It has been a very hectic three months and I had promised some of you pictures from some of my recent trips: Cyprus, Phillipines, Belize. I am going to try, over the next 3 weeks, to give an update on each of these. I am starting with Cyprus
We have been growing pretty rapidly at Global Learning Semesters and had outgrown our space at Intercollege which had been letting us camp out, as needed.
So in August we signed a lease in a commercial building within 500 feet on the Intercollege campus. The office had not been finished, so the ensuing months where spent on the landlord putting in floors, etc.
We made two decisions early on:
a) We would build US-grade office infrastructure in terms of structured cable, raised floors, dropped ceilings, server rooms, etc
b) We would give ourselves room to grow, both for Global Learning Semesters and other Ledra Capital initiatives.
I think both those decisions were correct.
Part A impacts daily productivity.
Part B was a reflection of our expectation that moving in and out of an office would be a complete nuisance which was also the case. It is remarkable how many decisions are needed to move into an office, to say nothing of trying to track down Cypriot sub-contractors which is the equivalent of herding cats. It took pretty much our whole senior team in Cyprus to make this happen and was definitely a learning experience.
We initially planned to move in in October. We did not actually move in until January 15th. Below are a couple of illustrative pictures...
The office is primarily open-space but we did close off 3 offices, a conference room and a student resource center. Most days there are about 10 folks working in the office, but we could easily fit 30 as we grow.
The Backroom (for future use)
My conclusions so far:
a) Offices are a nuisance (and expensive) to build out
b) Despite all the virtual tools we have, offices are still very helpful for most people in promoting collabroration and increasing productivity. Our productivity has soared since we opened the office.
c) Open space is a hit in terms of building a firm culture.