New Year, New World, New Office

Over a year ago, we shared the exciting news that IFN was moving to a new HQ. We purchased the building at 722 N. High School Road on the west side of Indianapolis from the Wabash Valley Power Alliance (one of our member/owners). Our plan was to occupy the northeast section of the building while demolition began on the northwest tower to prepare for upcoming renovations.

We were just getting settled into our new space in the first quarter of 2020 when coronavirus necessitated sending most of us to work from our home offices, leaving our new building nearly empty. Never imagining that the few anticipated weeks of working from home would end up being most of 2020, we took advantage of a quiet space to begin our planned renovations.

IFN engaged the architect firm DKGR, to help us envision the potential of what our offices could be in the future. Working with architect John Albrecht and interior designer Amanda Clark, we wanted to transform the outdated space into a modern environment. Our renovation goals included opening up the space, taking advantage of natural light and many windows, and utilizing the “good bones” of the building to create an environment geared to collaboration and allow for IFN’s growth. It was important that our working space enhance who we are as a company.

Before: Dark brick and low ceilings made the space feel closed in. Outdated furniture and lighting fixtures needed a revamp.

 

After: Bright patterns that draw the eye upward to abundant lighting opens up space. New, contemporary furniture in contrasting whites and pops of color give the space a clean and modern feel.

Like so many things, our renovation timeline was impacted a bit by the effects of COVID-19. We ran into a few supply issues and delays, but with our excellent partners including DKGR, our contractor Blaze Construction, and Business Furniture, our project progressed and the final load of furniture was delivered in late October!

There is plenty of space to spread out and collaborate, with many options to work in comfortable, quiet areas.

As we began the new year, we were still primarily working remotely. Was it hard to see our beautiful new space take shape and not be able to share it with the world? Yes! We did have a socially distanced open house for our employees and do allow a limited number of our team to come into the building each day.

Room to grow in the new building has ensured that social distancing is possible for IFN employees who choose to work in the office. Many continue to work from home full-time, and we’re glad to be able to provide the flexibility needed to do so.

Some may think COVID heralds the “death of the office” because everyone will work from home permanently from now on. We disagree. COVID has shown how resilient our employees are and how smoothly our operations can run no matter where we’re working. But there’s also something missing – that communal space to collaborate, chat, socialize, and problem-solve in real-time. Zoom will never quite be the same as being together in one space.

While we also don’t know what 2021 has in store for us, some of us are already glad to be returning to the office. We are ecstatic to welcome everyone back to the building when it’s safe to do so. In the meantime, we’ll keep “zooming” along and planning for the much-anticipated office homecoming party to celebrate our new space and the connections that make IFN such a great place to work!