LeanKit’s new headquarters, a former antique mall in downtown Franklin, Tenn., comes with a creepy attic, a mysteriously nailed shut crawlspace and some pretty righteous Civil War tales. Oh, yeah. And maybe a ghost or two.
As awesome as all that is, we’re most excited about being under one roof again. Since mid April last year, our quick growth had split us between two locations.
But long before we packed and moved our cardboard boxes on Jan. 10, we created a LeanKit board to organize cross-team tasks and track their progress.
CEO Chris Hefley wanted our new headquarters to continue to encourage collaboration. From the inception of LeanKit, he and our co-founders have promoted an “anti-cubicle” culture. You can see their vision in every aspect of the new space.
Open-Office Culture Encourages Collaboration
The largest room — its high ceilings and pegboard walls lending a warehouse feel — holds the Development, Customer Support and Marketing teams. While touring this space before the move, teams were encouraged to self-organize and set up their desks wherever they were comfortable working. Many of the desks are height adjustable (to allow for sitting or standing work) and on wheels (to encourage mobility). Most of the electrical outlets drop from the ceiling, making the entire space useable and one that encourages people to move about and collaborate.
Complete with fireplaces and details that date back to 1810, the original (read: coldest) part of the space houses our Administrative and Finance teams. Just down the hall, the Sales team demos our product and takes calls in their custom-designed, soundproofed offices.
Since working remotely is a common practice for many LeanKitters, so are video chats. Large monitors throughout our space make it easy to communicate with team members, regardless of their home base.
Each partition in the large room is an 8-foot tall, double-sided, movable whiteboard. Designed by Chris Hefley and custom-made by our contractor, the walls take only a few moments to reconfigure and are highly functional. They’re the perfect workspace for impromptu meetings and exceptional cover for spontaneous Nerf wars. (Pro tip: Barrel rolls on concrete floors have moderate to serious consequences.)
In many traditional companies, executives are often tucked away in corner suites. LeanKit’s leadership team takes a more progressive stance, by sharing an open office space. Interaction is expected and encouraged. It’s common to huddle around an executive’s computer and talk shop.
Quiet Areas and Meeting Rooms
With all of the open space in the new office, we needed quiet(er) spaces and rooms for meetings. The Library is our quietest room and a fitting place for solo work. Social contracts are respected in this shared space, and someone with headphones on and heads down shouldn’t be interrupted.
Another common area is the Cafe, which adjoins the kitchen and is more flexible in terms of noise. Many LeanKitters choose to eat their lunch in this space. As a nod to our Nashville roots, we named our four conference rooms after Music City legends Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson. It’s rare to find any of these spaces unoccupied during the day.
Armed (literally and figuratively) with the tools we need to continue our collaborative culture, LeanKit is excited to begin 2014 in our new home. Next time you’re in Franklin, stop by and see us. We’ll save you a Nerf gun and tell the ghosts to behave.