There’s more to life than work


2nd September 2019

Starting any new job can be daunting. A new environment, a new company culture. Will I fit in? Will I do a good job? How does everyone have their coffee?!

–– Written by Hannah Fleming-Hill ––

I joined the Upshot team in January 2019 and quickly realised it wasn’t going to be a strict corporate culture that I was expecting of an agency.  

The guys welcomed me into the team and made me feel like I’d been here for months rather than mere weeks. Owen and Adam are hugely knowledgeable about their industry, undeniably talented but use their skills for some awesome projects that are changing the world (Upshot is built on the premise that ‘design that makes a difference for people that make a difference’). Coming to work isn’t about clocking in and out to just pass the time by, the work the team does are part of creating positive legacies for charities and organisations.  

The team enjoy going in to work, Monday doesn’t bring the dread and reluctance when the morning alarm goes off and they don’t count down the days until the weekend.

The rebrand strategy and principles of Upshot include ‘That’ll do’ won’t do (read Owen’s post on it here) – they are inspired by witty and quality design and they constantly aspire towards that in their work. They aren’t driven exclusively by ‘money work’ but by things that inspire, things that are beautiful; the work they do is fun and impactful. I look at the design journeys for clients and can see that Owen has had fun experimenting, trying out new ideas and pushing himself in creating something different.  

The ‘day-to-day’

The team enjoy going in to work, Monday doesn’t bring the dread and reluctance when the morning alarm goes off and they don’t count down the days until the weekend. I like coming into work, there’s no talk of #humpday, TGIF or rushing out of the office at 5:30pm. The weekend doesn’t bring two days of release that we spend every working day living for. It means that when Monday comes, we’re looking forward to the projects of the week ahead.  

And of course, the studio is a very welcoming environment. There is often music playing over the Sonos (though I infrequently get to actually suggest music as my taste is a little too random), we eat plenty of biscuits with some great coffee and will take a few minutes out to chat about things beyond work. It allows us the chance to bond and make us feel like more of a team rather than just colleagues. Even though my role has nothing to do with design work, the guys are happy to explain to me about why something has been done that way, what’s the typeface they’re using, or share resources if I want to learn more (the Upshot book collection is enviable). Working on projects that are part of something doing good also makes each day more motivating and less monotonous.

Beyond the office

But we all know we have lives outside of the office: families, friends, hobbies, other interests and it helps to make the office feel more interesting, knowing that we all have experiences that can help to make work richer. With the exception of a rare large project that may require additional time scheduled in, we aren’t expected to do work out of hours or on the weekend. When we leave the office, we aren’t expected to do emails or prep work for the upcoming week. My role is part time and it is refreshing to know that unless something really urgent, Owen knows that I have other work that takes my focus once I leave the Upshot office. 

Life is supposed to be enjoyed and so should work. Work should be challenging, exciting and an opportunity to develop skills not monotonous or boring. Owen has created an inspiring work environment and makes working at Upshot something I look forward to each week but also know that there is more to life than just being at work.  

We loved having Hannah as a vital part of our small team for her short term position as studio administrator!