Last week, the ADOsquad headed out of the studios and took a trip to Melbourne. As exciting as that sounds, we didn’t actually slide our shades on and hop on a private jet to head down under.
We did however, have the privilege to take a guided tour around what has been lauded as one of Manchester’s coolest work spaces. We weren’t disappointed.
As we pulled up to the fairly standard looking office building, we wondered if the rumours were true, if this workspace really was different to the others we had seen. Our question was immediately answered as we walked through the door of the Melbourne studios. We were warmly greeted by Chris and Josh and a super friendly personalised sign that Josh assured us was actually rather time consuming to put together.
A family run server hosting business, Melbourne’s offices have been designed with home comforts in mind, the House of Melbourne, if you will. Arriving in the ‘living room’ we admired the gilded framed staff pictures adorning the walls and hugely inviting velvet sofas. But lounging was not an option, there was just too much to see!
As we traveled through the cheerful ‘front garden’ complete with grass, picket fence, colourful flowers, picnic tables bearing a selection of fresh fruit, smoothie maker and the obligatory games station, Chris and Josh began to explain the company’s style and ethos.
The journey through the vivid pink ‘front door’ took us to many diverse and exciting areas which included a meeting room complete with antique chesterfields and roaring digital fire, a relaxation pod filled with the flumpiest of bean bags, the ‘Mad Men’ room, pink pool table and my personal favourite, the Narnia room. Accessed through wardrobe doors, this one comes complete with ‘snowy floor’ tree lined walls and a glowing street lamp.
We picked our jaws up off the floor and headed into the light and airy meeting room where our Melbourne tour guides continued to explain the nature of the business. We learned that behind the bold interior design and vivid branding; simple, basic and sensible business fundamentals form the groundwork of this incredibly successful company. Staff retention is high on their agenda, the offices were designed by and for their team, with most of the ideas having been decided in a meeting down the pub.
Happy staff means good service. Good service means happy and more importantly, loyal clients. Simples. You get a sense from the team that they really, genuinely care about their clients, not just their client’s money. I could go on, but they put it better themselves. Read the 10 (very valid) reasons that they are a better hosting company, here.
A quick security check and a chuckle at our passport pictures and we were allowed a tour of their incredible data storage facility. Fire proof, flood proof, temperature monitored, super secure and so clean you eat your dinner off the floor – I personally could think of no better place to store my precious data or that of my clients. Once again, this area has been well considered and carefully crafted, just like Melbourne’s business model.
I must admit to having preconceptions about Melbourne. I wondered whether their much talked about workspace was unnecessary fluff, there to impress and bedazzle unwitting potencial clients, a shrewd PR move designed to create hype about a company that was no different to any other in it’s field.
But, it would seem that the House of Melbourne is built on strong foundations. Beneath their superbly designed studios, expensive gleaming equipment and polished marketing strategy is a company that take pride in what they do and has spent many years developing strong core values and a reliable, knowledgeable team. They could work from any boring old office and still stand miles apart from their competitors. However, we think they should stay where they are. We never did get a game on that pool table…
Photography by Pip Rustage