We renovated our office space recently, infusing aesthetics to keep us motivated and safe.

First, let’s clear the air. We have always been a remote-first company. It is a very important part of how we see ourselves and we cannot overemphasize the contributions of being able to work across multiple locations and get great work done.

Covid-19 despite its exploding effect on the globe, came with a new way of living. A lifestyle that focused on individuals, their wellness, and safety. This also defined a ‘new’ work culture for many organizations, and we believe the office space is critical to promoting the wellness and safety of our resilient ‘Helium Humans’.

We started to form ideologies of what the ideal workspace post-COVID could look like and feel like, careful not to miss brand guidelines, needs of our people, our leading position in Africa’s Healthtech space, and the list goes on. We quickly realized that what most people want is the flexibility to shuttle between working from home and working out of the office. People want an office that provides a warmth similar to spaces they are currently more used to, inspires creativity and radiates a ‘very’ productive vibe. People also want to be able to get a lot of work done and have rewarding conversations with their co-workers.

But really, did we have to redesign our office space?

We needed to push lots of efforts to ensure the mental health of our Helium Humans particularly during these times was looked after in any way we could, this is in addition to other welfare drives implemented on an ongoing basis. It is very important they are even more creative and engaged now than ever, otherwise, such energy could be lost to a never-ending stream of email notifications. Assuming the ‘poor wifi’ doesn’t get to them first.

To bring our ideas to life, we worked with Studio Emodi to redesign our HQ.  We needed to create an office environment that spurs wellness, collaboration, creativity, safety, and an unbreakable social bond among the members of our team.

Walking into the Helium HQ.

The glass wall at our reception is animated with balls of very bright colors that remind you of the very popular M&M’s (if you know, you know). It will be very difficult to miss the red seats, pressed against white-painted walls to illustrate our healthcare origins. An ode to our mission of accelerating Africa’s transition to technology and data-driven healthcare.

Our reception- Health meets chocolate

The Helium Community Work Area

Psychologists assert that white stimulates a clean environment and that can encourage good work and freely-flowing thoughts. We find that red is a passionate colour and for us, it provokes a deep-seated zeal and passion for the work we do.

Flat office structure- enabling collaboration, optimizing results

We are very ideas-driven so the white walls double as whiteboards to drive collaboration and spur of the moment ideation sessions. Every space, of course with the exception of the reception and kitchen have large wall spaces used as whiteboards, this was also done to promote social distancing during these sessions.

We have always operated a flat office structure that enables clear systems, easy communication, reporting lines, and eclipses the excesses of hierarchies. Every team member should feel wholly involved and free to share their ideas with anyone at Helium irrespective of designation. This thought is why no one has an individual office at our HQ and is the motivation for our community work area. 

Helium’s Huddle Spaces

Do you have an appointment?

Climb up the stairs? Then you are on your way to several other work areas that double as spaces for on-the-fly and closed team discussions. At Helium we like TV too, on the glass doors, you’d notice the names of some popular TV doctors. Yes, we do a lot of great work but we try not to take ourselves too seriously. Covid-19 has shown that the world can be a scary place sometimes. We needed a reminder for the need to sometimes be playful and enjoy the little joys of life.

 Inspiration pods

It is important that the post-COVID office recognizes the need for creativity, innovation and deep-thinking. We designed the inspiration pods to give our team the space to enjoy some creative and productive “me time”.  

Get in the zone!

Various studies have shown that people who set aside time to be alone tend to be happier, more creative, report a better life satisfaction and lower levels of stress.

The Meredith Grey Board Room

Helium board room

Our board room is also named after a popular TV doctor. We love Meredith. She is incredibly talented and creative. We love her empathy and her dogged determination to help others fix both their medical and personal problems when they’re at their lowest points.

These are the traits we want to guide the decisions we make in here.

The Helium Lounge

Just as homes across the world have made sacred spaces for work, the post-COVID office must make safe spaces for relaxation. To buttress this we created the Helium lounge. We made a splash with a colourful wall where each element of the wall is in fact a detachable extendable chair.

Building bonds has been one of our key wins

Unlike most of the tables at our office, the round table here has no sockets or extensions affixed to it because we don’t want our team members to work here. We want them to sit across from each other and bond. You also can’t miss the presented ‘Forbes 30 under 30’ goodwill board in a corner of the room, a reflection that whoever you are and whatever you do at Helium, your dreams are indeed possible.

No work just eats spot

We have always provided lunch for members of our team because good work requires good energy and good energy is burnt out from good food.

Covid-19 took many things away and has given us an appreciation for some of the minor and insignificant details of life like being able to sit and eat across a friend, maybe a colleague. You can imagine what strong bonds the kitchen has built through the years.

About Helium Health

Founded in 2016, Helium Health has become the leading provider of full-service technology solutions for healthcare stakeholders in Africa. Helium Health has taken hospitals and clinics instantly digital with its flagship EMR/HMIS product, the most widely used EMR solution in West Africa. Helium Health is on a mission to improve global health efficiencies and outcomes using data and technology. Helium Health is headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria with offices in Abuja, Uyo, Kano & San Francisco, California.


Partner | Author