One of Spacelab’s key objectives has been creating an experience that our architects and designers find value in—With deadlines looming constantly, papers and documents piled high and inboxes overflowing (okay this is a sweeping generalization, but we digress…) it can be tough to peel ourselves away from a space that’s familiar and set up shop somewhere that’s not. There must be some clear benefit to packing up and schlepping work materials out of tvsdesign HQ across town, otherwise the space would be sitting empty.  What’s the secret sauce to 1. Garnering enough motivation for a group to visit for the first time and 2. Maintaining enough interest to get these groups wanting to make working out of Spacelab part of their routine? This week, we’re taking a look at the “why” behind one tvs studio that has pre-scheduled time at Spacelab week by week like clockwork.
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Senior Associate Liz Heath is part of this user group that schedules time at Spacelab every single week. Her studio has an all-day conference call each week with a team out of state and realized the plus side of leveraging the space during those calls. Here’s what she had to say:

How is it different than working out of tvs HQ? 
Working at Spacelab allows the team to have their own desk, so they can continue to focus on their work while listening to the call rather than cramming in around a conference table.  Also, since we’re in a room with just our team, we’re not impacting the other teams in the office while we have the conference call on speaker phone.

What are the benefits of holding an all-day conference call at Spacelab?
We can have the shared screen meeting on the wall and the conference call on speaker, so the entire team can hear the call and be a part of the discussions.  This gives them exposure to project related calls and coordination with the contractor/client that they aren’t typically involved in.

What keeps your team motivated to come back week after week?
It’s refreshing to spend a workday in a different environment and helps break up the week.  There are different options to go to for lunch which really excites some team members.  Also, for most of our team members, getting to Spacelab significantly reduces commute time, which gives them extra time in their day outside of work. 

What are some of the challenges of working out of Spacelab/what are some areas of improvement that would positively impact work flow and how your team works together? 
There aren’t many challenges.  Uploading/transferring/combining pdf files works a bit slower over VPN than in the office, but that’s a piece of any remote work.  The only other challenge is if there is a firm meeting that isn’t project related that we need to participate in, like councils, committees, firm-wide meetings, etc., it can be tough to swing back and forth.

Does your team work differently at Spacelab now than the first few times you used the space? If yes, then how so?   
Not really. The first few visits there was more exploration while at Spacelab, but everyone has gotten pretty comfortable working here.

Each studio functions a little differently, with varying workflows and personalities. Some of which, like Liz’s studio, have the flexibility and desire to shift their home base around each week while others haven’t experienced Spacelab until recently.