It is rugged to work in a noisy and crowded workplace which could be really distracting and frustrating, thereby curbing the productivity. With a user base of over 100 mn, India’s only homegrown messaging app, Hike, certainly cannot afford to slow down and unproductive employees. Its previous office was located in Signature Tower Gurgaon which was about 10,000 Sqft spreading across two floors. But it was not enough as the manpower was huge. Kavin Bharti Mittal , the 27-year-old founder and CEO of Hike could sense the lack of space ,therefore decided to build a new headquarters for Hike and this time it’s spread over a gross leaseable area of 59,584 sqft, with a carpet area of over 35,000 square feet.
Entering the World mark 1 building in Aerocity, New Delhi ,where the Hike HQ is located was like entering a fortress.
On entering the new hike office an envoy passport is generated for the visitors. Envoy is a San Francisco-based startup that offers iPad-based sign-in software that helps in registration and checking-in process for office visitors.
“When we set out on this project, the goal was to break away from what we know to be an office today. We really wanted to build an environment that would inspire people to do the best work of their lives every day,” said Kavin.
He explained that the office was visualized as a ‘Temple of Excellence’’ and based on the 11 Hike Code – the operating principles of Hike. It was designed by Kavin and three of his colleagues – Sunil Mahala, Deepak Jose and Dhananjay Garg.
The office offers seating space for about 400 people. There are no cubicles nor any designated offices. Everyone, including the leadership team, sits in open space organised by different sections where small cross functional teams of 8-10 people can sit together ,so that every one can share its ideas openly.
However, the most impressive feature of this office is the special areas and rooms it has all across. There are areas like the Garden, which is covered with grass like flooring and immensely comfortable hammocks . The picket or fence, bordering the garden area, was specially designed and built by the Hike team itself. “We have very specifically chosen each piece of furniture for each section of our office,” says Kavin.
He says, “We wanted to build some spaces in the office that were away from the office.” Therefore, there are various specially designed rooms based on specific themes that allow employees to take a break from their stations and focus on their work in these rooms.
There are gaming-centric rooms with funky names like 8-Bit (from Mario), Teen Patti and AK-47 (Poker), but the ones that struck me the most were the rooms inspired by Shire of Lord Of The Rings , namely Hobbiton, Shire and Bag End. The round Shire door beckons you to enter the Shire room and the map of The Lonely Mountains painted on the walls of Hobbiton will give you the motivation to fight even the mighty Smaug.
Also ,there is the meditation room with soundproof walls and signal jammers that offers a peaceful environment to meditate reducing the stress levels.
There is a cosy nap room with bunk beds and sleeping bags for people who work late and prefer to stay back.
They can wake up next morning, workout in the fully-equipped gym, hit the showers and be fresh and ready for another day’s work, so cool.
The 24/7 cafeteria has the vibe of a European cafe, a sports bar, a table tennis table, Xbox and even a Pool table. There’s even a huge screen in the cafeteria, where the townhalls happen.
There are many standing areas where people can work, hang out . But for people who love sitting, there are these incredibly conformable chairs placed all across the office.
Writeable walls and dual lighting, dim and ambient, further allow employees to personalize the setting depending on their moods.
The office is not just beautiful, it’s efficient too. For instance it has storm water management, on-site waste-water segregation and reduced water consumption add to the sustainability quotient of this workplace. On the technology side, the office has a telepresence robot that facilitates long distance meetings and Estimate smart beacons that can track people in the dispersed office.
“The new workplace is a strong reflection of our culture today, but more importantly, what we aspire it to be. It truly is the new benchmark on how everything should be done at Hike; beautiful yet simple and more importantly, it just works,” Kavin sums up.
Hike Delhi Office Address:
4th Floor, Worldmark 1
Northern Access Road, Aerocity
Indira Gandhi International Airport
New Delhi, Delhi 110037 – India