Sunday, January 4, 2015

Robot Entertainment knows how to make open offices work better

There are precious few public pics available of Robot Entertainment's (The Orcs Must Die people near Dallas, TX - one of the post-Ensemble Studios companies) offices. This is a shame, because they've got a very smartly laid out space. (Update: Found more pics.)

The important elements:
  • Discipline based "pod" organization and half partitions above eye height.
  • Disruptive foot traffic and audio/visual noise mostly confined within a single pod.
  • Pervasive availability of usable and visible whiteboards
  • High ceilings
  • No power cords ducktaped to the floor
  • Lower density desk layout. 
  • Small desks with whiteboards encourages small meetings
Borderline genius considering how little most studios, even insanely successful ones, think about this stuff.

And at this studio you get an entire Beer Garden in your offices. No high school lunch room cafeteria here!

Another major difference between Robot's offices verses the spaces of companies with dehumanizing, industrial scale open layouts is persistence and presence. At Robot's (and the old Ensemble Studios) offices, employees can bring in books, references, games, etc. and arrange them about their office in actual physical book cases and shelves. Sometimes Kindle doesn't cut it, especially for historical references. You can't practically do this at companies that attach wheels to your little desks and force you to play bumper cars every quarter.

For completeness, here's their lobby and meeting area:

Some impressions I get about this space by just looking at the pics: openness, welcoming, and team oriented.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah open office areas are good for better work and also good for the office party. You have huge place for the parties or any events. I am totally impressed with the choice of interior designs and wall paintings.