In 2015, LinkUp, a 16-year-old, 30-employee company, made a big move from the suburbs in St. Louis Park to the top floor of the Kickernick building in the Minneapolis Warehouse District — arguably the fastest-growing business district in Minnesota. Their new 6,000-square-foot space features exposed original brick and wood, hardwood floors, raised desks and an open layout.
I asked LinkUp CFO Dianne Austgen why the company made the move, and how the organization’s physical office space and location have made a difference in the lives of employees.
Workers Have Embraced the Urban Environment
Even though the leadership team was excited about the move, Austgen says they were a little nervous that some employees would be hesitant about the change. “For most of the company’s history we’d been in the suburbs,” she says. “We had some concerns that people might not like the shift to downtown, but we didn’t see that happen at all.”
LinkUp employees can now take advantage of the significant perks of a downtown office. “People can easily go out for lunch, go out for a walk or to the gym, or go to the grocery store a few blocks away, and they’re never limited by having to get in a car,” she says. “People get out more in this location.”
In addition, she says, “about half of our people take public transportation to work, and several bike. In our previous location, that wasn’t an option.”
She describes some fun new traditions employees have developed in the urban space. “The new office has created a different dynamic,” she says. For example, several employees recently created a mini-golf course with ramps and PVC pipes that snaked through the office. “There was a water hole with real water,” she says. “We had a tournament several months ago, and to this day, pieces of the course are still around. Every now and then people will pull out the golf clubs and play. We have more fun here, and the space has a definite impact on that.”
LinkUp Now Has a Magnet for New Talent
“We’ve found that downtown offers an energy that’s attractive to our existing team and our new hires,” she says. “We can see a difference in the talent that’s coming our way, in part because of our new location.” She says she loves to watch new people react when they walk into the downtown space: “That first impression is distinctive.”
Minneapolis is a great location for LinkUp because of the people, she says. “The [Twin] Cities have a lot to offer. We have a thriving business environment, a great energy downtown and a wide pool of talented, hard-working people here.”
Overall, she says, the new LinkUp office “has really made a difference in the life and future of the company.”
The New Space Reflects the Fun, Friendly Culture
“It’s important for us to create an environment people want to work in,” Austgen says. So when the company’s lease in the suburbs was up, she and the rest of the LinkUp leadership team started looking for an office location and physical space that would enhance their existing culture, which she describes as collaborative, hard working, and fun.
The results? “When you walk in it’s a ‘wow!’ ” she says. “Because of the character of this space, our office has become a big part of our culture.”
LinkUp is an online job listings platform leveraging highly-scalable technology to deliver efficient candidate sourcing solutions and predictive job market data and analytics. Completely unique in the industry, LinkUp only indexes jobs directly from employer websites. Updated daily with over 3.2 million jobs from more than 30,000 employers, LinkUp’s job platform eliminates duplicate and expired job listings, as well as job pollution.
Learn more about LinkUp at its website.
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