A few weeks in and are you, like me longing for a comfortable office chair and a small slither of space to call your own? Most of us are currently in a strange limbo of remote working; perching on the edge of our kitchen tables whilst our kids eat their cornflakes and whine about the lack of WIFI in the house! The pressure, on what can only be called a rudimental internet link coming into our house, has never seen so much demand…telephone conferences, video conferences and three children all vying for its magical powers whilst home learning (and playing Fortnite!) has been a test in itself! Thankfully it’s proved it’s actually up to the task in the most!
I should set the scene a little further at this point, and explain that I’m actually one of three Execs running two business’ from said kitchen table. My husband, Steve (another of the three within our Exec team) is currently sitting opposite me – our kitchen table has never been so well used or indeed, overloaded with paperwork, cables and an array of other office paraphernalia.
Regardless of all the current chaos, we’re starting to get into the swing of things – often leading a merry dance; with our laptops and phones in hand, from one room to another to gain that much desired peace and quiet so we can concentrate on those all important conference calls we’re booked on to hour after hour.
It’s intriguing and encouraging to see just how well our family has so quickly adjusted to working side-by-side on their individual tasks. I’m actually proud to say that after week one we’ve all survived in tact and without argument! Who knew!? I suspect it’s been made easier as we’ve been rigid about routine and taking regular breaks throughout the day – 10 minutes of bouncing on our trampoline is quite literally keeping us all buoyant!
Our fondness for home-working after week one is slightly waning as the need for connection with our friends and colleagues is growing by the day. It’s certainly not what any of us would have chosen but there’s a lot to be said about embracing new challenges head on and taking what we can from new experiences.
At the time of writing I’m certainly not against full-time home-working (ask me again in a few weeks!) but I am looking forward once again to a world where we’re free to connect with others on a face-to-face basis and where our homes are for home-life and our office workspace are for just that.
Sarah O’Callaghan, Founder and Executive of SPACE and SCAPE
At Space we’ve designed hundreds of imaginative workspaces over the years – all with their own unique identities. However the one thing they’ve all had in common is an array of fit-for-purpose areas throughout the space. Hives, havens, coves are all words that conjure up the idea of comfortable spaces within an office. Whilst we may not be in a fortunate position to utilise these at the moment, we can endeavour to identify specific rooms within our own homes and gardens that are comfortable for each task we undertake. Try to identify a space where it’s quiet to make calls, a room with a table or desk space for writing documentation and don’t forget a space for taking a break too – our wellbeing has never been as important! Take regular breaks and don’t forget to speak to your colleagues – video conferencing offers a great way of communicating with others within your organisation and allows us to see that people are still out there making us feel less isolated.
Our strapline has always been and will remain ‘Love Your Workspace’ and at SPACE we’re all looking forward to a world where we can physically integrate once more – if you’re feeling the same and are thinking about your future workspace and how you want it to work for you then why don’t you get in touch? We’re here to offer free advice with no obligation.
‘Business as usual’ well not
quite. None of our lives right now are what can be considered
normal. For many of us this COVID-19 pandemic has pressed pause on life as
we knew it and has made us approach things in different ways.
Here at SPACE , the majority of us are working remotely. As creators of both motivating and inspiring professional spaces it’s somewhat out of the ordinary for us not to be working from the comfort of our own workspaces, but instead working from the comfort of our own homes. However, great technology connects us all daily and the sense of collaboration and positivity amongst our staff, our clients and our sub-contractors has been truly uplifting.
We all have a shared desire for
this tangible isolation to end and for our lives to return to normal. Our
workspaces await us, they want to be filled with our teams and our teams need
to get back to all of the things that make our offices great spaces to work in.
Whilst we are all working remotely
it’s a good opportunity to take stock and evaluate what our future workspaces
will look like – let’s make them better places to be.
Please reach out to us, and tap into our knowledge and experience to help shape your thoughts. We’re happy to offer free advice and discuss any aspects of your office design with you – there’s no catch and no obligation it’s just a great opportunity for us all to stay socially connected and use our time proactively.
