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A space to call our own – Why and how we built the Atomicwork office

The thought and effort that went into designing our first physical office in Bangalore, and how it reflects our deep commitment to our mission.

The core purpose of Atomicwork is to help companies build exceptional employee experiences. We're passionate about our mission, and we work tirelessly to deliver innovative solutions that help companies create positive, meaningful experiences for their employees.

So it's only natural that we prioritize creating a fantastic employee experience for our own team.

To this end, we recently opened our first physical office in Bangalore, and the thought and effort that went into designing this space reflects our deep commitment to our mission.

We spoke to Vijay Rayapati, the co-founder and CEO of Atomicwork, and Aashit Verma, the founder of Hanto Workspaces, to take us through the six-month journey from paper to product.

The need

Vijay:

When we launched Atomicwork, we knew that it was not going to be back to 100% in-person work. At the same time, we felt that working with a purely remote team would also be challenging, especially in the early days of a startup when we need to brainstorm and bounce ideas a lot – you can only do so many of those activities online. Even though a lot of us got better at remote collaboration, I believe that in-person arrangements make collaborations a tad better.

Right from day one, we were certain that we will be having something in-between, a hybrid-first workplace.

We wanted to let people have the opportunity to meet and collaborate in person whenever they want to, and work solo from wherever they are for the rest of the time.

We decided that the team would come and work together in Bangalore for a week every month. And sometimes people wanted to meet more often as well. To facilitate those needs, we decided to give shared office spaces a shot and booked a few hot desks with them.

And in about three to four months, we realized that coworking spaces weren’t working for us.

They were a bit crowded for our liking – it felt like every startup had shifted its base to shared workspaces. Because of this, we had very little privacy – we couldn’t freely write down data and strategic ideas on the board, and leave them unattended. We had trouble with parking our vehicles. The access control was difficult. We were having many issues with basic amenities and facilities as well.

This led us into exploring the option of getting our own office space. A compact but well-equipped office space that was built for our specific needs.

We needed our own space where we didn't have to be worried about what we write on the board, or how loud we talk.

The location

Vijay:

Our expectations about the place were clear. We needed a space with around 10 seaters, a couple of meeting pods, and a conference room. The office needed to have reliable power and network infrastructure.

And of course, the locality was important – it needed to have a lot of food options around.

After a lot of search and research, we finally landed on a space in Bangalore that met all our requirements. And the best part was, even though this was a managed office, it was a newly built complex, which meant that we could design it to suit our taste and needs.

We worked with the Hanto team to design and build the office space from scratch.

The ideation

Aashit:

Designing space at Hanto has always been an organic process. Geethanjali and Veidehi from our team were in constant touch with the Atomicwork team, understanding their vision of the space and capturing key requirements that excite them about their new office.

Vijay:

We involved almost the entire founding team in the process of reviewing the layouts and color palette.

We got the designer to talk to the team members as well, to get to know our collective taste – what colors we like and don’t like, do we prefer to work in well-lit spaces or dimly-lit corners, do we like small indoor plants or large ones, do we like wooden floors or carpets, and so on. The entire team was fully engaged in this project, actively sharing their inputs and helping us shape the space.

Just like how we are building our product, we went through multiple iterations of the office.

And we eventually fixed Layout Five.

The theme

Aashit:

We chose a minimalist design inspired by Japanese culture and that became the pivot for our complete space design.

The entrance bare wall represents the open nature of Atomicwork, contrasted by the artwork with geometric patterns and warm colors. The entrance lounge has a warm and minimalistic pantry, coupled with casual seating in front.

We wanted the entrance to create an atmosphere that was welcoming, warm, and energetic at the same time.

The rattan ceiling was designed to further highlight the organized structure of Atomicwork while also making the space look posh. The rattan ceilings are also reminiscent of Tatami ceilings from Japanese interior design style.

The minimalistic library units also draw inspiration from Japandi-style interiors.

The layout

Vijay:

In most coworking and office spaces, they cram the area with as many desks as possible – they wouldn’t leave even a square foot of empty space. We didn’t want that.

Even though the space we got was small, we didn’t want to cram it with too many things.

A big conference room – sufficient to house the entire team and not be cramped while doing so. An ample source of natural light. A generous addition of real plants. A dedicated space for people to sit down, relax, or have a casual chat.

We wanted the office layout to be open and spacious.

Aashit:

The conference room hosts three large wooden panels with hand-drawn artwork. The art on these panels represents prosperity and growth.

We picked wooden panels as the base for the artwork to continue our warmth theme and layer unique elements in the boardroom.

Beams in the conference room were also cladded with wood to further accentuate the Japanese theme.
Three calling pods were placed opposite the conference room with a large walking space that leads to the workstation area.
The workstation area is designed for focused work while still making it easy for everyone to come together and brainstorm.

Many technical aspects were considered when designing the space for Atomicwork.

One key aspect was to make the complete space visible from the entrance corner.

Our layout also ensures that the space is flooded with ambient light throughout the day. The carpets were selected to dampen the sound in the space. Washrooms were also designed with ample space to ensure easy cleaning and hygiene.

The result

Aashit:

We predominantly worked with Vijay and Sai from the Atomicwork team, who were down-to-earth, warm, and organized. We soon realized that this was true for the entire Atomicwork team.

And we wanted to capture that very essence into the office design, while infusing Hanto’s design ethos into the mix.

We wanted to create a space that was aesthetic, functional, and intentional. And that’s precisely what we accomplished.

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