When you first create a Space in Gather, you can pick from one of our templates and customize it to your needs, work with a Gather Ambassador to create a custom office, or you can start from scratch yourself. Which option should you choose? This article will give you an overview of the benefits of following our onboarding flow, choosing a Gather template, or starting with a completely blank canvas.
When to Go with the Flow
If you want to exert minimal effort in getting into Gather, following our onboarding flow is the perfect option. From https://app.gather.town/get-started, choose Set up a workspace.
You'll then be prompted to select the number of people you expect to be in your office, to create a name for your Space, and to create an account, if you haven't already. Once you're logged in, select Join the Gathering to hop into your freshly made office. All that's left is to explore and invite your team!
When To Use a Template
Starting at https://gather.town/create and choosing a template is a great option if you are new to Gather and want to pick a specific style/theme for your office. It's the best choice if you want to focus your attention on the why's of making a virtual office Space, rather than the how's. With a template, you've already got a map that's sized to fit your needs. It's got pre-defined areas and objects built in, so the heavy lifting of design work is already done. It's also a good plan when you like the general layout or aesthetic of a template but want to further customize objects or add rooms.
When choosing a template, ask yourself the following questions:
- How many people will be in the office?
- How often and/or for what purpose will the team use the office? (e.g., daily, weekly, monthly; for co-working, meetings, meals, socials, etc.)
- What kind of company culture do I want to develop in this Space?
- What atmosphere or overall aesthetic do I want for my office?
- What types of areas and objects are important for my team?
Easy Customization Feature
We've launched a new easy customization feature that lets you expand your office size and layout with minimal clicks. Note that you must be an Office Admin or Builder to access this feature.
To try it out, click on the Build Tool in the bottom right menu, then click the Map tab on the top right to view template options. Use the sliding scale to preview easy customization templates and select the one you'd like. Note that we will create a backup of the current map and customizations when you change the map template so you can restore an older version if needed.
Our templates are sized for a general number of users. The office templates come in the following sizes:
- Tiny: 2-25 people
- Small: 25-50 people
- Medium: 50-100 people
- Large: 100+ people
Note: You can always start with one size and then add rooms or even connect to other Spaces as your office grows over time. Check out 4 Steps to Host Your First Gather Event to jump right into a template!
Gather automatically saves the last 5 versions of your office in the Backups section of the Easy Customization feature. To find the Backups, click on the Build Tool in the bottom right menu, then click the Map tab on the top right to view template options and scroll all the way to the bottom of the panel. Here you will find the 5 most recent versions of your office if you have made any changes. Click the three dots beside the version of the office that you would like to revert back to.
While company culture is largely defined by your mission, vision, and values, your virtual office Space can contribute to supporting a specific vibe. The templates we offer support different work and business styles. For example, if your company is founded in professionalism, accountability, and excellence, you may prefer a more traditional or minimal template such as Office, Inc. or Fancy Office, which provides a Space that most closely imitates a business office. If your company is guided by innovation, collaboration, and passion, you may favor a more creative template, like the Space Station or Forest Office, where employees can meet and work in a less traditional setting.
Atmosphere & Areas
The style and layout of the office templates have varying aesthetics, as discussed above, such as traditional, modern, industrial, or antique. The templates come with pre-designed office areas with relevant objects. The table below lists common areas included in our office templates and examples of objects that are in these areas.
|Office Area||Background and Objects|
|Lobby||Reception desk, chairs and couches, small tables, plants, bulletin board|
|Individual work stations||Desks, cubicles, office chairs, file cabinets, lamps, computers|
|Co-working areas||Conference rooms, all-hands meeting room, tables, chairs, podiums, whiteboard, projector and screen, tvs, water cooler, plants|
|Break room||Tables, booths, chairs, appliances, display cases, coffee and vending machines, jukebox|
|Outdoor areas||Beach, park, rooftop, orchard, plants, benches, fountains|
Note: You can always start with a template and then change the furniture, walls, and flooring to create a different aesthetic.
When To Work With an Ambassador
If you want your office to be completely unique to your business—maybe to mirror your physical office or to create a totally branded Space—but you don't have the time to create it yourself, you can work with a Gather Ambassador. We individually approve each Service Partner and are confident in their ability to provide the perfect custom Space.
When To Design from Scratch
If you want a custom office and love to tinker and design, we encourage you to Start from blank. When you're starting from scratch, you can start from literally nothing, which takes you into the Mapmaker. There you can upload a background image or begin painting your walls and floors. You can also start with an empty small or medium room, and add on rooms as you need them.
Resources for Custom Design
- 📖 Custom Map Overview: Get started creating a custom Space from scratch.
- 📖 Best Practices in Office Design: Get a more in-depth look at how to create a Space that will meet all your needs.
- 📖 Custom Objects: Learn how to upload custom objects to support your brand.
- 📖 Gather Ambassadors: Review a list of Service Partners who specialize in designing Spaces.