We've been moving house! Well, office.
We're not going to spend too much time selling you on how good this has been for our brand or how our new space is every so much an "upgrade" as it is an "our landlords sold our last place". As much as we've been reassured that “everything happens for a reason”, the truth is the process of finding a new space and moving into has been way more difficult and clumsy than forming this sentence.
It’s been weird and it’s still weird, but rather than masking our insecurity and displacement anxiety with an obnoxious rant, here’s some productive lessons we learned about moving office as an agency.
1. It’s easy to get comfortable where you are.
This was basically the “denial” phase for us. We didn’t WANT to move. It was Iconic’s first-ever office, and it was selected with Goldilocks-grade anal retentiveness: we had months to make sure the place we moved into was Just Right. We'd always planned to move eventually and grow but it was a lot easier for us to find reasons why moving was dumb instead of doing anything productive about it. The old office had just got new floors, fresh paint, fancy signage, and we had to just choke-swallow all of that and start looking for another place. So naturally we wasted a lot of time just NOT looking for a new office because we all agreed it was stupid that we had to.
2. You’ll be super-picky at first, and then super-forgiving, and both are dangerous.
With two months to move into new premises, the beginning of that time meant that we waved off every place that was shown to us by virtue of it NOT being our current office. Eventually, with about three weeks to spare before we had to move out for good, we nearly signed a lease for an office that'd been built sort of right under an ancient, rumbling elevator in a building that is to architecture what Old Yeller is to a family pet: something that should be humanely put down for everyone’s safety. Thankfully we DIDN’T go through with Old Yeller, purely through dumb luck, and here we need to reveal an important lesson: like the River Styx, there is an unending stream of perpetually homeless businesses scuttling through the void like naked hermit crabs, but they have more money and desperation than you, and ANY halfway decent office you look at and need a day to think about will have been snapped up by the next morning.
3. It’s going to cost so much money.
We got lucky because of a misunderstanding - a nice place we’d seen before was miscommunicated as being sold and we managed to lock it down before anyone else did, which is just the sneakiest kind of trap because our mindset was one of having won something where the prize was “you get to spend money”. Putting down a deposit is a ridiculous amount of money, and that’s just for the shell of your trappings. That’s without the business internet you need, maybe the entire floor you have to also put in because for some quirky reason your new landlord thought you might not need one, the alarm system you need to install. You know. Little things like that. Little things, that cost a lot.
4. Your movers and utilities guys will treat you like a booty call.
This isn’t really a funny metaphor. The moving company will treat you the way millennials treat prospective sexual partners: vague texts with hours between responses. You’ll feel dirty, used, but savagely and depressingly dependent on them.
5. Things will keep finding a way to cost money.
This last bit of advice isn’t something we feel is specific to this list - you should just expect to live your life this way, until paying for something stops being your problem altogether, like maybe when Death welcomes you in His bony embrace. What other surprise costs did we completely overlook? The original quote we got for air-conditioning is more than double what it was (and the original was a triple-zero figure), because air conditioners have a big ugly box-shaped asshole that has to hang outside the building, and like any asshole, nobody wants to look at it, so we need to pay for pipes that loop way around the back so nobody has to deal with it. We needed very specific blinds because our office consists partly of pale video editors who need complete darkness to work, and partly of people who are all like “but we can see the mountain and harbour from both sides, we can’t block out the view!” And on top of that we’re across the road from the Woodstock Kitchen and even Michelle Obama couldn’t stay away from that place, so we’re spending our lunch money on their ridiculously delicious gourmet buffet bullshit every day. We’re haemorrhaging cash.
So, we’ve emerged out the other end feeling... slimy. But so do newborn babes, and as comfortable and safe as the womb might have been, once you slip out of it, there’s no crawling back up in there again. And to use cognitive dissonance as a crutch, we've all decided that it's been a good excuse for us to find a bigger spot and fill it with glass boardrooms and whiskey bars and interns.
Or we could also just drain our business account and wallpaper absolutely all our surfaces with cash. That would cost us roughly the same.
Now, back to our scheduled programming.