We have been in our new office in downtown Portland a week as of this Monday, and a few things have become very apparent. A new office can change more than the length of commute for employees, it is changing culture and pride in the office environment.
Some of the things are I see is more socializing in the common spaces like the top deck, the 2nd floor with its Towne square with kitchen seating and game room or the coffee kitchens on the 4th and 5th floors with more smiles and casual conversations and fun. Employees are showing off the new office with great pride to others and I have even seen people taking their phones or laptops around the office with a person in a video conference for tours.
Portland is a serious bike town where some residents commute by bike, even in the cold wet winters. I noticed our bike racks are full today on all of our floors. I had never seen this many or even a fraction of this amount of bike commuting in our past Lake Oswego office even though many employees lived relatively close to that office. Several employees are also taking mass transit and seeing what works because parking is scarce in the burgeoning Central Eastside Industrial District of Portland. All those nice orange Biketown bikes in Portland are free in May and that should be a nice option for some to bike to the Max line or out to lunch in downtown.
It’s been a busy week and fairly smooth for such a large move in to an old restored building. Employees were moved in and working by 10am the first day and feeling at home aside from the commute and parking adjustments. The neighborhood is rapidly changing but has some amazing places to eat, drink, or play within walking distance. I was told this building Towne Storage which was barely standing 2 years ago was the largest historic renovation in Portland. It is absolutely beautiful with a unique character that truly celebrates Portland.
I hope you will visit sometime or join us in the Central Industrial Eastside District of Portland!