At DreamingFish Productions we do things a little differently to many companies, and creating a winning company culture is at the very heart of our approach to how we do business. We are by no means unique, but there is more than a little quirkiness going on. Our culture has grown over time, and whilst it is certainly far from forced, it has been defined from the very start.
Here’s a few of the more popular things that we do that I believe helps in creating a winning company culture.
1. The Kitchen Table
One of the central tenets of the company culture is the ‘kitchen table’. The company was founded around the kitchen table and actually ran off a kitchen table for a number of years before we found our feet. The kitchen table is now more of a philosophy; we ensure we eat together as a company as often as possible as this means that we talk, share experiences, sometimes even give presentations on things we’ve learnt along the way. Sharing food is historically an important part of all cultures, and ours is no different.
2. Family Values
The company grew out of the Directors’ home, and there were always children and animals around. When we moved to our first office, we took those family values with us (as well as some of the children and animals). One of the things that I constantly impress on the team is that family extends to the office environment, to our clients, as well as to each other. When you work with us you should feel that you are part of our family. When you come to visit our office, it should feel like you are coming home. Everyone in the business knows how important each and every client is to us, and how we can’t be who we are without our clients. One of the things I often say to the team is ‘What would your mum do?’, because that should be the way that we treat each other and our clients (and it also ensures that there is plenty of cake in the office!)
3. Dressing Up
OK, so this is an interesting one! Forming a cohesive culture can sometimes be helped with a uniform (such as at school or in a football team), and in some cases by a lack of a uniform (think of many digital agencies!) At DreamingFish we like to be smartly causal at work, apart from on someone’s birthday. On these days the birthday boy or girl gets to choose the theme, and we all have to go along with it. We’ve had Safari Day, Beach Day, Snow Day, Book Day, Dress-as-Something-Beginning-with-B Day, you name it! These days are fun, but beyond this they bond the company together in a shared experience. And of course we eat a special lunch together too.
4. Beer O’Clock
By far the most popular part of our culture is Beer o’Clock. Every Friday at 5pm, wherever they are in the world, and as long as they are not operating heavy machinery, the team will stop and share a beer for a few minutes, reflecting on the week and playing the all important Beer o’Clock playlist on Spotify. Please feel free to tune in! Click here for the link!
5. Wellbeing and more
Every week we have ‘Massage Monday’, when a local masseuse visits the office to give a chair massage to anyone who wants one. It’s a very popular part of being at DreamingFish, and a great differentiator on job adverts! The team spend much of their time hunched over edit suites, or carrying heavy kit, and 20 minutes of massage bliss can go a long way to helping relieve some of the aches and pains they may be feeling.
As well as massages, there is also a bed. Now the idea of sleeping at work is still being debated, but if you’re tired, 20 minutes of sleep can make you more productive for the rest of the day, and I don’t see anything wrong with that!
As well as laying down we do also encourage the team to exercise. We have a five-a-side team, a number of us run and enter half marathons and we are soon to be joining the local tennis club.
You may ask how all of this helps us create better videos? Well the truth is it doesn’t. The point is we already know how to make great videos, but this helps create a company that people want to work for, and with. And that is what is important.
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