Jan 28 2014

Moving Time!

This last week of January, in addition to trying to finish up our company taxes (state taxes are due in by the end of the month) and working madly on NEXUS, we're also giving ourselves an additional challenge — moving offices.

In July of 2012, we determined that working on our private machines and meeting at my dining room table (or around a conference table in Michelle's complex while my house was for sale) was not the most efficient way of getting things done. It led to a more social atmosphere, and while we did get some planning done, it was incredibly difficult to maintain consistent follow-through; plus, seeing things on the small, 19-inch monitor we had for our "conference computer" was nearly impossible. We were aware of several small work lofts in the area (buildings that have various sizes of studios for rent to small businesses, usually in the 100-500 square foot range), and we decided to look into those.

For the last six months, we've rented a 425 square foot space. We had hoped to have most of the office coming in on a regular basis, thus necessitating the amount of space we acquired. We were also looking into several different sources of funding (all of which fell through, but funding is a different blog post) that would allow us varying amounts of flexibility in equipping the office, licensing software, and acquiring artwork for the game. This concept of having people come in on a regular basis partially depended on adding in more people to the company — which we actually did. What we didn't expect to do was add those people at long distance.

Fast forward from the middle of July, when we signed the lease for suite 360, to the middle of January, when we're looking at our rent payments, looking at our office, and looking at the number of people who come in on a regular basis and asking ourselves, "Is this really working?"

The answer was both yes and no. Yes, having an office works. When we're here, we're focused more on work and less on socialization. It gives us all a place to come that is specifically designated as Ætheric Worlds, and thus has less household distractions. Having the company-owned computers means that the "paper trail" of ownership for the software and creative content is absolutely clear. We have a place to store our files, and when we're talking about art files, that's a large amount of content (several gig). In addition, we're able to leave our notes up on the walls between work sessions without difficulty, and that makes it much easier not only to pick up where we left off, but also to maintain follow-through on decisions.

On the other hand, the office we have is not the best office for us. We have space for between 6 and 10 workstations (depending on how cozy we want to get), but on a regular basis, we only have 4 or 5 people actually in the office, and the rest are distributed around the country. Most of our space goes unused, and due to the shape of the office (an abbreviated L), the layout is less than efficient. And as one of the largest spaces in the building, plus being a "premium" corner unit, it is more expensive than we were really comfortable with. So, after some discussion, we decided that since we aren't using the space as we envisioned, we should envision the space as we are using it.

Cue a move. We discussed our options with the property manager, and have been approved to get into a suite that is 180 square feet. Since we're dropping 60% of the space, we're also dropping 60% of the rent, which we're all happy about (refer back to the comment about funding above). We have space for four workstations and a laptop station, which accomodates our largest Sunday work group, and comfortably handles the people who come into the office during the week. The shape — almost a square — is considerably more efficent to lay out, and we expect that we won't have cords draped all over the room (at least, not quite as much), thus reducing our tripping hazard. All of that, combined with the continued positives of having the office in the first place!

So, think good thoughts for us as we sort through the stuff we have in the office, migrate it all down to "the new place" and figure out where it all goes. More importantly, wish us luck as we try and figure out how we managed to acquire five extra power cords under the desks, when we only have six computers under there in the first place.

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