Look inside IT consulting company Ntiva's startup-inspired office - Technical.ly DC

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Oct. 27, 2016 12:53 pm

Look inside IT consulting company Ntiva’s startup-inspired office

Out in the Silverline Conference Center in Tysons Corner is a more traditional tech company that's embracing modern office design trends.

Ntiva, with a side of Halloween.

(Photo by Julia Airey)

Ntiva may be a more traditional tech company — an IT consulting shop out in McLean, Va., founded more than a decade ago — but its office screams startup. Open floor plan, foosball and even napping pods constructed for maximum privacy (very considerate). It’s not surprising: tech startups have paved the way for office design, as Gensler’s Heather Nevin pointed out in a recent guest post.

The company has long resided in the Silverline Conference Center in Tysons Corner but recently moved to a new office space upstairs. Before last week’s ransomware event, “Drinks and Data Thieves,” the company’s client relationship manager, John Flaherty, gave us the grand tour.

We took a stroll through the Halloween-bedecked floorplan, which begins with a kitchen and conference rooms. In the kitchen, there’s also a foosball table, and a wall-mounted TV that Flaherty says is occasionally used for office video games.

John Flaherty in front a lot of awards.

John Flaherty in front a lot of awards. (Photo by Julia Airey)

Flaherty told us Ntiva has moved three times within the same Tyson’s Square building.

“We rented a rectangle and then some cubicles in it. But we ran out of space so we got another rectangle,” he remembered. “So when we moved into this space we designed it so that form would the functionality.”

Next up in the new floorplan is a hallway running out of wall space for the awards Ntiva has won. Several are for being the “best place to work,” according to the Washingtonian, which reported that employees were motivated to learn with prizes like trapeze lessons.

The hallway leads to a open floor space, L-shaped, with accounting offices in the far back and a glass booth, which its cloud services department outgrew.

Flaherty said the company employs around 110 employees, but Ntiva’s remote-friendly policies mean it’s rare to see everyone in the office.

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“We have remote working down to science,” he told us, explaining that allows people to continue working for Ntiva even if they have to move away for a spouse’s job or to care for aging parents. “We like to hang on to good employees.”

Award-worthy chairs for napping. We tested.

Award-worthy chairs for napping. We tested. (Photo by Julia Airey)

When it comes to serious amenities, the new floorplan saves space with “hot desks” (mobile working stations) for employees to cart around when assembling products like servers. There’s a stationary work bench in case assembly requires teamwork. The growing cloud department, too, has room to expand in an office at the back.

If you visit, watch out for Nerf darts.

“You may have noticed a proliferation of Nerf goggles around here,” he said, gesturing a discreet bucket of goggles perched on a desk. Apparently, they’re placed strategically to give unsuspecting visitors a fighting chance.

Flaherty also showed us a cluster of egg chairs designed to help stressed employees take a break, or even a nap, in relative privacy.

“It’s a high-pressured environment,” he explained.

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