So we’ve moved…
It’s taken a total of 5 moves (mainly for the poor Moonpig and Incubator teams!), 12km of electrical cable, 310 desks, 900 crates, 1,900 plug sockets and 14 weeks, but we’re finally in! Our family of brands is together for the very first time in the UK.
When projects that take this much work are undertaken, the most common question is “why?”. Well, we thought the best person to answer that one would be the man behind our brands, Stan Laurent, our Group CEO.
So Stan, firstly, why Southwark and why now?
Southwark is a vibrant and creative part of London, the perfect environment to house the diverse pool of talent that we have within the Group.
We had the opportunity to get a chunky amount of space in a building (19,000 sq ft!) that is also suited to the entrepreneurial and creative cultures that we value so highly in all of our brands. We like the flair and feel of the Metal Box factory.
As for why now, well, for years we’ve gradually been encouraging everyone to get to know each other and after 4 years of “dating”, isn’t it the right time to move-in together?
What does the move really mean for the Group?
The most important thing for us is that we have a great environment for people to thrive both personally and professionally. Bringing the teams together means that more than ever they’re able to mix with great colleagues. Whilst retaining our consumer and brand focus, we want to “feel” that we’re part of a company that is unique in the field of emotional and personal products, and stands for innovation and service across the board. This will, in turn, increase the energy that stems from the teams and the projects that will be run out of Southwark.
We also have an ambition to develop the Group as a “family of brands”: we’re gradually sharing more systems and expertise to help each of our leading brands move faster and more effectively. This gradual work, in order to run smoothly, requires teams to work together rather than in silos. It’s not always easy and sometimes it takes hard work to break down the walls, but it’s definitely worth it!
On a final note, it also sounds like having everyone here will make pub evenings even livelier – surely a good thing… right?
Although over the course of the past few years our teams have been working increasingly closely, what does being in the same office really mean to them?
This has been more than just moving from one office to another; it’s been about successfully bringing teams together under one roof and connecting people without threatening or damaging numerous different and valuable cultures.
The reaction from the teams
To us, one of the most important things about the entire project is making sure that our teams feel positively about the move and understand what we want to create in Southwark. I sat down with a few of them to see what they really thought…
Emily – Moonpig CRM commando and fashion pioneer
At first I was a little trepidatious when we were told PhotoBox would be moving in to the lovely Moonpig offices. Although I’ve only been here for 18 months, Moonpig’s always felt like an extremely special brand with an incredible culture and team, and I didn’t want anything to unsettle the ‘family-like’ feeling that you get as soon as you step through the Moonpig doors.
I was so happy when I finally got to meet some of the PhotoBox team to find that they are far more “Moonpigish” than I thought they would be! Although our cultures and teams are still very different, I think that they’re definitely compatible and I’m looking forward to the chance to share ideas and collaborate with them as we all get to know each other a little better.
Alex – PhotoBox TV guru and baking extraordinaire
For me, the biggest thing about moving in with the other brands is how much we can share. I’ve always admired Moonpig’s amazing branding and creative success on TV, and from a purely selfish point of view, I can’t wait to be closer to the action and learn from such an experienced team! Although I’ve been meeting with the Moonpig TV team for a while now, it’s only now that we’re in the same office that it feels like we really work together.
The other thing that moving in together has shown me is that we have real strength in numbers, and it’s not until we were all together on the very first day we were all together that I realised the sheer scale of our business. It’s something that really gives me confidence.
Jayna – PhotoBox Finance extraordinaire and all around delight
The finance team has been in a separate office from the rest of the PhotoBox team for the past few months whilst the big move was being planned. The difference that being together has made is incredible; we’re reenergised and excited to be back in the thick of it, it’s so important to us to see what impact that we’re actually having on the other teams and feel like we’re part of something bigger, not to mention being around a very fun bunch of people!
We’re not done yet
This project hasn’t just been about putting 300 people in the same space, it’s been about creating a family that gives everyone a sense of belonging and makes people feel like we’re all part of the same company. It’s going to take a while, but we’ve already achieved so much and it’s only going to get better!