Name: Sarah Rapp, Community Manager at Behance
Location: Soho, New York
Size: 15 people
Tell us a bit about Behance: Behance is all about empowering creative professionals to make ideas happen. We believe that creative people are often the people who struggle the most with productivity; all of Behance’s sites and services are here to offer up avenues to address this and help.
We make notebooks (Creative Outfitter) and a software (Action Method Online) designed to offer task management for creative thinkers. At our think tank, The 99%, you’ll find insights from our research on creative productivity in the form of articles and tips (think “what happens after inspiration”). The biggest piece of the puzzle is the Behance Network, where creative professionals can broadcast their work widely through our platform.
How would you describe your office? Our office is located in Soho on the 8th floor, so we’re lucky to have great views of downtown Manhattan, and lots of light streaming in during the afternoon. Almost all of our furniture is by Coalesse, including our conference table and chairs, and several couches throughout the office - we’re psyched to have these comfortable, contemporary pieces in our space.
Beyond aesthetics, what’s most important in the design of our office is functionality, so we have many tools incorporated in the office design that can help us move forward. One wall has been transformed into the team’s “project board,” and another several are painted in white Idea Paint, which you can write directly on with dry erase markers.
So, although we preach organization, there are times when are walls are covered in dry erase scrawlings, or mock-ups of what a new project is going to look like. It definitely gets a somewhat “beautiful mind” vibe in here at times, but just as quickly, the walls could be cleared and white the next day.
In terms of layout and organization of your work space, what are specific details that you’re particularly proud of? The Project Board is a unique piece that’s very important to our methodology, and I think we all have a bit of a love-hate relationship with it. It’s somewhat hidden from office guests, as it’s on the opposite side of the office from the conference room. Where the team sits, though, it’s an in-your-face presence that we’re somewhat forced to look at, and consider the projects and deadlines as we go about our days.
Even when it’s not actively being used, it’s a good reminder of what we’re about and to always keep in mind what comes next.
What’s on your desk/computer desktop at this moment? Coffee cup, Muji pen holder, Behance Action Journal, iPhone, headphones. I also keep a checklist taped to my desks of recurring tasks that must be done each night before leaving the office, in case I haven’t done them yet that day.
Favorite thing about your workspace? We all get to sit together. We’re loosely organized by department, but the setup of a large open space allows a lot of communication, and of course internet show & tell.
What do you hate about your workspace? Being in one of Manhattan’s busiest neighborhoods has its advantages, but Soho (especially in the Summer) becomes a bit of a tourist playground, and the crowds take over!
What inspires your blog? Behance is all about being productive. We want our community to be inspired, but stay organized and productive at the same time that they’re expending all this creative energy.
Is it reflected in your workspace? Yes, I think so. We’ve definitely set up systems for ourselves in the office to aid organized creativity and innovation. Our team is encouraged to go crazy with an idea all of the wall, or spread out on our large desks.
Our office is very Mac-centric - almost all of us have huge Mac media monitors. It’s always a shock to me to switch to my laptop at home, and realize that I can’t get nearly as much done as home with my 12" screen. We rely on the resources here to multi-task and keep a fast work pace.
Any tips or advice about office décor, layout or organization? My advice is to surround yourself with pieces and tools that are inspiring, but not distracting. For me personally, having a clean workspace is of the utmost importance, so my large desk with just a notebook, computer, (and a bit of caffeine) handy is all I need.
It’s tempting to cover a wall in art and designs to strive for a really unique and homey feel, but this can be a bit risky. At Behance, we’re fairly restrained with our wall hangings, and have a few select pieces up that are important to us, such as framings of some of our earliest ideas and designs, as well as the the “Keep Calm and Carry On” print. Especially in an office space, where it’s so important to stay in the right mindset, too much of a good thing is just that, too much.
Images: Oscar Ramos (Curator at Behance) and Zach McCullough (Senior Designer at Behance)
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