated area that remains open to the larger office. “(Building on ideas through collaboration) is part of the evolution of the new generation; the millennium generation is contributing to greater ideas that way,” said Ives Ratkovich. Velti’s employees are on average 29 years old.
The employee-designed lounge, called the TaVern, fosters interaction with a bar, TV and video games, pool table, foosball table and a corner cove with a couch. It acts as space for employees to come and relax, “but quite frankly they build on ideas there,” said Ives Ratkovich.
Employees also suggested creating the Mobile Museum “to really speak to what (Velti) does,” said Marvin. Its exterior is a rounded, perforated metal panel with an illuminated map of the world highlighting Velti’s 32 office locations with orange pins. A live video feed about Velti’s services and products plays inside. Along with a graphic, designed by Los Angeles’ branding company Egg Office Inc., that traces the evolution of telephone technology around the walls of the office, the mobile museum achieves an ancillary design goal of subtly enforcing Velti’s brand.
Bringing the employees along in the design process has already proved successful. “Within the first couple of weeks [of moving into the San Francisco office], I would overhear people say that this is a place where they want to go to work,” said Marvin.
For now, Velti is looking to hire 20 employees in its de facto North American headquarters, but if it follows what happened in the New York office, that’s just the beginning. In the 10 months following the redesign of the New York office, the headcount more than doubled to 45.
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