Before COVID-19, digital agency Grow was busy planning a big new office campus to house its operations and those of a number of local businesses. The pandemic upended its original plans but Grow is opening doors next month on a new facility spanning three restored historic buildings in downtown Norfolk, VA.
The 100,000+ sq. ft. complex will house Grow as well as architects, nonprofits, coffee roasters and engineering firms. Thus far, the building is 80% leased, which Grow says underscores the demand for workplaces designed for the future.
As the pandemic progressed, agency leaders say they realized they needed to readjust their initial project. “That’s when we leaned into the hybrid model,” says Drew Ungvarsky, founder/CEO, Grow. “The office would still be the center point for company culture, relationships and collaboration.”
The complex’s on-site amenities include a podcast recording booth, game room, library and wellness/mother’s room. Restrooms are equipped with showers.
Now, with the expectation that a hybrid work environment is likely to continue, Ungvarsky incorporated “thoughtful features” to streamline the virtual experience, such as massive touchscreens with a split view of a digital whiteboard and camera view of remote participants, and secondary cameras mounted in meeting rooms from an angle positioned to look as if you were standing next to the person at the front of the room.
“Our staff is excited knowing they will have the best of both worlds – the ability to work from home and the opportunity to come into the office,” Ungvarsky says. “We do believe that our culture, relationships and collaborative work style will motivate people to want to be present at [the office] for at least some of their work schedules. We’re looking forward to the collaboration and community afforded by this space.”