FARGO—Even an open, modern office needs some structure—it just might not look like cubicles or stationary workspaces.
At least that's the case for marketing productivity platform company CoSchedule, which moved its Fargo staff of about 35 to a new larger office last month. The Bismarck-based company now occupies a 10,000-square-foot corner unit of Cityscapes Plaza, 630 1st Ave. N., putting the growing business at the bustling intersection of First Avenue North and Roberts Street.
"How could we say no to being right in the heart of downtown?" said Garrett Moon, CEO and co-founder of the company.
It wasn't just the prime corner location that drew Moon and Justin Walsh, a fellow co-founder and chief technology officer, to this spot. It's a big increase in space compared to the 3,000 square feet they had at their previous location, 503 7th St. N., in the Meadowlark Building.
Moon said they also liked the previously unfinished unit's open floor plan—an architectural rarity in downtown Fargo that allowed them to adapt the space for a creative, high-tech company.
CoSchedule announced the move in May, saying at the time that it had attracted $2.2 million in private investments this spring and was starting a major hiring push.
It was the latest sign of rapid growth for the 4-year-old company that started in a Bismarck office and first set up a Fargo operation with four employees in the Prairie Den co-working space, 122 1/2 Broadway N.
They've had to expand the Bismarck office four times to keep up with a growing staff that now works with more than 8,000 customers in 100 countries. Combined with CoSchedule's moves in Fargo, the company has changed or moved its offices seven times.
"We've always seen our office as an investment in recruiting and an investment in keeping the right talent within the walls," Moon said.
The staff could work in standard cubicles, he said, but they don't want to do that, and he doesn't want that kind of an office.
Instead, Moon said his goal is to provide flexibility for employees to work the way they want. That might mean they stand or sit at their workstation, he said, but they could just as easily opt to take a phone call or video chat in one of the office's small "call rooms" that offer more privacy.
Or, employees might walk to the front of the office to enjoy views of downtown life while they work from one of the "CoSchedule Cafe" tables or booths.
In addition to obvious features that aren't found in most offices, such as indoor bike racks, much of the work environment at CoSchedule's new Fargo office is made possible by technology.
Walsh said they made a major investment in video conferencing and wireless screen-sharing software that works better than many other options on the market. Collaboration is important for many businesses, but he said it's especially vital for a two-office company like CoSchedule.
"It should be as easy to start a call as it is to send an email or send someone a notification or an instant message," he said.
Even as they get through final touches on the Fargo office, the co-founders said they're already planning for future expansions. CoSchedule had 29 employees between Fargo and Bismarck as of Jan. 1, 2017, and recently saw that number climb above 65, with plans to continue hiring a few more each month.
Moon said they signed another lease with Cityscapes Plaza to expand into a 4,000-square-foot space next to their new office. That could happen within six months or so , he said.
No matter where they move or how often the office seems to change, he said his goal will always be to help employees in Fargo and Bismarck work on projects as if they aren't 200 miles apart.
"We don't want to give up any of the benefits that you get from one-on-one communication and teams being able to work together in a collaborative way," he said.
Where: 630 1st Ave. N., Fargo