Monday, January 5, 2015

BonusXP's hybrid office arrangement

After my Valve experience I'm now deeply interested in how companies arrange and maintain the actual space their employees work in. The first thing I do when I enter a studio is look beyond the reception area and poke around to see how much importance and thought went into their actual workspace. This can tell you a lot about a company. Ignore the marketing and just observe.

BonusXP (makers of Monster Crew and Cave Mania, a growing indie game developer near Dallas in Allen, TX) used feedback from everyone at the studio to decide how their new office would be arranged. They decided on a hybrid mix of a low-density open plan surrounded by normal offices, with some key desk additions to cut down on visual distractions and give devs a better sense of control over their environment.

They also have a pretty sweet optional work from home on Friday policy.

Key things about this space that I see:
  • Tidy: no rats nests, shabby furniture, or giant collections of 2000 nerf guns and action figures.
  • Opaque glass dividers on each desk.
  • Small offices with windows surrounding the open office area.
  • Real desks with actual storage space.
  • Low density and lots of space around each mini "pod" of desks. 
  • Blue color theme, which triggers a relaxing response.
They are working on a secret project with Stardock. You can read more about BonusXP on their blog.

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