An ecosystem of services and smart design: a photo essay of Kyiv’s Wix office
Enjoy photos from Kyiv Wix office in essay by AIN.UA.
Wix is an Israeli company that develops a global platform for doing business online. It entered the Ukrainian market in 2011, opening an office in Dnipro (then Dnipropetrovsk). In 2016, a representative office was opened in Kyiv’s small hub in Podil, where Wix had no more than 20 professionals. Soon afterward, engineering teams began joining, and they became short of space – the Kyiv office moved to a multi-story business center. Now it has more than 800 professionals occupying two buildings on Saksahanskoho street.
The AIN.UA editorial team has visited both Wix locations and shares its observations on their design.
The office concept
The Kyiv office of Wix is located in Business Center Saksagansky. While the company occupies two buildings and an area of 7,200 sq. m., this cannot be guessed from the outside: there are no guide-boards on the streets, no signboard with Wix’s trademark font on the facade, and no neon lights on the walls in the lobby that you may be expecting to see.
“The concept of the Kyiv office is based on the customer journey,” says Tetyana Zubets, Head of Operations. “As in marketing, we think through our employees’ journey. A person comes in in the morning. What mood are they in? How can we cheer them up for the whole day?”
This desire to create a positive experience for Wix teams in the course of their interaction with the company can actually be perceived every step of the way, in every fragment of space. That is why the most interesting things begin not in the lobby but on one’s way out of the elevator. You will see them on our photos from Kyiv Wix office below.
COVID-19 express testing and fingerprints to move around in Kyiv Wix office
First of all, we were taken to the laboratory for an express COVID-19 analysis. In Wix, this is more than a precaution or security measure – without receiving a negative result, the company’s people cannot access and move about the office.
Every employee should undergo express testing every 72 hours. First, their fingerprints are added to the database – they are used to open doors in the building. When a person has taken the test, they should wait for 15 minutes in a specially allocated hall, after which they receive a message with the result. If the employee tests negative, they will have literally all doors open to them.
This entry system, adapted to the quarantine reality, was invented by the company’s developers and launched in April 2021.
Wix Whaaat rest and relax space
“The concept behind this space comes from Israel,” Tetyana Zubets explains. “It all began with several questions: What could bring added value for the professionals? How can they unplug during their work?” The answer came from Wix Whaaat in Tel Aviv. In the spring of 2020, such space appeared in Kyiv also.
Like all the office premises, it was designed by an in-house team. According to Zubets, Wix designs are part of the Wix DNA. “Like Wix-based websites, the interior should look professional, cohesive, and fun. We have a basic color palette for websites, which the team adapts to the interior, with the office’s local peculiarities in mind,” she says. Still, the main task of the design team is to make the spaces comfortable and to generate an informal atmosphere that would encourage people to be creative and develop.
In Wix Whaat, particular attention should be given to the details: a bar counter in the shape of a “hipster bus,” which took months to procure and do out, according to Zubets; hemisphere tables; a swing chair; a round two-story soft area; neon, and lots of greenery – all carefully elaborated by the designers.
Here employees can not only have a coffee but also use various services, such as a beauty salon or a massage room. Now, they are not fully operational due to quarantine restrictions. For example, the salon is open for self-service only, but soon, all services are to resume operation.
There is also a shop selling all kinds of goodies and necessities, including dog food and dog bowls. The space is dog-friendly as you can see on the photos from Kyiv Wix office below.
Working spaces and processes in Kyiv Wix office
The Kyiv representative office of Wix mirrors the company’s headquarters in Tel Aviv, with its independent infrastructure – all business and operational processes in it run autonomously. The capital of Ukraine is home to one of the largest technical support offices of Wix. One of the company’s engineering hubs is also located here, in Kyiv. Other hubs are in Tel Aviv, Beersheba, and Berlin.
Ukrainian teams work on Wix’s key products: the payment system Payments by Wix, the e-commerce platform Wix Stores, and Editor X, a website constructor and editor.
The working premises are designed according to the open space principle: they are airy and light, with glass partitions between rooms and corridors. Each floor has large kitchens and coffee points.
There are 23 meeting rooms in the office, which every employee can access by booking a suitable one in advance via Google Calendar. Large meeting rooms for up to 10 persons are fitted with all the equipment necessary for video conferencing. For those who need to focus or have an urgent call, there are 24 single Skype rooms.
“The most popular meeting rooms now are Feofaniya and Rusanivka. During calls, you always look so nice there thanks to the interior color schemes – green and pink; there is always a waiting line,” Darya Tkhorevska, Engineering Brand and Community Manager, says laughing.
We were also able to see Borshchahivka, Troieshchyna, Teremky, Bukovyna, and Halychyna. Room names are suggested and chosen by the Wix employees themselves through voting and can come from historical areas of Kyiv, districts of the capital, or regions of Ukraine.
Lest people lose their way in the office geography, there are signs on the walls showing directions. So far, they are few, but soon such signs are to appear on every floor.
A sports hall, a music studio, and a Lego table
There is a sports hall in Wix, where group boxing, yoga, and stretching classes were held before the quarantine. During the lockdown, they moved online, and now they are organized outdoors, in the park.
Next to the sports hall, there are showers and a changing room, just one though. But the company takes a creative approach to its use – there is a sign on the door reading “Who run the world?” – and the answer should be chosen depending on who occupies the room at that certain time.
There is a spacious lounge on one floor, where teams can come to play table soccer or table tennis. The special feature of this space is that it can be easily transformed into an area for conferences or in-company events.
Wix also has a music room and a large Lego table next to it.