Last week my local gym opened a brand new beautiful building. I only use it for the pool, but I have to admit the old one was pretty uninspiring as far as facilities go. The new one is amazing. My first swim was awesome. I won’t disclose my embarrassingly weak workout, but I will say that I did 50% more laps than my normal swim. Something about the brand new pool, super tall ceilings, glass everywhere, clean water, new locker room, and awesome showers just pumped me up.
As I drove away, I was thinking about how in January, we will open the first renovated floor of the Atlanta Tech Village. Exactly 1 year after we started this project (and 10 months after we naively thought we would open renovated space), the 4th floor, featuring Private Suites and coworking will be finally open. Just like my new gym, it will feature a ton of glass, an intentional modular layout, all new Knoll furniture, super tall ceilings, fancy-shmancy light fixtures, IdeaPaint everywhere, and large LED screens everywhere.
Thinking back on the office space we rented in my last companies, it never made me excited. We always got the cheapest space we could find and kept it as minimal as possible. We were never in anything better than Class C, and never bought furniture that didn’t come from Ikea or Office Depot.
This isn’t a sales pitch– trust me– but it always was an annoyingly persistent energy drain to be reminded that we were in crappy offices. It didn’t help for recruiting, and when myself or my team would visit companies that we thought were similar to us but made their home in awesome Class A space, we went back to our home feeling a little down. We didn’t admit it, of course, but it’s human nature and unavoidable.
Being a little bit older and wiser, I’m ready to admit that I missed the mark on this. I should have acknowledged sooner that the facilities matter more than we think… and more than we like to admit. The energy of the team can be affected by the pride in the physical facilities of the company. I cannot wait to start using the renovated space in the Village… and look forward to those long, hard workouts at my new gym too.