Browsed by
Category: Office design

Hampering Productivity

Hampering Productivity

The hamper deliveries are starting to stack up again, even though Christmas is still a good couple of months off. Suits me! I have zero regrets about leaving the corporate world to start Home-brew Hampers, but I can’t deny I get a bit of a kick out of watching it unfold. And the silly season is a prime opportunity to observe office culture at its finest.  

Something I have to wonder about is the emphasis on productivity that characterises so many of these high-flying office environments. That’s part of why I left my previous job – I felt the sphere I was in was focused on quantity at the expense of quality, including quality of life. I’m convinced that there’s more than just productivity enhancement to be gained from  contemporary office fitouts. Melbourne businesses, on the whole, no doubt realise this on some level. But I’m not totally convinced that their spaces always reflect this authentically.

Lots of corporate workplaces order my hampers, and dropping them off in person enables me to spy first hand on the latest trends in office design. Melbourne is always on the pulse with this sort of thing, so there’s usually at least one significant innovation that’s become established since the previous year. If it’s not a breakout space bedecked with hammocks, it’s some kind of floor mat that you stand on to work on your trigger points (at your standing desk, obviously).

It might sound like I’m making fun of these trends, but I’m actually genuinely interested. What is it that makes people tick when it comes to getting things done in the workplace? Can the spatial features of an office really influence how work is carried out? Do Homebrew Hampers really help with staff retention? Do health measures implemented in workspaces, like standing desks, actually improve health, or just provide an ergonomic appearance of doing so while upping productivity?

Look, I don’t really have any innovations of my own to suggest. I’m just the guy who occasionally pops by with the home-brew kits and secretly critiques the scene.

Book Nerd Heaven

Book Nerd Heaven

People used to be so curious – even impressed – when I’d tell them that I worked in book publishing. These days, they either visible wince or give me a look that says, “I’m sorry to hear that, mate.” Still, I’m determined to prove that hard-copy books aren’t dead. To be sure, buyers are still out there, and Turtle Noise Publishing is proving it.

Of course, our staying afloat might have something to do with the strength of our market niche. My approach has always been to provide for the customer who loves the feeling of having a book in their hands, and go all out on features that will thrill that customer. It’s all about the sensory experience of reading a book. I never used to think of this as a niche, but I guess nowadays it is.

In light of that, I’m starting to think that we could do more in terms of workspace branding – that is, imbuing our offices with the essence of what we intend to capture in our products. Ever since we relocated from Sydney, we’ve been vaguely talking about investing in a custom office fitout. Melbourne was always going to be the city in which Turtle Noise came into its own as a cohesive brand, but we’ve kept the idea of overhauling our space on the backburner.

Time to start putting the feelers out for the right office design company. Melbourne businesses, do you have anyone to recommend? Essentially, it’ll come down to a designer’s ability to gel with the overarching concept behind what we do. I’ll need to feel like that has genuinely been understood, first and foremost.

The space functions just fine, but it’s my belief that there’s more to functionality than merely having everything meet the basic requirements of its designated purpose. I suppose what I’m trying to say is that, on some level, the feel of a thing – on an aesthetic, sensory or stylistic level – can effectively contribute to the way it works. Perhaps that’s the philosophy underlying my love of beautiful hard-copy books, too.