A Pop Up Shop

Concept PT.01

What would it look like if your bosses encouraged you to work in other cities?

Travel gets me excited about ideas, people, and work.

When I’m out of my routines and off my home turf I seem to have bigger eyes; my head gets spinning in a way it can’t at home. One of my great joys in traveling is that repositioning of the mind. I come back to home and to work energized, wanting to build on ideas that were percolating while I was walking down foreign streets.

Now that I run a more formal advertising agency, it’s impossible to leave as much as I used to. Most of my employees are younger and haven’t had the chance to travel extensively.

So, that’s how the concept of a “pop up shop” came to be. Wouldn’t it be nice to learn about a new city for a few weeks without having to take vacation days? Wouldn’t it be great to have a warm place to go to for a few months when the cold has really settled in during winters?


Basic Premise - a 4 person work and live solution:

Simple Simple will establish a series of “pop up” offices in other cities over the course of the next three years. We will rent loft or office spaces on 2-4 month terms where we would operate an office and provide lodging for staff.

The space must have the capacity to have four people sleep and work. Staff members would be encouraged to go to the “pop up” office for up to three weeks at a time, where they will be expected to work regular (MST) business hours. Employees can bring a friend or spouse if there is availability, but preference will always be given to working staff members.

We view this as an opportunity for our staff to enjoy the spoils of travel while still being productive in their work projects. Ideally, all staff would spend enough time in a pop up location that they would get a sense of that environment and city.

The purpose of these offices is to improve the quality of life for our staff members, not for business development.

Work Requirements:

Initial locations will be selected because of their proximity to MST. Staff will be expected to keep hours that mirror the Calgary office hours. A proper work environment will be required to ensure continued productivity. The facility must be able to comfortably facilitate four people who work daily, including computer workstations and the capacity for daily web conferencing (to ensure we maintain our team communication).

This set up doesn’t have to be fancy — the goal is to experience life in a new city, not to have a lavish secondary office.

Living Requirements:

We will need room to sleep four, an eating area, and a work area.

It’s likely that we’ll end up with a loft or a multi-bedroom condo which will require that space is shared with a bit of a “hostel mentality.” Absolute respect must be shown for everyone’s possessions and space. The living room will most likely be turned into a work area leaving the kitchen and eating areas as the “social” space in the rented property. Everyone will be encouraged to go see the sights and try new food and restaurants in the evenings so the place doesn’t seem too claustrophobic.


Financial Requirements:

Simple Simple will pay for all associated business and rental costs. Staff members would be responsible for all their regular daily expenses (food, walking around money, etc) and all associated travel costs.

Anticipated Simple Simple costs are relatively minor, and include items such as property rental, phone/internet, insurance, kitchen area & cooking supplies, computer setups with desks/chairs, and bedrooms.

It’s quite likely that we’ll be settling on a pop up shop location with limited advanced scheduling time, so we’ve decided to provide staff with an interest free loan of up to $500 if they require assistance with travel costs. The loan will be gradually deducted from future pay cheques, so that the decision to use the pop up shop creates relatively little financial stress for our team members.

An Example Schedule:

Sept 2016 – Nov 2016, Montreal, QC

April 2016 – June 2017, Puerto Vallarta, MX

August 2017 – Oct 2017, Victoria, BC

Nov 2017 – Feb 2018, Kihei, HA

July 2018 – Oct 2018, Toronto, ON

Posts in this series:

Part 01, pop up concept explained
Part 02, where the staff would like to go
Part 03, Montreal pop up office!