12 August 2018
Throughout childhood, whilst we’re learning valuable lessons and essential skills, we’re also having fun, building relationships and following our passions. So why, in adulthood, does that stop?
Building UKFast, I always knew that this had to be somewhere that people enjoyed coming to. Our aim: to end Monday blues. Why should anyone dread going into work after the weekend? Whilst I don’t have all of the answers, I’ve certainly learned plenty of lessons along the way. One of the most important of these being that a workplace should not be a space where you relinquish all control, where you surrender your personality, where you are miserable.
A truly inspiring work environment should be a place where you can be yourself, where you can thrive and where you are in control of your own time and space. No one can be productive for eight hours straight. No one can go straight from a stressful call or situation into another. We all need switch-off time now and then – hence the gym and chill out zones at UKFast.
It should also be a place where you make friends and build relationships. Yet, as UKFast and its associated businesses top the 450 team mark, how do you maintain these bonds? It’s increasingly harder to bridge the gap between floors and departments, ensuring that everyone still has the opportunity to get to know each other.
Bringing people together
This week, we launch a new initiative to tackle just that. The UKFast Houses. Yes, just like in school, the UKFast team is now split into four Houses. Each house named after a ‘pioneer in the computing world’: Tim Berners-Lee, Ada Lovelace, Grace Hopper and Alan Turing. Each with its own house colour and badge.
Over the weekend, every member of the UKFast received a letter in the post with their pin badge, welcoming them to their new House.
It’s a fantastic opportunity for people from all over the business to get to know one another. We’ll be holding events throughout the year for Houses to compete for points, which will ultimately decide who wins the House Cup at the Christmas Party. Points can also be earned for philanthropy and outstanding achievements, and for our Person of the Month (voted for by the team), and Directors’ Choice of the month.
By breaking into smaller groups we’re able to have fun, compete and interact with teammates we’d normally never connect with from completely unrelated departments.
We’ve already seen a few messages flying around to find out who is in whose house and building that competition between them! It doesn’t take much to spark a UKFaster’s competitive streak!
The UKFast Family
I remember Richard Branson once telling me that to maintain success, every time a business grows to a certain size, you should split it. Perhaps this advice was part of the inspiration for the Houses – or my daughters’ love of Harry Potter has had an impact! Either way, I am incredibly excited for this next phase of Team UKFast.
I have always been incredibly proud of the way the UKFast team is very much a family. I realise this may read like the standard phrase that ‘we’re a family here’ but for UKFast, it’s true. When you ask anyone what the best part of the business is, I would bet that they’d say it’s the team.
Of course, in the grand scheme of things, this is simply a way to have more fun within the business. We always strived to ensure that the business isn’t just about business, it’s about the people within it. How do you get the best out of people? You make the best environment for them! It’s fascinating that whilst many traditional corporates raise their eyebrows at our unusual office, work perks and ideas like the Houses, it actually makes perfect sense. The happier a team are, the better they are at their jobs.