This blog reflects on life at work at comments on the latest news that shapes my 9-5 working day in a Corporate Communications consultancy.

About Me

I am a born and bred South African who has always loved to read and write. As a child my mother used to read to me and my siblings, from classics like the “Lord of the Rings” but later also from her own stories. She would write children’s stories and then use us as her test audience, but I loved to hear what she had written long after my siblings had tired of it. So I grew up in an environment of reading and writing, which inspired my love of these things. I hope to write a great book some day, and have learnt first hand the determination and will that it takes. My love of English inspired me to continue my study of it at university. I majored in Law and English in a BA degree at UCT where I found that I took to English much more than law. I enjoyed learning about South Africa’s history and the development of our liberal Constitution, which increasingly made me committed to the hope this country has for the future. Ideally, I’d like to find myself in a job where I am able to write; that allows a good mix of time spent with people and being able to work on my own.

Sunday, 01 July 2007

Having fun in the workplace

BRUNSWICK has a fun, relaxed office culture.

During my interview, it was described as a 'sink or swim' environment. Essentially, this means (or how I interpret it so far) that's it's not paternalistic. No one is standing over your shoulder to make sure you do your work or policing the hours spent on facebook. It's up to you to get on with it, and if you need help, ask for it. (I'm sure if someone wasn't delivering, it would be dealt with appropriately though.) This is a great environment to learn in - and to learn quickly.

It's also a fun office. Even the directors have a sense of humour and often joke with us. Last week everyone went out for farewell drinks for two people who were leaving. (We're getting three new people in next week, including an intern from the US- which should be interesting). They all had a good party (unfortunately I wasn't able to go as I had a bad cold and by 6pm I really needed to lie down).

On Friday, we had month-end drinks and snacks in the office. This was combined with the weekly meeting, which normally happens in the morning but was moved to the afternoon that day. (I think it's a much better idea to have a Friday meeting than a Monday meeting - Monday mornings being the most productive work time.) After a while, Siba turned some music on, which lightened the atmosphere even further, and we all chatted. It's nice to work in a small office with friendly environment.

The downside - at the moment, especially as an intern- is knowing what's appropriate. For example, with working hours - it's been difficult to know what's expected of me, as the hours are fairly flexible, and people leave and arrive at different times depending on what's happening. Some days everyone's there by 7 30 am and they leave after 6pm. Other times there are only 3 people in the office by 8 30 am. It takes some getting used to.


Valentin said...

Susan, it sounds like you are enjoying yourself at Brunswick.
It also seems that you fit in quite well with the company's policies and culture. I am glad to hear that.
Obviously, you need a little bit more time until you figure out other things at Brunswick as the "working hours", for example (as you mention).
However, just relax and take your time!
Everything will fit in quite well with time, I am sure!

Ijeoma Uche-Okeke said...

Hello, I agree with Valentin that you seem to have found a good fit. His suggestion that you give yourself time to 'understand' the modus operandi of 'working hours'. I would also make a suggestion that you should ask your line manager what sort of hours are expected of you just to be quite clear. Something to consider?