Volpa are creating an unconventional space within a conventional space. They show us around Volpa’s den and explain why it works for them…
Describe your business in no more than 100 words.
Volpa is a full service, independent marketing agency boasting dedicated publicity, creative and digital departments. Specialists in the tourism, hospitality and food and drink sectors, Volpa was founded by entrepreneur Managing Director Tricia Fox in 2002. The agency has received a raft of awards over the years, including three times winner of the Scottish Event Award for Best Marketing Strategy. Currently the largest PR & Marketing agency in Perthshire, Volpa boasts a team of ten and is on track for a turnover of £1 million within the next eighteen months.
Is there an interesting history to your workplace? For example, did it have a different use before it became your workplace?
Our office sits within a building full of serviced offices and for the first five or so years of its life it was used as the building’s main function suite, hosting Chamber events and training sessions. When we took it over, we painted some of the walls bright red and one wall we covered with blackboard paint.
What makes your workplace special?
Volpa’s den is pretty special to us. We wanted a space that was multi-functional – we were previously squeezed into a series of much smaller offices which made working as a team somewhat disjointed. The new office gave us a chance to work open plan, but also within specialist hubs of expertise, as well as create open breakout spaces for meetings.
Who is responsible for making your workplace brilliant?
We all played a part in the decoration of the workspace. Everyone was given a budget and an area of responsibility to add in finishing touches like plants, cushions, wall decals, hanging pictures etc. Tricia, our CEO, drove the overall look and feel which combines more traditional office furniture with things that are a little less traditional – like our Perth Monopoly board room table and our Ikea breakfast bar meeting area.
What made you want to deviate from the standard ‘desk, chair, kettle’ office setup?
We spend a lot of time in the office so we felt it was important to feel at home. We’re a creative bunch so creating spaces that were functional AND inspirational was a must. Our blackboard meeting area has comfy couches, a coffee table and is frequently used for client brainstorms. Our breakfast bar area is great for a quick meeting with a supplier.
How does this affect morale, productivity, staff retention?
We believe that all three have improved since moving and settling into the new space. It took us some time to get it just right and that involved moving the desks about quite a bit, and even the boss moving her desk right to the other side of the room, but now that everything’s in its rightful place the team are comfortable, settled and productive.
What kind of reaction do you get from visitors and clients when they see how you work?
The office always creates a smile when folk walk in and people feel instantly at home in the space, whether they are having a meeting or simply delivering something to us. Clients often ask if they can also use the space for follow on meetings they are having and, occasionally, some clients have chosen to use our hot desks to work in our office all day! It’s fun to have a fresh injection of different people in the space – keeps things interesting!
How far is too far – have you had to say no to anything?
We’ve not reached that point yet!! We quite fancied installing a bar, and Tricia also has her eye on a bright red telephone box – but we’ve managed to find a telephone box that doubles up as a bar so we’re currently looking at that as our next investment!
What other plans do you have to make your workplace even better?
Did we mention the bar?! Seriously, though, we have some practical plans to beef up our “remote” working set up specifically on the AV side of things. Our clients are located all over the country and we’d like to have a more robust system in place for video and teleconferencing – this is on the to do list for 2018. Beam me up Scotty…..
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