January is a special time for our UK team as we celebrate the anniversary of opening our Bournemouth office!
For this reason, in this series we talked to Gemma Blackaller, the person who knows the most about office work culture in the UK. Let’s check how it looks like now, and what awaits this site in the future.
When did you join Spyrosoft, and how did you feel during the onboarding period?
I joined in November 2020. In the UK, we were just going into Covid lockdown II, which meant my whole onboarding was completed remotely. I was one of the first employees in the UK, though, so almost everyone got involved in my introduction to Spyrosoft, which was great, and I had many familiar faces straight away, even though I didn’t get to meet them for a few months.
How would you describe the atmosphere in the Bournemouth office?
We are a small, friendly team working closely to support each other. As a small team, we know that everyone in the UK has their own skills and experiences, and everyone at every level is respectful of each other’s strengths so that these can be tapped into as and when required for the benefit of all of us and the company as a whole. In addition to our focus on teamwork, we are proud of our commitment to many CSR activities. The plethora of ideas for these initiatives comes from a collective effort. Our team actively proposes and decides which CSR activities to pursue, ensuring they align with our values and resonate with the entire team. This inclusive decision-making process not only reflects the interests and passions of our people but also increases the overall engagement and sense of purpose within our Bournemouth office.
The Bournemouth team seems like a group of good friends, really. What’s the secret to creating such a close-knit team?
We actively encourage team members to come into the office regularly, and most people are in the office at least 50% of their working time. We have a lovely bright office and access to the ‘sky-lounge’, break-out areas and gym in the building, so there are plenty of facilities to keep people happy at the office. I believe the key to our close-knit culture is the fact that everyone is mutually respected, and we work together to ensure that everyone quickly feels an essential part of the team. We hold regular formal 1:1’s, along with full UK team monthly meetings where current projects are discussed, and we try to ensure that everyone has an awareness of who we are working with and what is being worked on, which helps to keep the ‘team’ feel. We also socialise together regularly with activities to cater for all!
What kind of projects does your team of People Partners work on?
We are closely linked to the commercial side of the business here in the UK, so we get involved in what is required by our current clients and as part of the bid process, which helps to shape our future workload and initiatives. This year, 2024 is likely to be dominated by recruitment, sustainability, diversity and inclusion, along with changes introduced by the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act 2023, which is likely to bring about changes in our labour laws going forward following BREXIT.
Could you tell us about the recent Diversity & Inclusion internal workshops?
The recent roll-out of our Diversity & Inclusion workshops was a great opportunity to engage with the whole company and work together with the rest of the People Ops department to deliver positive messages as a team. The engagement from the company was very supportive, making it an excellent experience for all of us.
Diversity and Inclusion are important issues for us, as Spyrosoft, to ensure that we operate efficiently and have an engaged, diverse workforce to offer unique, innovative solutions for our clients.
How do you find working in a cross-functioning model with colleagues from all around the world? Does it bring any challenges?
There are many challenges, including different time zones, values and cultures. However, these are far outweighed by the advantages of working with different people across the globe, which helps us be more creative and pull from a wider range of resources and experiences, leading to smarter and more innovative decisions.
What are the plans or goals for the UK branch in 2024? Anything exciting to share?
Most of our plans will be based around the requirements of the new upcoming contract. This is going to shape all of our recruitment and retention activities, which will take up much of the resources here in the UK. One of the most exciting aspects for me is, without a doubt, the expansion of the team, and everyone being able to build on their existing skills and experiences and being challenged to achieve even more!
To end, what is your favourite thing about Spyrosoft?
My favourite things about working at Spyrosoft are the people and the challenges. Both help me to develop personally and professionally.
If you’re interested in joining our team as a technical specialist, browse through our current job offers on our website . We look forward to hearing from you!
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