After 18 months of bouncing around Melbourne, squatting in other people’s offices and taking over co-working spaces, we finally have a place to call our own: 900 square meters on Queen Street overlooking the Yarra river (check out the video for the amazing views).
Sometimes when I’m here late at night, after everyone has gone, I walk around, and it's a truly humbling experience. I see the desks that people have personalized, ideas and thoughts and plans up on the walls, the little touches that make the space theirs, and I realize: I had a hand in bringing all this into creation. Part of my journey has resulted in all of these people turning up every day and seeing this as their space.
Our journey to get here
And what a journey it’s been. Starting in a co-working space - the original Inspire9 in Cremorne, we later moved to Inspire9 in Richmond. Co-working spaces are a godsend for start-ups, full of creative people working on amazing projects. But when we got to the point we were taking up over half of one of Inspire9’s floors, we had to face the fact that we’d outgrown them.
We moved into the city and took over a couple of expiring leases while welooked for our forever home. We had one setback when our goal of turning a refurbished warehouse into a space that was ours didn’t pan out the way we wanted. We ended up on settling on this space in the city, and we couldn’t be happier.
Of course, like the business itself, we are still learning and adapting as new challenges crop up. We struggle with finding the perfect balance of meeting rooms and desks. It will be interesting to take a shot of what the office looks like today, and then again in a year and see how much changes as we experiment to make it work just right.
Sharing our new space with the community
While we are really excited to have a space to call our own, filled with our people and our things, just as importantly we have a purpose-built space we can share with the community.
One of the design aspects for our fitout was to set aside about a third of the space for events, collaborations and other sharing purposes. We’ve already started making use of it. The developer community is very important to us, so we’ve already hosted an Elixir event. We actively seek opportunities to provide space for events that encourage girls in coding and we are opening up for hackathons. Through the People Geek community we have done some incredible events at places like Vinomofo and Envato, but it is going to be special to do our own first event in our own office.
We are always on the lookout for mutually beneficial collaborations, chances to give back, or ideas for uses for our space. I’d encourage anybody that is interested to please get in touch. Chances are high we would love to have you here. Reach out to our Melbourne office Experience Manager, Ginny Fry, if you're interested in hosting an event in our space at firstname.lastname@example.org
This feels like the beginning of yet another new and exciting era for Culture Amp. It is so great to all be together in one big open space, a place to call home.