From green pastures to Swiss market leader in just four years. This incredible growth can be seen not only in the number of customers and employees and the turnover figures, but as of May 2022 will also be reflected by a brand-new office in trendy Zürich West. We talk to Simon Moser, Skribble COO, who explains why he's all over the place when he thinks about the new office and what the "New Work" approach has to do with the choice of the new office building.
An era of growth: Skribble is moving
Skribble is moving. Where to?
Yes, I’m really excited about this! We’re relocating our headquarters to the trendy Zürich West (Kreis 5) quarter at the start of May 2022. After a long search that was delayed even further due to Covid, we’ve finally found our perfect office match.
The new office on the 16th floor of the On Labs building at Förrlibuckstrasse 190 is the perfect fit for us, both in terms of location – it’s just minutes from Hardbrücke train station – and because of its inspiring surroundings. Our neighbours now include important partners such as our trust services provider Swisscom, various promising start-ups such as Beekeeper, Ledgy and Scandit, Swiss unicorn companies such as the sports brand On and universities such as the ZHdK (Zurich University of the Arts).
Aside from geographical location, what else will be changing?
Moving to the new site will mean we have much more space. This of course applies to our workstations, but we’ll also have more space for workshops, meetings and informal socialising. We’re particularly excited about the large common room – including barista coffee machines – and the spacious roof terrace that’s the perfect spot for after-work drinks and barbecues, especially on warm days.
But not everything is changing: We’ll stay with FlexOffice and their ‘New Work’ approach. We’ve already had very good experiences with these schemes at our Fraumünsterstrasse site, and we’re really pleased to be continuing with them at Förrlibuckstrasse too.
Dennis Butzke, Head of Location Management, FlexOffice
We are excited and proud that the Skribble team will be staying with FlexOffice. As one of FlexOffice's very first tenants, we have witnessed the development, growth and all the successes of Skribble. The team brings our spaces to life with a very unique spirit and flow, and fits well with the innovative and dynamic community at On Labs.
Why did Skribble decide to move?
The main reason was the lack of space. We’ve grown a lot over the last two years – in terms of our customer base, our turnover and also our workforce. Over 25 new Skribblers have joined the team over the last two years.
The move is therefore about more than just a change of location; it’s a symbol of our growth. And it’s a sign of our gratitude to our team and its performance. We wanted to give something back to our employees by giving them the space they need to stay motivated, think outside the box and think big.
Working on the 16th floor, that is, above Zurich's rooftops, will undoubtedly lead to even more enthusiasm and more inspiration – and this will spur us on in our scale-up.
Is Skribble now playing in the premier league?
(Laughs) Maybe not exactly, but we’re on the right path. The location of the new office, surrounded by both established and up-and-coming companies, certainly reflects our ambition to become a market leader in Europe. We’re now working side by side with scale-ups such as Beekeeper, Ledgy, Scandit and Yokoy, all of which are definitely a step ahead of us in terms of their experience and internationalisation, for example. We’re really looking forward to putting our heads together in the future and making use of our synergies.
Skribble currently has 57 employees, and the number is rising. But the new office only has 30 workstations. How is this going to work?
At Skribble, we have a very modern work culture. For us, ‘New Work’ is more than just a trendy buzzword. It was important to us that our employees had the opportunity to decide for themselves exactly how they wanted to work – and not just because of Covid restrictions. From discussions with our employees, it quickly became clear that an office with 57 or more workstations simply wouldn’t be profitable.
Firstly, because the majority of our employees work part-time – and this includes our management team. Secondly, because we have a lot of working from home or remotely; we allow all employees to work from abroad for 10 weeks of the year. And thirdly, because some team members are actually based outside Switzerland anyway (in countries including Germany, the Netherlands and Uruguay).
If we do want to have more workstations in the future though, we’ll be able to expand the office area.
Simon Moser, COO Skribble
One of our core values is: “We create a safe environment to experiment and grow”. And this was something that we kept at the back of our minds when looking for our new office.
As well as in Zurich, Skribble has a site in Karlsruhe, Germany. Are there plans to set up a new office there, too?
There aren’t currently any plans along these lines for the Karlsruhe site.
You’re one of the original members of the Skribble team – how do you feel when you think about how the company began?
When I think about what our very first office looked like, I can definitely say that a lot has happened since then (laughs). What we’ve created with Skribble makes me really happy and proud.
Skribble offices in retrospect ...
2018 - 2019
2020 - April 2022
From May 2022
What are you still looking forward to when you think about the future?
I’m looking forward to seeing my colleagues in person more often again and getting to know them better as individuals rather than just workmates over lunch or a beer on a Friday afternoon. In-person meetings simply have a different power and dynamic that have a positive impact on the flow of information and creativity. And I’m sure that this will also be reflected in motivation and productivity.
Anyone who’s ever moved house will know just how much of an undertaking it is. And an office move is in a whole new league – how did you do it?
Because our current office on Fraumünsterstrasse is relatively small and we ultimately needed everything to happen very quickly, we did a lot of the work ourselves. So to a certain extent, we actually drew on one of our ‘core values’: ‘We believe in the magic of helpfulness’. And I have to say that it worked really well. Everyone got stuck in.
Will you be celebrating the move to the new office?
Yes, definitely! We wouldn’t miss an opportunity to have a party (smiles). After a tour through the entire office, we’ll be raising a glass to mark the start of this exciting new chapter. And if the weather allows, we’ll be taking our drinks outside to officially open the roof terrace.
Thank you Simon for your time. We will celebrate this new chapter appropriately.