Disclaimer: This article was originally published by the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal on April 22nd, 2021 by Dylan Thompson.
At a time when some companies are shrinking their office footprints and embracing the pandemic-era pivot to remote work, Minneapolis tech firm Digital Mass is charging in the opposite direction.
The 4-year-old company, whose team of developers specializes in the ubiquitous Salesforce software for business, moved into its new North Loop office Feb. 1, taking a full floor of the Maytag building at 515 N. Washington Ave. The 7,000-square-foot suite is roughly six times the size of Digital Mass' previous office, giving the fast-growing company room to expand.
The office features some classic tech industry touches, including conference rooms with names drawn from the "Lord of the Rings" books. There's also an old Pepsi vending machine stocked with beer and energy drinks.That's the kind of employee amenity remote workers can't truly appreciate. But most days, Digital Mass' full 22-person team is in the office.
"We're a work-in-the-office company, for sure," said co-founder Marty Davis, who started the company with his son, also named Marty. (The younger Marty goes by "MJ" in the office.)
"For us, we're just so much better as a team," he continued. "I've been doing this a while, and it’s best when we have the open environments where developers have headphones on, but they can still turn around and ask questions. It's just so much more efficient."
Davis said Digital Mass is a highly collaborative office with developers often pairing up and working in teams. That's an environment that doesn't always translate well over remote-work tools like Slack and Zoom.
"In the tech space and Salesforce, it's always moving. There's always an upgrade. There's always something new. It's easier to swivel around and ask a question," Davis said.
While it might seem tech firms would be especially well-positioned to take advantage of the digital tools that allow remote work, MJ Davis suggested the complexities of coding require teams to share real-world space.
"We are human. The best way for us to communicate with one another is going to be in person," he said.
The company, which is projecting 2021 revenue of about $4 million, has more space than it needs right now. But it's also planning to have nearly twice as many bodies in the office by the end of the year.
"We'll probably be close to 35 to 40 people by the end of the year. We doubled last year, and we're looking to double again this year," Marty Davis said.
About Digital Mass. Digital Mass is a modern technology practice focused on making Salesforce work harder for the enterprise, in any cloud. The company is driven to do things the right way. Digital Mass uses a ground-up, developer-driven approach and proprietary LeanSF process to ensure clients get to working solutions faster, maximizing business value in every engagement. Backed by a blend of experienced tech vets and certified Lightning natives, Digital Mass offers flexible engagements, working with clients to tackle the cumbersome, business-slowing problems while taking big steps towards a customer-centric organization. If you are interested in learning more, set up a time to talk with the team. Read our original news release here.