It’s a sunny morning (for once). ARM, Optamor and Serocor Solutions have been based in Shore House for a couple of months now. Things have settled down. The crates have gone, desks are adorned once again with the odd personal possession and the fridges are filled with a variety of lunch options. The move was hugely significant for the Serocor Group, signalling not only a new chapter, but a new way of working: more flexibly, more collaboratively and as such, more productively.
The joy of working in an office
So what? We’ve moved into a new office. Who cares, right?
Yet there’s something different about this place. Go into the kitchen area and you’ll see people who probably never exchanged a word before, chatting over making coffee. Members from different brands sit with each other at lunchtime and roll their eyes over the Brexit updates feeding through from the TV screens. New starters get to know long-serving staff while working out how to use the microwave. It’s a genuinely nice, friendly space and arguably the most popular part of our office. It’s where you hear about recent successes, discover valuable contacts and collaborate over projects. For a long time, CEO Mike Gawthorne’s mantra has been: feed the family, in terms of cross-brand working. This one area has done more towards that sentiment than a thousand meetings.
Obviously, that’s not the only area we use, though, with multiple meeting rooms, open work spaces, hot desks and funky booths. To demonstrate, here’s a day in the life of our new office.
Yawn and stretch and try to come to life…
7:30am – The early-start flexible workers have started tumbling into Shore House, flicking on their monitors and getting as much done as they can before the phones start ringing. We operate a flexi-hours system, which enables us to work our contracted hours any time between 7am and 7pm.
8:15am – At the kitchen area, teammates are making their pre-work coffees and breakfast. It’s here that Silke and Julia realise they live near each other and could car share to work. It’s while pouring the milk that Natasha and Nora discover they work with the same clients in Germany and arrange to collaborate. Meanwhile, Derek is concerned about his fish lunch stinking out the fridge…
8:30am – It’s time for the monthly Serocor Solutions stand-up. The team gathers in the shared space to listen to Director of People Development, Heather go through business and then announce the Support Person of the Month – an award that’s voted for by the whole Group. Well done to Jack!
9:00am – In the corner, Adam hosts the weekly Transportation & Infrastructure team meeting – this is a chance for everyone to share industry knowledge, make predictions about future recruitment trends and pass on any information which needs to be cascaded. There might also be croissants.
11:00am – Meanwhile, in one of the comfy booths, Bid Manager Lewis chats to Optamor Director Claire and Business Development Manager Chester about the progress of an existing tender. Our bid process is comprehensive and usually involves input from across the business over a lengthy period of time. This particular tender is nearing the decision deadline and everyone has their fingers crossed, knowing how much work has been put in by all parties.
12:30pm – Lunchtime has begun, yet you won’t catch many people eating at their desk. Either they’ve popped out to buy a baked culinary delight from Greggs, gone to the gym or are seated in the communal area, mulling over the weekend’s (probably dismal) football results or discussing protein shakes.
2:00pm – In our boardroom, the Huntingdon suite (named after our founder), Learning & Development Manager, Derek is leading an induction session for our latest recruiters. He’s making use of the interactive white board and has reached the ‘how to write an attractive job advert’ section, much to Marketing’s joy.
3:00pm – Dave, our COO is on a Skype call to Matthew from ORSON, our sister brand out in Stuttgart. Acquired in 2018, ORSON has grown from two to 12 people and its gaining momentum at quite a pace.
3:30pm – Back to the kitchen for the mid-afternoon tea-break. There’s cheerful banter among colleagues from Optamor, Solutions and ARM as they stretch across each other for the coffee, to reach the hot water, for clean teaspoons and to discard used tea bags. It creates a really nice atmosphere.
4:00pm – Gathering at Tara’s desk, Optamor and Marketing are talking about an up-coming local business event and how best to promote the Group’s participation. It’s an event which involves all of the brands, showcasing our RPO, L&D and recruitment solutions. The question is: can we find the show banners after the move?
5:00pm – In Purbrook (our meeting rooms are named after local forts), which doubles up as our Wellness Room, the Embrace Committee are deep in conversation about the Group’s next charity events. The committee comprises volunteers from each of the brands, who coordinate all of our fundraising efforts – the next of which is the Rucksack Challenge.
6:00pm – The late-start flexible workers remain, many using the time to catch up with candidates or finish work which requires a bit more concentration. The dishwasher’s full with the day’s dirty crockery, the car park gradually empties, and silence envelops the office.
It’s been a long, but productive day.
When our recruiters write their job adverts, they’re encouraged to describe the environment in which an applicant would be working and how it shapes the company culture – which has a huge impact on wellbeing and retention. What would they write about Serocor’s new office, I wonder? Perhaps something which mentions how the light and airy space better enables teamwork – which in turn allows for renewed thinking and collaboration that benefits not only the people in the office, but those we are working on behalf of.
If you’d like to find out more about our culture and what it’s like to work as part of the Serocor Group, get in touch. We’d love to share our experiences with you.