The Points Guy started as a travel blog seven years ago run from Brian Kelly’s cubicle at Morgan Stanley. It’s grown a lot since, graduating from a side hustle to a full-fledged lifestyle brand immersed in the world of travel, miles and points. It now reaches more than 3.5 million readers every month.
As it has evolved, its office space has changed too, moving from Kelly’s apartment and later into larger and larger Manhattan WeWork spaces. This spring, the company finally moved into space of its very own: a 7,500 square foot office in the Flatiron District.
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The space was designed by architecture firm TPG and takes its inspiration from air travel (naturally), with airline-inspired decor and even those little Bischoff biscuits Delta hands out in-flight. But for Kelly, the real theme for the space is focus. With its own office, The Points Guy can build the company in a way that’s not easy in a coworking space, where privacy is at a minimum. The new office also gives the company a chance to really to develop a permanent office culture for its growing team.
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It’s a rite of passage for growing startups of any size — discovering what the company really is. Take a tour through The Points Guy’s office to see how this startup is approaching this classic business situation, planning both for its current staff and the company it hopes to grow into.
A dry erase board near the elevators has a fitting arrivals-and-departures theme. It’s also a place to share important announcements or even travel tips — the request when this photo was taken.
The office elevator bank is reimagined at The Points Guy as doors for first and coach class cabins. It’s a playful welcome for visitors, one that presents a fun quandary when it’s time to go home. If the coach door opens, will you enter? Or will you wait for first class?
The company logo is one of the first things visitors see when they enter The Points Guy workspace. The sign is bolted into the floor — a fitting symbol for a company in its first permanent digs.
The Points Guy’s staffers are encouraged to tack up photos of their trips on this map of the world. It’s a conversation starter — and underscores the company’s enthusiasm for travel to visitors.
A motivational message isn’t just on brand — it’s placed between a busy hall and the entryway for maximum visibility and inspiration for visitors and staff.
Artificial airplane windows tie into the office’s travel theme. They also add visual interest to what would otherwise be a blank windowless wall in the company break room.
The Points Guy’s fridge is packed with healthful juices and waters selected to help boost productivity and energy levels. A newly hired office manager will plan smoothie days and other events for staff, helping to further shape the brand’s emerging culture now that it has its own digs.
Not all the snacks at The Points Guy are healthy. These baskets are filled with the actual snacks that major airlines serve to in-flight passengers, adding a sense of fun while underscoring the company’s enthusiasm for travel.
At a co-working space, planning client or partner meetings can mean walking strategic relationships through a space crowded with other startups. These days, The Points Guy can bring important guests to its own specially-designed conference room. This space was inspired by private jet interiors and offers soundproofing to keep meetings and video conferences from distracting teams outside in the bullpen.
A bench and two cafe chairs offers an informal spot for meetings or a place to focus on an important project.
This desk transitions from standing to sitting with the push of a button. The investment in a motorized desk ensures the furniture grows with the team and can accommodate even the tallest members.
Coming from a coworking space, Kelly understands that privacy can be hard to come by in an open plan office. This phone room gives staffers a place to take a break — and take a call — without forcing the rest of the team to listen in.
Storage can be hard to come by in any office, but these coat hangers offer a clever solution. They mimic the types of hooks found in airplanes, add low-impact storage and double as a visual element for what could be an empty hall.