This week we spoke to Tiffani Graydon, CEO of Yealands Wine Group, about her and her team’s experience at Alberts so far. Needless to say, she’s a happy camper and it’s great to see the team are taking advantage of our Club spaces! If you’re thinking of joining Alberts, read on to find out what you could enjoy…
How did you hear about Alberts?
‘We found out about Alberts through Barfoot and Thompson. We were on the hunt for a new site, we saw a couple of other spaces and then Laura, who was leading the search, was shown Alberts. She was very excited when she came here and said to me ‘we’ve found our place’.
I really wanted to move us to a place that facilitates creative thinking and our previous place was very quiet, void of energy and without a community surrounding you there is no one else feeding into your own cultural vibe.
What made the Alberts model appealing to you?
The key things for us were, firstly, the flexibility of the spaces and creating our own bespoke suite. It felt right for our brand to be able to curate our space, which is tailored to our cultural as well as practical needs, and then also have access to the Club. We have been able to enjoy the true flexibility of creating our own bespoke space without restraints like meetings rooms, because they’re covered by the Club. For example, instead of allocating space to large board rooms we were able to prioritise a large central table, which is very much a family-style space for brainstorms, meals and more. This is a huge element of our in-suite culture, which is so important to us. The beauty of the suite is that you’re paying for the space you’re actually using, not paying for that boardroom you might use for one hour every two to three days.
The next key feature was the connectivity in terms of shared spaces and networking. We really came for the vibe – in our previous location we felt very isolated. As a wine business, we’re all about social events and connecting with others, we’re a young team too.
We really felt like Alberts had a soul, or rather a pulse, and as a young company that’s so important to us. Our previous location was so quiet, at times you can feel a bit starved of energy and even from within our suite here you can feel the energy of the place.
How have you found the Concierge team, as this is quite a unique feature of Alberts?
With the Concierge it does feel like a big family, they are just epic! They know everyone’s names, which team you’re from and always engage when you see them. They are very friendly and there’s not a hint of aloofness, there’s nothing pretentious about the team themselves or the Concierge concept, it really is very inclusive.
What was your working style in your previous office space – i.e. has it changed since joining Alberts?
I think the team have really adapted to actively using the spaces which is great to see. After the lockdown last year no one was in our old office, we then moved 2 months later to a short-term work-from-home set-up whilst our Alberts space was completed. It was a very stop-start period and I was interested to see what pattern the team get into when we arrived. I know my team are using the spaces all the time because I do and I see them everywhere!
It’s awesome for your mindset, if you’re stuck on something at your desk or staring at your screen that change of scenery and vibe is enough to reset your headspace.
Have you visited Palmer Bar yet? If so, how did you find it?
We have all been a couple of times, and the food was epic! In fact, we’re still talking about the cabbage dish! It’s a great addition to Alberts as well – we’re already spoilt for choice in terms of social space and Palmer is a fantastic plus. When we first moved in, before Palmer opened, we had an event in the Club on Level 1, and we’ve also hosted an event within our suite which was really fun.
Have your team been enjoying the perks at Alberts, like our drinks events and free massages?
The real stand-out event so far for us was the Dog Day! We had about five or six of our team bring in their dogs that day. I’m a real dog person, and some of the team asked me ‘is it too posh at Alberts to bring our dogs?’ which made me laugh, of course, we can bring them in! So the Dog Day was a lot of fun for the team.
Your bespoke suite is really impressive, how did you find the design process with the Alberts team?
Laura coordinated pretty much everything from our side and worked with the CRTL_ team really well. We found there were great ideas and a great willingness from everyone involved to make sure the space aligned with how our office needs to work on a cultural level, to fit in with our brand. From a processes point of view, it was pretty seamless – I’ve built houses and this was a breeze! Robin and his team were also great, I can’t really fault it. They were very malleable and understood that sometimes decisions in practicality have teething issues or don’t quite work, so that flexibility to really get it right was so appreciated.
We have a bold colour choice for our carpet which has ended up being such a fabulous part of our space. Emily from CTRL_ suggested a green because she really understood our brand and knew that the standard beige colour palette wasn’t totally us. The bold choice has really paid off and, we feel, reflects the fun we have here.
You’re the first suite to incorporate your own phone booths, that can also be found on Level 2. How are your team enjoying them?
The phone booths are epic, the team were straight in there, especially as most of our team are based in Marlborough so we do a lot of teams calls. One guy in our sales team is constantly on the phone and he was in there about a dozen times on day one in the office! He might start putting up family pictures in there. Our last place had no soundproofing, and although open plan really suits us it is so useful to have a pod you can jump into and not worry about disrupting the team around you.
What would you say to any prospective SME tenant who was considering Alberts as their new workspace?
I would say absolutely go for it, you won’t regret it! I think everyone making such a big decision about moving spaces can feel a little bit of doubt about taking the plunge, especially as a business leader having to make a big decision for the whole team but I would say absolutely do it.
I can’t speak highly enough about the spaces, the Alberts team everything – genuinely.’
Thank you Tiffani for your insight and your time, we hope this helps anyone who is considering Alberts to take that plunge!