Opening a new office, in and of itself, isn’t necessarily a good thing. Downsizing is common, as is moving from a premium location to somewhere further outside of town. There are even a growing number of companies dramatically reducing office space or abandoning assigned seating at the office in a bid to encourage more remote working. If only there were some kind of funky technology that improves the whole experience for remote workers, huh?
NetMotion’s upgrade in Victoria, however, is an unmistakably positive move. In 2018, when we decided to first establish a presence less than 50 miles north of our Seattle HQ, it was just a single person (albeit a very talented one) added to the engineering team. Fast forward to Q4 and that number had grown to four, including the arrival of yours truly from the similarly mild climes of the UK. Quite quickly we realized that although our shared office location meant we all worked together in theory, its disjointed floorplan wasn’t fit for purpose. Within the space of a year we were in need of a bigger and more cohesive working space.
That’s why it was so exciting when this Summer we finally moved into a stunning new central downtown Victoria office. With room for up to 30 people, this was a strategic decision to accommodate growth, meaning there’s currently plenty of space for an impromptu cat-swinging session, should one of my colleagues so desire (folks: please don’t).
Why a Victoria office?
We’re proud of our Seattle origins and will continue to see it as a center for technology excellence and the hub of NetMotion operations. Many of our recent and upcoming hires will be based in our beautiful Seattle Lake Union waterfront office, but with Victoria now in full swing we’re also expanding fast in Canada, too.
British Columbia offers all kinds of incentives for technology companies like NetMotion. It boasts quality higher education institutions, excellent co-op programs, and is flooded with experienced local talent – especially in engineering, but also in design, marketing, and business development. People from across Canada are looking for excuses to move to laid-back and pleasant Vancouver Island, so we’ve already started helping successful candidates make the move from places like Toronto, Montreal, Seattle and London (the original™).
There are some parallels when comparing Victoria with another city I once lived in. In sunny seaside Brighton, UK, I worked for half a decade at another fast-growing software company. There, we were amidst an emerging boom in the local digital economy and were not only trying to develop our own talent, but also contribute to and participate in the expanding technology community. I see all kinds of similarities with Victoria – this is a red-hot city undergoing some serious changes for the better, and I fully expect it to carry on growing as a regional tech hub. With a convenient time zone, a delightful quality of life, high technical and linguistic literacy and some pretty fast n’ fancy transport options to Vancouver and Seattle, it’s no surprise that NetMotion isn’t the only organization investing in Victoria.
What’s so good about NetMotion Victoria?
Well, like many other high-rise downtown Victoria office spaces, the views are at times spectacular. Our office space is fortunate enough to surrounded by windows that maximize natural sunlight and offer stunning vistas in almost every direction.
The interior isn’t too bad, either. Carpets and walls have been inspired by the same touches you’ll find in our Seattle office, meaning visitors to either location will find that same unmistakable NetMotion vibe wherever they may be. Stark, bold feature walls stand out and bring color to the working environment, and a small selection of plants and a smattering of vibrant furniture help make it a more welcoming place to be.
There are plenty of meeting rooms, with each named after a science fiction or fantasy location just like in our headquarters. In Seattle you can expect to have meetings in Asgard, Endor or The Shire, so we asked our Victoria team to make suggestions for the new rooms there. Winning names were Mordor, Vulcan, Serenity, Hogwarts, Caprica and the board room, which is named The Citadel. Bonus points if you can get the inspiration source for all six. As a final touch, artwork from each of those universes is hung on the walls of its respective room.
An interesting thing about one of the rooms, Mordor, is that we’ve purposely added no seating at all. That was a decision taken to try and encourage short and spontaneous meetings, something close to the hearts of those that opt to work in more Agile (and agile) ways. The spirit of standups can also be felt at everyone’s desks – each one is equipped with an electrical motor to enable simple midday switches between sitting and standing.
The most important real estate within any workplace though, is of course the kitchen. With plenty of space (and filled with lots of free food and drinks), it’s the core communal hub of our office. Some organized events take place here, such as regular lunch-and-learn sessions – complete with free pizza – or monthly teatime celebrations, which include delicious home cooking from the heritage of whoever’s turn it is to host that month. It’s also not uncommon to catch a handful of NetMotioners playing videogames or just hanging out, too.
So, we’re proud to be a growing part of Victoria’s vibrant tech scene, and a key piece of NetMotion’s exciting and ambitious journey. If you think it’s something you’d like to be a part of, too, then please do get in touch. We certainly take prospective applications as well as formal ones, as we’re always on the hunt for new talent.