Office Morale Makeover

Recently we  made the decision to undergo a major office "makeover" of the ISI headquarters in Memphis. Had we lost our minds? Why would we go through such an arduous, time consuming experience amidst such a difficult, challenging year? Initially the reasoning behind the decision was pretty simple. We need to SAVE money and increase efficiency. 


When a business (large or small) is trying to increase company profitability, it really has only 2 choices. It can either a) Increase revenue or b) Cut costs. It really gets down to those key issues. So while the ISI sales team was working hard to increase revenue, we made the decision to look for areas to cut costs. We realized that with the growth of team members working from home and the changing of roles within ISI, we had a considerable amount of office space that wasn't being used. In working with our landlord, I was able to change the amount of space we were leasing and renew our lease early helping us to save 25% on our rent monthly. However, part of this change would require constructing a new office layout. To be honest, I was worried that word of cutting down our office size to save money would get people concerned. 

Then as we started to develop the new design, a phenomena occurred at ISI that frankly took me by surprise. Instead of a possible negative connotation with money issues, my employees started getting really EXCITED about the changes. We were stirring things up and they liked it! They didn't seem to mind the steady stream of designers, contractors and construction people wandering around the office every few days. For them, it seems the idea of a new look at the ISI office was almost a shot of adrenaline in the arm. It also reinforced the message I'd been preaching at ISI all year which was that 2015 was "a whole new ball game" and things were going to be different.  

Redesigned main conference room

Certainly making a major change and "new look" to a 15 year old office design was proof positive of that. As we approach the final stages of the "makeover" it is clear that the makeover has had a positive effect on company morale which was an added benefit to the process. And another benefit/challenge? Our "new office" has been designed with new open collaboration spaces (rather than 1980's-style cubicles and separate offices) which will bring together many important work groups like sales and design/engineering. They will also have access to huddle rooms when they need to have private meetings. These two groups were previously on two opposite sides of the building (in more ways than one) and now will be working side by side on a daily basis. With ISI's structure for project management, it is crucial that we get these two groups talking more both professionally and personally. There is also an increased amount of light throughout the office since we no longer have sky high cubicle walls blocking the lights. 

New sales/engineering area for increased collaboration

The costs to implement this change was minimal given we were able to work with our landlord, had furniture refurbished and used internal team for project management. However, any costs we do have are already starting to pay dividends in improvements in morale, collaboration and efficiency. Another benefit of the office “makeover”? We are “decluttering” every square inch of the place and donating a lot of furniture, office supplies, chairs. tables etc. to jubilee schools. It's a great cause and helps us clean up our office at the same time. Going to be interesting to see how this all works out so stay tuned for a future progress report!

Posted by Jay Myers at 9:54 AM