Richard joined Space in February 2010, having graduated from Buckingham College Group, with an Electrical Installations (Buildings and Structures) qualification. We caught up with Richard over a coffee to find out more about him, his 10 year Space journey and his current role as Head of Projects.
Q1) How did you hear about Space and why did you join? I met the Group Managing Partners on site, back in 2008. At the time it was a really interesting concept which I wanted to be part of, and I believe it still is. I think I happened to be in the right place at the right time when Steve, Sarah and Tom approached me to join Space as an assistant project manager to help run the project side of the business. I soon progressed to Project Manager and now my role is Head of Projects, a role I really enjoy.
Q2) What do you like about your current role? The variety it offers. The role is always evolving and provides lots of variety and challenges. I like being involved in all aspects of the business such as the client requests, team changes and location changes. There is not one project that is the same as the other. You can be in meetings with the clients and designers one day, on site with the contractors another, or presenting projects to the planners the next. No day is the same!
Q3) What’s the secret of your long-term success? I’ve been busy getting involved in projects which I have really enjoyed being a part of and time has flown by. Space is a lifestyle company and it does encourage flexible working if needed and they look after their staff and wellbeing really well. Having a day off for your birthday and finishing early some days in the summer months are a bonus. Since the birth of my daughter last year, I am more conscious of the time spent away from home and the importance of creating a work life balance. It can be crazy busy and frustrating at times, but the people and the social aspects of the business outweighs the negative. The Partners have helped me grow and progress and I remain very loyal to them in return. I have been very fortunate and had a positive career so far. 10 years on and I am still really enjoying the Space journey. Q4) Give me three words which describe Space Evolving, approachable, organised
Q5) How would you encourage individuals to take responsibility for their own career progression? You can achieve whatever you want to and create your own path, if you make the effort to do so. Just small things like talking to each other, sharing opinions and suggestions is a great start. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback and be approachable. If you are wondering what else is out there in the market for you, I say go out and explore. Come back to me and let’s have a chat about it. It’s always good to keep in the know. You can see the good and the bad in all companies but by getting a glimpse into what other companies do and how they operate, and it will make you realise that Space is a great place to work.
Q6) What might people be surprised to know about you? Two things. Firstly, I rode 312 miles in 24hrs which I’m pretty proud of although technically only got 280 miles as had to skip a leg. Nearly made it! Secondly, I pulled out of college on the first day where I was going to do graphic design course to become an electrician.
Q7) Favourite quote? Get it done!
Q8) What would be your favourite area to collect on the monopoly board? Mayfair because I like the architecture. They don’t build them like they used to!
Q9) What would you buy if you won the lottery? A holiday home somewhere remote and warm
Q10) What celebrity would you like to be for a day? M. Night Shyamalan who is an American filmmaker and actor. He is known for making films with contemporary supernatural plots and twist endings. I wish I could experience how his brain really works
Q11) Would you rather be respected or feared? Easy one, respected definitely.
Yesterday was a true milestone for our Project Manager Rich Harmer! He celebrated his 10 year anniversary at Space with both the London and South office present – some on screen – to celebrate with him.
In the past 10 years Rich has been involved in our biggest and most impressive projects! So here’s to another 10 years!
‘Balance is not a women’s issue, it’s a business issue. The race is on for the gender-balanced boardroom, a gender-balanced government, gender-balanced media coverage, a gender-balance of employees, more gender-balance in wealth, gender-balanced sports coverage …
Gender balance is essential for economies and communities to thrive.’
So today we have both our lovely office dogs in! Moose and Bailey. One barks when he’s happy the other one drools when he sees food… but everyone loves having them around and it makes our office feel more homely! Having pets in the office apparently has been shown to reduce stress and make employees feel more relaxed and comfortable. A pet-friendly workplace tends to increase employee satisfaction and to improve morale. So Moose and Bailey can stay!