Culture Shift: Building a Virtual Office

Gillespie Group is a full-service ad agency and, as we like to say, we’re “built for the 21st century.”  We specialize in advanced advertising, pulling together media, message and metrics into a single cohesive strategy which is driven by research and measured against performance metrics.

But up until recently, Gillespie still operated with a “traditional” business mindset.  We had set office hours, fixed staff meetings, regular status check-ins, weekly finance meetings, etc. We had an office set up to impress clients, but we almost always traveled to their offices to make pitches and presentations. At the same time, we used tools and resources that are cloud based.  We purchased technology to make working remotely easy and efficient. We could work from anywhere, but we always worked from the homebase of our cool office space in Wallingford, PA.

That changed in May.  As some of our closest colleagues and friends know, our office in Wallingford looked like something a Hollywood producer would create for a show about an ad agency.  We had open spaces, a “creative loft,” whiteboard walls, large screen TVs, couches, a cool conference room, lots of windows and tons of natural light. But the building was a problem. Suffice to say, it became clear we could not continue using the space effectively.  And, candidly, it was much more than we needed. And so, we made the leap into the work-from-home universe. 

Over the next few months, look for the experiences (good and bad) we’ve had in making the move.  In particular, I’m planning to focus on these areas: The move, technology, our new space, the benefits of working from home, barriers and team building.

Suffice to say, it seems to be going well, with small bumps along the way.  We went from a creative loft and conference room to the “living room” where we meet, eat work together.  We’re making a conscious effort to de-clutter and to rely less on paper as we rely more on digital, cloud-based solutions for creative, media and office operations. 

The Gillespie Group