Moving can be very stressful, but also fun and a new beginning. When we found out we had to change our office, we mostly tried to focus on those last two things. We had just started defining our brand strategy, in where we got a clear view on who we are and what our goals are. This was the perfect time to create a home for our employees that reflects our character.
Who are we?
So, who are we then? We are a small company in the online travel business – the underdog as we would like to say – that started and grew up in Haarlem. Being a company who is proud of its origin made us decide that we wanted to stay in Haarlem. But, besides being proud, we don’t like to break promises. And since we are creating a hassle free stay for our customers, we should also create a hassle free working space for our employees. So we promised everyone that the office would stay in the center of Haarlem.
The moment we found a new location for our office, right behind the main train station of Haarlem, the fun of moving could begin. But before we started painting the walls like a maniac and decorating the space with just everything we liked, we thought it was a good idea to work together with an architect and create a plan. Because, above everything, we wanted to have an office that reflected our company character; a place where people feel comfortable and where they can interact with one another.
True to our core values
Therefore, everything you see in our office reflects back on our core values. Being full of action, being a specialist and creating interaction is who we are and what we do. The office needed to be adapted in a way that we could be ourselves without any struggles. Here is how we did that…
Being a specialist
In order to show the outside world we are a specialist, our employees needed to be given all the tools to be one. Not only is knowledge part of being a specialist, the way of working also needs to be adapted to the character trait. This is why we’ve created enough space – supported with the right equipment such as white boards – for teams to have stand-up meetings. You can also find multiple screens throughout the office that show the latest results of the websites. In this way everybody is up-to-date and able to make the right decisions [as a specialist].
If we would have to describe ourselves in one word it would be an explorer. And what other way to express that in taking an example out of the world changing explorers of the past? We’ve dedicated all our meeting rooms to four famous explorers that we can relate to; 1. Amelia, 2. Darwin, 3. Da Vinci, 4. Columbus. Let the creative brains come to life!
One of the main focusses was that our employees should be able to interact with each other. Nothing should hold them back from working cross department. That is why we chose to work with an open area where it is easy to walk up to each other. Besides the bigger meeting rooms, we’ve created spots where people can get some privacy for a one-on-one conversations (without having to bother other people when doing this at their desk). However, a short catch up at the coffee machine shouldn’t be a problem either.
And when you say that you live by the motto work hard, play hard, you of course need a space where people can enjoy a drink on Friday afternoon. That is why we wouldn’t move without having our own bar, a place for our favorite game the “Fooβball tables” and a DJ-booth to loosen up the hips for the weekend.
By having our brand strategy as the end goal made us think about every detail of our office setup. What do we want and need? How do we want it? Where do we want it? With having all the answers to these questions first, we were able to create the perfect working space.