On average, we spend about 30% of our lives at work, so it’s incredibly important to make sure that work is a happy place to be, professionally and personally. As a business, despite very humble beginnings, we pride ourselves on our team and how we look after them. After all, it’s our crew that keep the wheels turning day to day.
Between us we’ve managed to create a lovely, family-style work environment for everyone (especially Paddy, the dog!). It’s a safe, comfortable space for staff and customers alike with a genuine investment in the success of the business that we can be proud of, collectively.
In previous workplaces that I’ve experienced, ‘How are you?’ has been a somewhat throwaway comment exchanged over instant coffee in communal kitchens, but there seems to be something different in the air here. Everyone really does care. They pause, for you to answer and they listen.
This culture of listening and respecting your colleagues, being friends with them too, has harboured the space for difficult wider conversations. It’s allowed us, as a business, to host important discussions about how we hold space for vital cultural movements like Black Lives Matter, Me Too, or International Women’s Day. We’ve discussed how we can best support our LGBTQ+ community, how we can help Reclaim The Night and represent those less represented in our communities. A culture of security and listening at work means that these vital conversations are actively facilitated and celebrated. If you’re having these conversations at work, we can definitely feel empowered to have them safely and constructively elsewhere too.
We appreciate our platform as a business and try our best to use it for good as often as we can. Take Black Friday as an example, we prefer to forgo aggressive sales in favour of a donation of profit to a charity close to our hearts. Not only does this benefit a chosen charity and allow our customers to be part of something lovely, but it’s also minimising the frenzied purchasing that so often happens during big sales events. A more thoughtful approach to buying helps to ensure we all only buy things that we really love and that we’re sure will bring us joy for many years to come. We would hate to offer a short running sale period where our customers feel pressured or panicked into purchasing things on a whim, we all need less ‘things’ anyway!
It’s also easy to forget that small businesses really do make a difference to their local communities. Thriving little hubs of activity creating jobs and aspirations, forming our very own micro-communities. With a bustling team who are an integral part of the business, each sale is a little nod to our collective hard work. Each sale, big or small, bolsters our business to be able to hire good people to do good things and to become part of lovely communities.
It’s got to start somewhere. For us, it could start at work. We’re already proud of a wonderful team of incredibly kind people, but even more proud of everyone’s willingness to project their kindness outwardly too. Not only at work for the benefit of their colleagues, but for neighbours or strangers and cultural causes alike.
Kindness in the workplace is one of our most valuable assets as a business, if we can nurture and celebrate that attitude during working hours, we’re confident it’ll keep spreading, far and wide.