Winston Churchill once said, “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.” I love this. I am forever rearranging our home to best fit my husband and my personalities, style, and of course to maximize the comfort of our fur roomies, Sweet Charlie Dog and Jonesy The Crazy Kitty. Since we are renters, for years I put off really decorating our house because it always felt temporary, but I found that even if it’s not permanent, personalizing your house is the most effective way to make it a home. I have since then thrown myself into it wholeheartedly and it’s made a world of difference for the look and feel of our home as well as how we utilize our space. My husband loves regularly moving large pieces of furniture and spending Saturday afternoons removing kitchen cabinet doors, I swear.
Implementing good design and creating a personalized environment in an office space is just as important, as it plays a critical role in shaping and encouraging company productivity and culture. Most of us spend more of our waking hours in the workplace than anywhere else and the work we do as well as how we feel at work can be strongly influenced by our surroundings. For the last few years, gappers have been making small changes to help transform our Liberty Station HQ into a fun, productive place to work that is reflective of who we are and the values we live by. Last year our internal Inspiring Workplace Committee doubled down on their efforts and facilitated some very impressive (and dare I say, inspiring!) changes to our office. Check out some of my favorite improvements below.
When you walk into gap HQ you are greeted by a custom gap intelligence plaque, a tv playing a slideshow of gapper photos from over the years, and my absolute favorite, an adorable little Herbie-shaped lamp. You will also find a framed poster of our values and how we define them as well as a collection of our cherished community awards, including San Diego Best Places to Work. As soon as you enter we want you to know who we are and what we believe in as a company.
Art That Tells a Story
As you continue through the office you’ll notice a variety of artwork that reflects our vision, our hedgehog, our collective goals, words that guide and inspire us, and no shortage of images that represent our beloved home city of San Diego. If I had to pick one favorite spot, it would have to be our “A+ Work, Don’t Be A Jerk” wall. It is a simple but impactful reminder to put your best foot forward every day, both personally and professionally.
If you want to know what’s happening at gap this week, make sure to stop by our communication hub, updated regularly to remind folks of company meetings, community events, group workouts, gappy hours, or, ahem, when their blog post is due…Thanks, Erin! You’ll also find plenty high-five cards that gappers use to send each other and our clients words of gratitude, notes of encouragement, or any other mad props for being awesome and living up to our values.
Stop, Collaborate, and Listen
Last year we also saw what I like to call, “The Great Desk Rearrangement of 2017.” We changed up the layout of the main floor and data specialists’ and analysts’ desks were organized by category teams. Sitting closer together in our teams makes it easier to collaborate and work together on projects and everyday tasks. We also revamped our group meeting spaces. The lounge might be the most popular spot in the office. With its natural lighting and comfy couches, it’s a great place to meet or to grab a laptop and enjoy the change of scenery while getting some work done. Our conference rooms got a facelift as well, with the addition of gorgeous new whiteboards, smart TVs, and more custom framed art. gappers enjoy having the flexibility to switch up their meeting environments according to the size and goals of the group.
I personally could not be happier with the improvements around the office. Before it felt like a nice place to work, but now it feels like gap intelligence. The space is now brighter, more efficient, and professional, all without sacrificing any of the unique personality that is so representative of the gapper culture. If you are on the fence about making a change in your space, I encourage you to go for it! Here at gap, we are feeling the difference that’s made by putting in the extra effort to create a space that is true to who we are, and we are loving it.