• Rachel Kim

Optimal Environment, Optimal Product: Feng Shui at a Tech Startup

The notion that our environment influences how we think and behave is not novel; in fact it is sufficiently self-evident. Have you ever vacationed near a beach and felt the vastness seep in as calm or felt discomfort in an uncomfortable setting and sought shelter or even cleaned a room of clutter and found yourself more clear headed? Since even the earliest times, human beings have been attuned to their environment as a necessary means of survival indicating that there is an instinctive awareness to our surroundings.

The 9 to 5 employee is subject just as the vacationer or Marie Kondo is to the physical space she occupies as she carries out her daily tasks. Her setting may vary vastly from traditional office models to open floor plans to standing desks and pods and everything in between, but within these confines, output is expected.

For companies, actualizing the ideal setup inside their office space to be conducive to productivity may be equally as prudent as hiring the right employee. For a company like PVX, a tech startup servicing buyers and sellers in transacting local television dollars, how far does the office floor plan contribute to a thriving company culture and to yielding success?

We begin with the objective of PVX: to provide innovative and indispensable solutions to the local media market. To achieve this, programmers, developers, researchers, sales people, and data teams must work in concert every day to create the most optimal product that answers the industry’s needs. With many members working to build a single product, a solid means of communication and collaboration is paramount. Through practical applications like intranet software, centralization of internal documents, and coordination at the managerial level, interdepartmental correspondence can be systematized. Within PVX, this goal for connectivity is again reiterated in the open floor plan.

A physical lack of barriers strips away divisions in teams, elevates synergy, and seamlessly bridges the technical and adaptive efforts of the project. Rhonda Thomas, Account Executive on the DSP team, agrees with the open setting. “It allows me to quickly review new releases with developers and quality assurance personnel and provide insight from my field notes working with clients as well as input from my personal experience.” Rhonda leverages 20 years as a buyer.

Seung Lee, Lead Quality Assurance Engineer also finds the open floor plan valuable especially in his line of work. “In my day to day, I need to be in contact with the different aspects of the company. I’ll need to talk to the developers as well as the business sides to ensure all technical requirements are met. Less walls, more communication.”

In addition to collaboration, the shared workspace makes visually palpable the idea that everyone is working towards the same goal. This leads to camaraderie and boosts morale overall, since everyone feels part of the team. Michelle Sumner, Account Executive on the SSP team says, “It’s great being able to communicate with my coworkers throughout the day.”

At PVX, our employees come together every day to create smart technology. The goal is to deliver a product that is not only cutting edge but provides real solutions to the demands of buyers and sellers in local broadcast and our workspace which contributes to collaboration nurtures our mission.