FARGO - What do you do to mark the construction of a $12 million company headquarters that includes a gymnasium, game room, bar, slides and a “holodeck” conference room?
Hold a big party, of course!
BNG Team employees, family, friends and the Fargo-Moorhead business community celebrated Thursday, May 30, with a ribbon cutting, speeches, food and a band, while hundreds of people took turns touring the three-story building dedicated to the proposition that working hard should also include playing hard.
“It really is a personification of who we are and who we value inside of our business,” President Ryan Goodman said. “It’s our team that’s helped us get there, and it’s our customers and our vendors and it’s our partners.”
Goodman said that three years ago, when planning began for the new HQ at 3285 47th St. S., “we were getting to the point where we were virtually sitting on each other’s laps. Our team has grown so fast, we needed a new space.”
The new building is a good working space for the more than 75 people at BNG Team, with room to accommodate twice that number, he said.
“It also allows us to reward our people through really cool things that they may never have inside of their personal home. A personal basketball court that they can use at any time … that functions as a movie theater. Slides, coffee bar, all of the things that are wrapped up into this building are really for our team, to reward our team, and reward our future employees and attract talent as well from outside of our state. To say that North Dakota is a great place to be doing business. North Dakota is a great place to work. North Dakota is a great place to raise a family,” Goodman said.
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BNG Team provides services such as credit card processing, point-of-sale systems, website development, marketing services, and payments software.
The company got its start 14 years ago when Goodman, CEO Brady Nash, and Vice President Tyler Buechler dropped out of North Dakota State University to start the business.
One of the most-talked-about features are three adult-sized slides that allow employees to tap their inner child as they travel from third floor to the second and first floors.
“I think there’s probably not another place in the state where you can get from the third floor to the first floor in an office building faster than you can inside of the BNG building,” Goodman said.
Other features include:
- A “holodeck” conference room, meant to mimic the fictional holodeck environments featured in several “Star Trek” television shows. The room uses 210 direct view light-emitting diode panels covering the floor and ceiling and two organic light-emitting diode screens. That gives the room more than 22 million pixels to offer up environments that can mimic a beach or orbiting the Earth.
- A conference room with a custom high-performance gaming computer table with liquid cooling and 9 terabytes of high-speed storage.
- A “code” conference room with a table with 9,006 computer keys that comprise a giant word-find puzzle filled with computer jargon and pop-culture references. The table legs use LED lights to highlight the company’s values written in binary code.
- A “Bison” conference room with a walnut table embedded with NDSU in brushed stainless steel, a bison statue table base and turf grass on the floor.
- A “downtown” conference room as an ode to BNG’s first office in downtown Fargo with a loading dock-inspired TV cabinet, and a brick wall wrap which emulates the view from their original office.
- A game room.
- A gymnasium with treadmills, bikes, elliptical machines, weightlifting equipment and three showers with clean towels provided by the company.
- A multi-purpose auditorium with three motorized projection screens for training and company events. Employees can also play basketball, badminton or pickleball in the space.
- A “pixel” conference room with a tabletop including 528 color pixels representing a digital color palette
- A studio for audio and video recording that features cyclorama walls to eliminate shadows.
- A Lego brick table with more than 8,400 bricks designed by P2 Industries of Fargo.
- Two infant-friendly mothers’ rooms.
- A rooftop patio, and a ground floor patio with gas grill and fire pit
- A full kitchen with two state-of-the-art coffee machines, and two kitchenettes
- Sixteen dashboard monitors for tracking company metrics.
The company even has a “dream manager.”
“His sole purpose is to be working with our employees to help them fulfill their dreams. Not only professionally, but personally. To hold them accountable to accomplish the things that they’ve always wanted to accomplish in life,” Goodman said.
The amenities support building teams, he said.
“Those areas personify the work hard, play hard atmosphere of our business,” he said.
Goodman said he and his partners believe “other companies are going to take that challenge to put their money where their mouth is and reward those who build our business alongside us, which are our employees.”
Goodman said customers might question the value of those amenities, perhaps thinking they represent an extra cost. But happy employees have great value, he said.
“It is those happy employees that will treat a customer the way that we would always as owners would want a customer to be treated,” he said. “It is this building which is helping to create great service, to feeling like when they (customers) call, they need help, someone cares. So this building is not just an expense, it’s an investment in those customers’ experience as well. Because happy employees create happy customers.”