It’s cold out there for reporters–especially those who work at Gizmodo‘s New York office. The walls of the former Gawker news site, which is now owned by Univision, are allegedly so poorly insulated that employees wear multiple layers and huddle close to space heaters, according to multiple sources with direct knowledge of the situation.
The Union Square office’s architecture is supposedly the crux of the issue, say multiple people I spoke with. The office is apparently built with little, if no, insulation–which gives it a clean visual aesthetic of brick and metal beams. The Nick Denton-led Gawker executive team that originally designed the office wanted a “raw” aesthetic for the space. (This stoic, exposed look is something Gawker‘s leadership team historically chose for its various offices.) One source directly familiar with the build-out tells me that, for this space, Gawker made the decision to not add insulation to the bare metal and cement walls that came with the building.
But while exposed building material may be easy on the eyes, it has led to an abnormally chilly environment and thus multiple staff complaints.
This issue has been brought to managers’ attention multiple times, but no resolution has been reached just yet. Following a recent union meeting with higher-ups, staff were told they can work from home if they wish. Additionally, if they are unable do that and prefer to not work in the chilly office, management has said they could temporarily work in another, warmer space also utilized by Univision. It’s not clear if any progress about fixing the actual physical problem has been made since this meeting. (Update: Another source informs me that the company is looking into temporary fixes for the time being, as well as permanently addressing issues with the windows to keep the heat from coming out.)
According to my sources, the office has long had a temperature problem, although it’s unclear if this is the first winter the issue has been brought to the company’s attention. I reached out to Fusion Media Group–Gizmodo‘s parent company–for comment and will update this post if I hear back.
Until the situation is solved, I’ll be sending warm thoughts the Gizmodo staff’s way.