Finding the Sum: Echoing Green
This guest blog post is brought to you by Lara Galinsky. Lara is an author, speaker, expert on working on purpose, and senior vice president of Echoing Green.
Echoing Green is a nonprofit social venture fund that identifies, invests in, and supports some of the world’s best emerging social entrepreneurs. Through our prestigious Fellowship and Work on Purpose programs, we work to unleash next generation talent to solve the world’s biggest problems. Needless to say, when considering the redesign of our work space this past January, and how to transform our drab cubicles into an energetic and collaborative environment that better communicated our big brand, we had a lot to consider.
With our consistent growth over the past several years, injection of four new staff positions in just the last year, and preparation for our annual summer interns, our office was long overdue for a redesign for expansion purposes. However, we also saw this as a great opportunity to bring our brand to life. Luckily, we found Taylor & Miller, our architects for the project, and they helped to bridge our brand and space.
Since we did not have the capacity to relocate our office during the renovation, our transformation had to occur while we could work remotely for a short period of time. So in just over a week, we tore down the traditional cubicles that literally and figuratively blocked communication, and implemented the porous boxes we have today. The new design dually serves to promote interaction and provide opportunities for private reflection. Some of the tenets of our brand and how we realized them are explored below.
By working with architects to develop the new space, our design is completely unique from any other office. It pushes the boundaries of workplace aesthetics and leaves an impression on all of our guests, who we are happy to host! For the occasional guest and Fellow that stops by, we created coworking spaces that function as an open-air work hub when they need an impromptu office.
One of the unique features of having our headquarters in New York means we are subject to space constraints and potential change, just like any growing family in the city. We designed with flexibility in mind, and our stacked boxes are completely portable and able to be rearranged to suit new spaces, if and when the time comes.
Our core program is built on social innovation, and while the design itself lives and breathes innovation, so too does our staff with new, specifically collaborative areas such as the lunch bar, and a smaller, more intimate conference space. Some of our more collaborative teams had the choice to be housed in their spaces all together for hands-on brainstorming and conversation.
Echoing Green represents bold visionaries who drive social change. Our staff needs to work collaboratively to promote this work, and to continue to be inspired by each other as we grow. While our redesign was of central concern for logistical reasons and space creation, we reap the benefits of the intangibles every day, through easier face-to-face communication, creative stimulation and spontaneous moments of inspiration. The sum is greater than its parts, and our redesign has helped make us a stronger community.
Have you turned your office space into an experience of your brand? Feel free to share pictures or comments with us below.