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Secret Life of Medallians: Expanding Upstairs

This year, Medallia reached 700 employees — more than double its size at the beginning of 2014. Some of these new people joined Medallia’s blossoming international presence in New York, London, Paris and Buenos Aires, but the majority are based in Medallia’s Palo Alto headquarters.
Of course, that many new Medallians need new digs as well. To that end, we recently finished expanding onto the third floor of our Palo Alto headquarters — a process that brought together our People & Culture team and scores of Medallia volunteers.
Simply put: the move involved far more more than just buying new desks. The space was customized with its own kitchen, cafe, and shared working spaces — and Medallia’s beloved ball pit found a new home near a cluster of couches. (Early reports indicate that no balls were lost during the journey.)
The space has been quickly integrated with Palo Alto office’s existing culture, with several teams having used it to host company meetings and Friday afternoon happy hours.
The third floor has been quickly adopted into Palo Alto’s existing culture (see happy hours), and some say the new space has developed a unique atmosphere of its own:
“I’ve noticed that people come up here when they want to focus,” she said. “It’s nice to have a place you know will be quiet,” says Amelia Belch, Executive Assistant to Medallia’s Engineering team.
For all that’s new and different, the 3rd floor maintains an old Medallia tradition: “Around the World in 80 Conference Rooms.” As we’ve grown over the years, Medallians have had the opportunity to style new meeting rooms in the style of a country near to their hearts — often the one they’re from. The 3rd floor took this tradition to an entirely new, and sometimes funny, level.
For example, Marketing team member and native Kiwi, Victor, helped decorate New Zealand’s room with posters of the country’s scenery captioned with slogans like “New Zealand — Only 18 hours from New York,” and “New Zealand — Like Scotland, but further.”
“At first there was only going to be an Australia room,” Liu said about his reasons for getting involved. “I was excited when they made the decision to include New Zealand as well.”
The quality of the finished conference rooms belie their status as volunteer-driven, “in-your-spare-time” projects. The Spain room features sunwashed yellow walls, red carnations in wrought-iron trellises and a working classical guitar. South Africa, meanwhile, is decorated with traditional crafts and textiles acquired during several Medallians’ trips to that country, and Australia features a detailed floor-to-ceiling mural of Uluru (also known as Ayers Rock) and a life-sized kangaroo statue.
Dominic Cordon, Medallia’s Office Preservation Coordinator, sees the volunteer decorating efforts as reflection of Medallia culture as a whole.
“We’re a collaborative company, and we always try to get into what other people think,” he said.
While work on the move is starting to taper off, Medallia’s growth hasn’t slowed down at all — begging the question of where it’ll find even more space. Will the Palo Alto office continue to grow? What part of the world will Medallia expand to next? Will we run out of countries to style rooms after? Is the second floor of the building a giant ball pit?
Whatever the answers to these questions, I’ll be here to tell you all about them.
Until next time,
Sammie D. Kaleland

Photo credit: The Muse

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