Have you ever had someone tell you: "that's a good problem to have"? Normally, it's an encouraging spin on what is a stressful situation at the time. In VirtuActive's case, we had an encouraging problem not once but TWICE in the last two years.
In late 2019, VirtuActive had a big decision to make. We were going into the final year of an office lease in the only building we ever called home. The company had been growing slowly but surely and we didn't have enough space to hold our new hires (it's pretty easy to grow out of 1,000 sq ft). We made an executive decision to begin the process of building out a brand new office space. Something that was double the size and could hold 10 more people than we currently had at the time which we thought would be the perfect next step. After all, we assumed that 10 more people was probably a 3-5 year plan for the company. So in January of 2020 "Office Move 1.0" commenced and we began working on a new space that would be ready to move in by the Summer of 2020.
And then the Spring of 2020 hit... and with it came more business. Lots of new business. So we did what any company looking to grow does and hired to meet a demand. We were forced to keep our new hires in temporary spaces at our original office while the buildout was happening for Move 1.0. While all the hiring was a really positive thing for the company, we quickly realized we had another problem on our hands. We were about to move into our new office which no longer had 10 more seats. The new office would only have 3 open seats and to compound matters we knew we needed to keep hiring. Needless to say, we had another big decision to make in the Fall of 2020. After we were in our new space for literally a matter of months, we decided to go through the process of uprooting the company... again. "Office Move 2.0" had commenced.
At the time, planning for Office Move 2.0 definitely felt like a major "oops" moment. How could we have miscalculated things this badly to where we're uprooting our business after only a few months?! How did we not see this coming?
Now back to my initial comment... "that's a good problem to have". When you're going through the process of uprooting an entire company and moving it, it's not a lot of fun. Especially doing it twice in under 2 years! There's the costs associated with it, construction contracts, loss of production time, scheduling movers, updates within the billing department, changing addresses, delays in
construction, IT issues, construction change orders, figuring out new furniture, client confusion,
builder confusion, computer issues, supplier delays, lease negotiations, etc, etc, etc.
In November of 2021 we finally got settled into Move 2.0 and I will say this much... Looking back
on it all, I wouldn't change a thing. Without going through Move 1.0, we would never have
learned what we did about what we needed to have to succeed as a company. This allowed Move 2.0 to turn into an office that we truly feel we can thrive in for years to come.
We knew we absolutely did not want to move for a 3rd time anytime soon so this time we made sure to maximize our space. Our 2021 (and beyond) office is 4 times larger than the last space. Of the 40 work stations that we built out, 13 are filled = Room. To. Grow.
For our clients, our new space gives us 5 comfortable meeting spaces all complete with multiple tv screens and sound masking through the ceiling and walls.
For our sales and marketing team, they now have a space capable of holding dozens of people for social events and presentations.
For our valued employees, each person has their own space complete with standing desks, dual monitors and storage space. Above all, our new space gives them the privacy and space to let the creative juices flow. At our previous space(s), I don't think we truly understood how limited their creative ability was until we moved into this new one. It's very difficult to feel creative and be productive when you're crammed up next to co-workers and can hear every conversation that's happening in the office, both internally and client meetings. The fact that most of our team members were wearing headphones for the last 2 years probably should have been a bigger red flag looking back on it - haha.
Even though we've only been in the new space for a month, I can already see a noticeable difference with our team. Not only in creativity but in production as well. The marriage of creativity and production are quite literally the heartbeat of our company. Keeping those two things in rhythm and working together is imperative.
So in retrospect to all those people who told me that I had a good problem on my hands by moving the company twice in two years, I'd be lying if I said my first reaction wasn't to call you absolutely nuts because there was no way all that moving and shuffling around could ever be considered a "good problem". But looking back on it, they were right. Companies go through changes and growing pains just like anything else. I'm happy to say that those feelings of mistakes and miscalculations after Move 1.0 don't feel that way anymore. All the changes and shuffling around have lead us exactly to where we need to be as a company for years to come. Until Move 3.0...
COO | Director of Production