When it comes to the Appriss workplace, Chief Information Officer Brian Oldham says the guiding principle is “to enable employees to work how they want.” From the layout of the office to the equipment and technology infrastructure, it’s all designed to provide maximum flexibility.
Appriss, headquartered in Louisville, has employees and customers around the world. Staying connected with both isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. Oldham says their focus is providing the tools and infrastructure to allow employees to be mobile and easily collaborate.
“There’s not one set way to work,” emphasizes IT Director Mitch Lin. “We want to provide a foundation of support that lets employees choose the way that’s best for them.”
Built on solid ground
The foundation isn’t just meant to support collaboration with employees and clients in other locations, it is also meant to un-tether employees from a single workspace within the office. They were given a blank slate when the Appriss moved to a new location on Linn Station Rd.
The new headquarters, which officially opened in November of 2018, was designed with fewer offices and more open and communal spaces. There are sofas, chairs, booths and meeting rooms of all sizes on the main office floors. The lower level offers a game room, restaurant-sized cafeteria, and a workout room.
With customizable workstations, sit-to-stand desks, and ergonomic chairs and equipment, employees can make their personal workspace their own, but they aren’t tied to just one place to work. Oldham and Lin both say the Brody “pods” are team favorites. You can plug in and tune out in a comfortable, ergonomic individual workspace that features sound-dampening sides.
Cutting the cord
The relocation also allowed Oldham and his team to design their supporting foundation from the ground up. “We put in the tech and the supporting infrastructure to let employees collaborate where ever they’re working,” he notes.
They wanted to create an environment that allowed people to truly connect and engage. “For example, we think it’s important to see the people you’re talking to,” says Oldham. “Every room has video conferencing.”
Microsoft Surface Hubs also are scattered throughout the office. These virtual blackboards can be moved around to join people in different departments or different locations. “Office documents can be accessed from anywhere, with everyone seeing changes in real-time,” adds Lin.
It’s all about flexibility. “We buy laptops, not desktops,” explains Lin. “Everything is designed so you can pick up and work anywhere you want.”
Whether it’s the tech or the devices, the rule for Oldham and Lin is that it needs to be easy to use and easy to access. “It’s about standardization and simplicity,” explains Oldham. “With apps or devices, you should be able to plug it into your laptop and go.”
When you’re dealing with so many people and so many moving parts, problems do arise, but at Appriss it’s easy to get help when you need it at the Hub, the on-site tech support area that’s manned with a tech support specialist throughout the day. And if they can’t fix it, they can bump it up the ladder for more specialized support. “You can get immediate help,” says Lin, so a minor problem doesn’t become a major hindrance to getting the work done.
Oldham and Lin also note that problems are kept to a minimum by keeping their tech up to date. “We have high standards,” notes Oldham. Lin agrees completely, and says that while employees may not have access to every gadget they want, they do have the most current tech and state-of-the art equipment.
The end goal
Appriss relies on the productivity and creativity of its employees, and they foster a culture that focuses on results and not how much time is spent at a desk or in the office. As cool and easily accessible as the tech and office space are, everything is in place to support the human beings who use it. “Our goal is to make it easy to do business,” explains Lin.
Working at Appriss
You can find out more about the benefits of working at Appriss or view a list of current openings by clicking here.