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An Office With a View: New SE2 HQ Offers Vision for Post-pandemic Workplace

November 2, 2021

This summer, as the shortcomings of working virtually started to really sink in, SE2 put out a broad call for an officemate to share a physical space. 

Our 15-person agency wanted to return to a hybrid schedule that mixed the flexibility of working from home with the energy and connection that comes from collaborating IRL.

We had let our old lease expire, wasting over $100,000 as it gathered dust during the pandemic. 

After that, we certainly didn’t want to sign another expensive lease for an office we only used part of the workweek.

Our “Officemate Wanted” post described our vision for more efficient and creative use of office space.

Our blog produced a lot of comments and a few nibbles, but we didn’t reel in our perfect match — at first. 

Frankly, it surprised us that more organizations weren’t trying to think differently about how to adapt to the post-pandemic work environment. 

Lacking a clear path forward, we used an established co-working space as a temporary bridge. It was … fine.

On the upside, the co-working space was relatively flexible and comfortable and our team got to interact more in person.

But ultimately it didn’t give us a sense of place that our own office does — essential for cultivating and sustaining a strong culture.

Fortunately, in the meantime, our commercial real estate broker Benjamin Grajzgrund of CRESA embraced our vision and played matchmaker, introducing us to interior architect Seth Barber of Studio B2SJ.

Seth had extra space to share in his striking Denver office, appropriately called the Idea Garage. 

We met and decided we were a match made in coworking heaven. 

Seth designs distinctive interiors for creative companies, including ad agencies, and his own office is as breathtaking as you’d expect. 

We moved in and our team started working in our new space today.

Here’s how we’re benefiting:

  • We’re paying a lot less than for a comparable office for just ourselves.
  • We’re getting a ready-made innovative, creative space.
  • We got to choose our officemate, and he’s cool.

Steve Staeger at 9News’ Next with Kyle Clark visited the new digs Monday and described our journey and what it suggests for the commercial real estate market, including downtown Denver, where office workers still have not returned in large numbers. 

Our take could be applied to most things post-pandemic: Those who use this liminal experience to evolve and think creatively will thrive while those who resist change will struggle. 

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