My working life
Careful! This post is looking a little old and could be inaccurate in many, many ways
Recently a few things have made me reflect on my working life one of these being my good friend Scott Mallinson’s re-entry into the full-time working community as well as Becky Naylor’s (my boss) new blog where she’s been writing about her experiences of running Bronco.
When you speak to people about work you seem to get a large percentage driven by the salary they earn or some by how enjoyable their job is. Unfortunately you can’t measure happiness so a person’s salary can become a marker for a person’s success. When asked about my salary I’m fairly forward about what I earn, and at times am met with the response ‘I earn more than that’. I know there are people doing a similar job to me that earn more and I would be lying if I didn’t admit that a higher salary is tempting. However when I think of what I’ve got at Bronco I realise how lucky I am, and that to get the same elsewhere would be difficult.
Although I’m not going to go into the details of exactly what I earn in such a public forum, I thought I would list some of the perks that I remind myself of when I think about just how great it is to work at Bronco:
Nothing unique here, though with the economic downturn most companies have had to drop this luxury. Last year however with our Christmas bonus generated on how long we’ve worked for the company and our profits we got another good Christmas bonus, driving us on to work even harder the following year.
As petrol prices sky rocketed a petrol allowance was introduced for those travelling over a certain distance to make sure the daily commute wasn’t affecting our take home pay as much. As the petrol prices have dropped so has the allowance but it does still remain making the petrol bills a little easier to manage each month.
Since starting at Bronco I’ve had Bupa healthcare, and before that I had healthcare whilst working at a popular fast food chain. In all that time I’ve never had a need for it, but others at work have and it’s a great comfort to know it’s there is necessary. So if anything happens to me I can get fixed up nice and quick and get back to doing the things I love.
At work we have a little kitchen area filled with all sorts of supplies including drinks, biscuits and beer (for nights out). Personally I could live without these; certainly the temptation of chocolate covered biscuits can be too much but the fact that it’s all there shows the thought and the appreciation the company have for their employees. It creates a comfortable, homely environment for us to work in.
Officially we get 20 days holiday as well as bank holidays. This is of course nothing unique to Bronco, what is a little more rare is that we get the time off between Christmas and New Years for free. This gives us a chance to recharge the batteries before the next year and means we don’t have to factor in these days into our holiday allowance.
This year is the second time I will be going to the Future of Web Design conference and both times work has offered to pay for me to go. Although they don’t know exactly the in’s and out’s of this exact conference or the prominence of the speakers attending, they do know that the benefits gained from attending such conferences can be invaluable.
As a company so heavily reliant on the web Bronco even make sure we’re tooled up at home. All the staff are provided free business grade broadband that can easy save us a few hundred a year.
I think on average we have a work night out once every two months. The things we’ve done have been wide ranging from going to the horse racing, to a simple DVD night round Dave and Becky’s. In all of these occasions all the costs have been covered by work, from the food and drink to betting money at the races. It’s all these small details that mean a lot.
No deadlines (almost)
In my time at Bronco we have had only two concrete deadlines in which to have work finished. Many companies enforce deadlines to ensure certain work is done on time and within budget. This can work well in some companies but at Bronco the lack of deadlines doesn’t give us an excuse to slack off instead it ensures everyone is stress free and because of this we work through the project to ensure we produce websites to the highest standard.
Although we obviously have a management structure at Bronco we all are given certain free reign in which to manage ourselves. When work comes in we will be brought up to speed on the project and left to assess its priority within the work we currently have. If something is important we are obviously told and if we get something wrong then we don’t suddenly find ourselves micro managed. A certain amount of freedom is always good in a job, and shows a level of respect and trust.
Doing it all
When I started at Bronco my job was Web Designer. This meant I could design a site, mark it up and leave the rest to the developers. Instead my passion in all areas meant I would do a certain amount of the development work and I was always allowed to do this without being bound by my original job title. In many companies you have a single role and do nothing else, but I enjoy doing the range of work I get and hope that will never change.
There are few employees that when asked what the biggest distraction is in the office they can say the boss. When Dave enters our office we can end up all downing tools. Hopefully not to inflate his ego but when Dave talks you can’t help but listen. Having such a fun and relaxed environment to work in means you don’t worry about getting distracted, 8 hours is a long time to stare at a screen. Having these distractions means when we are working we work hard, rather than burning out.
That’s It…. I think
The truth is I’m not rich, nor do I earn a huge salary, but what I do earn is enough to pay the bills and enjoy what’s left. But not only that but I enjoy going to work, I still love the job and I like the people I work with. All this makes me push myself to get better, to work hard to help the company be the best it can be whilst working with other talented people where I feel we all contribute to produce some really good stuff.