For us, having an office was always important: "It should be representative, it should impress our clients, it should be a place where people love to work from". Also, our mums never quite understood what we do for a living, so we had to look for a way to make them proud.
Within a two-year cycle, we moved into new offices as we outgrew the previous ones. More tables, more rooms for meetings, more quiet cabins for calls, a bigger kitchen, a bigger sofa… you get the idea.
So for us, it was super obvious that the team, which was 90% based in Vienna, would work from the office - why wouldn’t they? Free coffee, soft drinks & beer, cakes on Wednesdays, breakfast on Fridays, a foosball table, a dartboard, friendly neighbors (👋 hi @aandrs), super nice & inspiring co-workers, and a lot more.
So with all those benefits and the amount of heart, time, & money we had put into the office, we wanted to have the team back at the space as soon as the first Austrian lockdown was over. But things had changed. Many of our colleagues didn't mind working from home. They actually loved the time they got back from not commuting or the quick trip to the washing machine during their lunch breaks.
With the pandemic still on everyone's minds, we wanted to take things slowly. So we decided to go with a 3+2 hybrid system, allowing everyone to work from home two days and be at the office at least three days per week.
This actually worked out pretty well - having yoga sessions in our garden once a week or having a couple of beers after work - it was really nice after months in lockdown.
By the time we finished lockdown nine three, the number of wild team members NOT living in Austria was growing larger and larger, with us becoming a team of 25. In addition to the team consisting of more and more people from different countries and continents, the Vienna members also left the city/country to enjoy surfing in Portugal , the mountains in Vorarlberg or the cheese in Bra in their free time.
That left us with an office that fits more than 25 people but two-thirds of wild not even being in Vienna, which made us rethink our 3+2 system again.
Is this specific office the best choice?
Is it sustainable to have an office that large?
Do they even want to come back?
After all the years of thinking about offices as status symbols, it was hard for us to admit, but the answer was obvious: we have to rethink how a wild space has to function.
First things first - we talked to the team and everyone agreed on rather than having a huge office it would be way better to have a space for meetings, check-ins or just hanging out with your co-workers.
Second, there should still be the option to get things done. With the reduction in the number of tables, we had to come up with a smart system of screens, keyboards, and mouses that fit everyone's needs.
Last but not least, there should still be room to grow if needed.
Similar to Dropbox, we call ourselves a virtual first club agency now, meaning it’s up to our employees where they want to work from. In September 2021, we introduced wild.space.01.
We moved into a smaller space directly across the court from the old one, with workplaces for eight people, a nice & bright meeting room, a small kitchen, a hangout area, and a fridge full of drinks.
The workplaces are perfectly adapted to our new workflow. Since all of us are using laptops rather than fixed desktop machines, with one USB-C cable you plug into a 4k monitor, mouse, keyboard, webcam, and charging cable at the same time, giving you the option to trade your mobile workflow for a desktop-style setup and back, in an instant.
We know that we’ll face new and different challenges going virtual first, especially when it comes to interpersonal relationships with our co-workers. But with the right team, everything is possible.
Due to Covid, it took us a while, but in mid-December, we will finally gather the whole team in Vienna for the first wild week.
The smaller and smarter space gives us the opportunity to easily open other spaces in different locations - no matter if it's Vienna, Lagos, New York or Lisbon. We also think about joining forces with other innovative companies, opening shared offices with architects, scientists, gardeners … (hit us up if you want to talk).
Let's see what the future holds.