360i’s London office, all 11,000 square feet of it, has that new car smell.
The agency moved in three weeks ago from a space one-third the size in Covent Garden. With six new accounts and 19 hires this year, it’s a reflection of the Dentsu Aegis firm’s rapid growth.
But the new office is about more than just elbow room. Its decor echoes the agency’s “progressive” mantra, which values fast-paced change. Gone are the landlines and standardized desks. In their place is a modular “blank canvas” that can adapt to any working set up thrown its way.
“It might sound obvious, but it makes our staff so much more mobile than before. When you’re anchored to a desk, often you feel you can’t get up,” James Townsend, 360i London’s CEO, told Digiday.
Equipped with a laptop, mobile and a locker each, staff have the freedom to work wherever they want. Be it in the noise-cancelling felt booths, the shared benches or the open-plan kitchen with Spotify playing.
There are also several enclosed meeting rooms, which are named after forward-thinking figures from history — like Coco Chanel and David Bowie — the idea for which came from creative director David Curzon.
The space is also designed to foster collaboration between the three areas of the business: insight-led planning, creative and digital media. Every Tuesday, staff are encouraged to sit next to someone new.
The departmental cross-pollination has already resulted in a new product. Ascendr is a piece of software that combines data from social media, search and influencers to predict trends. While the analytics tool is currently being used for clients’ communications work, Ascendr also has business potential, Townsend explained. For example, it could be used to predict the ingredients that will trend next Christmas for supermarket Lidl, one of its new clients.
Other new clients on the roster include Converse, NowTV and the National Lottery.
The staff of 90 driving these wins are rewarded with several perks. There’s unlimited holiday and a two-day allowance set aside each year for charity work.
“People’s lives are more varied now. We’ve got a mother of four in client services and 22-year-old American who wants to see Europe,” Townsend said.