If we could pinpoint one thing that mattered most at Lightswitch or where excellence in our business truly starts, it would undoubtedly be our awesome office environment. On top of that, we understand how vital a role Lightswitch’s organisational culture plays in producing excellence.
Our work space is somewhere that people WANT to be on a Monday and we want to maintain that ethos. Public holidays are a nuisance that get in the way of productivity and time away from colleagues feels like time away from friends. Happy people are productive and excellent people.
We also believe in synergy and harmony at work between employees. How do we get newbies on the same page and wavelength as the seasoned veterans? That challenge gave rise to The Book of Lightswitch, an organic book(let) that outlines everything required to thrive in the awesome environment we want to maintain.
In August 2015 the first BOL draft was written. The idea wasn’t to fill it with boring details about how to fill out tax returns or how to use a scanner, it was more to do with understanding our values and the way we make important decisions as a team and as a company. The BOL belongs to the whole team. Read it, share it but most of all enjoy and derive value from it.
Below are some selected highlights from the BOL
DOGS: WE HAVE THEM:
Studies have shown:
- When dogs are around, most people feel relaxed and happy
- Being in the presence of a pet, even in the work environment, lowers blood pressure and cortisol (stress) levels while heightening endorphins and oxytocin, the hormone linked to maternal bonding.
- It’s healthy for a dog to be with its owner throughout the day.
Things to know:
- Dogs will be dogs. Most of them aren’t afraid to steal your sandwich, so keep food away from the edge of your desk.
- It’s not unheard of for a dog to wander into a meeting and sit on your client’s lap.
- In winter the dogs will wear sweaters. Deal with it.
GREAT LIGHTSWITCH BAKE-OFF
At Lightswitch we promote healthy eating (Mike S - exhibit A), but if you happen to possess some mean baking skills (or if your mother/brother/neighbour is a good baker) we encourage you to use us as your guinea pigs - we will happily offer our opinions on any cakes/biscuits/tarts that you bring to the office for us to consume. As far as cake focus groups go - we are up there!
PLAY IS IMPORTANT
When walking through our doors, you enter an environment where work and play often intersect. But there’s a difference between being childish and child-like. We are adults but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun. There’s no reason to pretend you’re busy. You don’t need to hide the video you’re watching if someone walks by your desk. No one is monitoring the websites you look at. We aren’t going to take notes on how long you are taking to eat your lunch. Just make sure that you are on top of whatever projects you are responsible for completing.
“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” - Michael Jordan
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” - Maya Angelou
EQ IS INVALUABLE
Much of the work that we do is technical. But there’s another skill we all need to have: the interpersonal kind. It isn’t optional. Some people like to pretend that the technical work is all that matters but they’re wrong. This isn’t Rambo; there are no teams of one here. We know that sometimes it can be difficult to work with others and our solution to that issue is simple: get to know everyone and their strengths & weaknesses. We are a team of multi-dimensional people, understand who they are and it’ll be much easier. You are part of a team and the health and harmony of your team is part of your job.
“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” - Maya Angelou
About the author
Rachel runs human development at Lightswitch