Expansion!

Goals have been exceeded, new employees added and new space is needed. Exciting, isn’t it?

But with big changes come big decisions. Many people will ask, “Where do we go from here?”

No, seriously. Where do we go?

Literally. We are out of space.

Residing in the city of Hudson is part of our agency’s character – and our agency is at (for the most part) a centralized location for the employees. We had options to pack up and move, but there were too many advantages to staying put.

This left us with two options:

  1. The first is to create an intricate jumble of cubicles and shared office spaces – a look not unlike a hedge maze mixed with a Staples.
  2. The second is to knock down a few walls and expand our space.

AKHIA is currently experiencing the latter.

However, despite the real-life Tetris that is our workspace, the work in this space must continue to be BAU.

So how do you keep motivated when you’re dealing with constant:

  • Blown fuses
  • Tight spaces
  • Light accumulation of drywall dust
  • Droning of drills, hammers and grinders
  • Employee personal space violations?

The same way you continue to produce great creative:

  • Camaraderie
  • Shared excitement
  • Growth in patience

Camaraderie. Tight quarters mean tighter relationships. Friendships are made, new agency culture ideas are forged and those who were once in their shell are speaking up. As a member of the creative department, the renovations to the office led to twice the number of people in half the space. Not a single grumble.

Why?

We’re all in this together, it’s temporary and it’s a good time to know great people. Tips, tricks and tactics are shared, writers and designers are in constant communication and success is easily shared. We’re building off each other’s motivation. And if a sawzall is currently destroying duct work, we have headphones. But don’t think we’re not passing along links to Spotify playlists, movie trailers and music videos. We may be out of our comfort zones, but we have gotten more comfortable with each other.

If camaraderie is fortified by making people comfortable in an unusual situation, then mission accomplished.

Shared Excitement. Let’s be honest, when the drywall dust settles, you’ll have more space and a revamped excitement in your office. That’s reason enough to be excited. Who doesn’t love something new, bright and shiny?

Everyone knows every loud power tool in use and every pounding on the walls mean one step closer to a new space to show off to clients. Blueprints are shared, deadlines are being met (at least close enough) and sneak peeks have happened.

It’s what everyone is talking about. It’s a buzz and excitement that can only be matched by an official ribbon-cutting ceremony with oversized scissors. (Note to Ben and Jan, please make this a thing.) This shared excitement is because everyone is invested in the success of this company. Hours upon hours of good work for great clients has lead us to expansion.

Growth in Patience. We’ve each learned more about each other. But I think we’ve also seen the daily activity, workloads and job assignments that you may not have noticed when your face is hidden behind a monitor. Seeing the work come in, the stacks that pile up and the urgency of the quick-turn jobs that “must go out today” you get a better idea of what we’re all up against – time.

During construction, I discovered more growth in my patience. In an agency setting it’s sometimes best to wait a tick before passing the job off to the next one in the process. As a writer, I’ve always believed in passing the work on as quickly as I could so the designer could have as much time as needed with it.

But what if they don’t have the time? What if their priorities are different than mine? I didn’t hand them more time when I handed over the job jacket, I handed them one more thing to be stressed about.

I’m telling myself to give it a moment. Let it percolate. Deliver when the time is right but at least get it on their radar. When you’re going 150 miles per hour, sometimes it’s okay to slow it down to 88.

The motivation from the renovation isn’t just from the excitement of what’s next, but it’s the thrill of working even closer with a group of people who are just as dedicated to your agency as you are. Sure, when all of this is over and the new space is available to be occupied, we’ll go back to having elbow room and a workspace to call our own, but I think we’ve grown closer as a team and as an agency.

Jason Gottshall is senior copywriter at AKHIA.