Free beers, nap pods, table tennis and office dogs… The office life of a start-up doesn’t sound all that bad, but the reality is, being a start-up means so much more than flashy perks, funky offices, and a relaxed dressed code. While there definitely is a sense of joviality and flexibility to start-ups, it would be wrong to assume that’s all they have to offer. The term has become a buzzword over the last few years, but what does being a start-up really mean? For us here at Hentsū, being a start-up means the chance to clearly define long-term goals, ambitions and aspirations from the get go. It’s also an opportunity to create a culture to develop alongside our business, and to take the time to invest in our employees. It’s a chance to be innovative, to think outside the box, and redefine the way we work. To us, all this is as much a part of being a start-up as the pool tables and free beer.
Being a start-up has meant we’re able to bend the rules of traditional office spaces, and create teams across multiple locations that come together as one thanks to technology. Our US, UK and New Zealand offices are set up with large monitors equipped with web cams, through which we set up a video call daily on Gruveo. It’s an easy, fast and secure way to make an instant video call that doesn’t require an account or installation. An instant video connection that can last as long as required is easily set up by simply typing in a previously agreed ‘room’ name. This way, the offices, time difference permitting, work along-side each other during the day by connecting through the same virtual ‘room’. In a sense, it’s like our very own transcontinental office portal, a veritable gateway across oceans far and wide. Not only does this ‘office portal’ allow for instant face-to-face communication, it also gives our offices a sense of collaboration and encourages team-building across the multiple locations. The Hentsū office portal adds a dimension of fun and liveliness to staying connected and the overall office environment. It also helps create the sense of a single office space, that transcends geographical locations and time-zones, where all teams are always up-to-date on what the other is doing, building interest in each other’s projects and minimising internal divisions. Connecting and building one cohesive team, even with oceans in-between, also helps to install a real sense of pride in the work we accomplish for our clients. While there is nothing wrong with traditional office spaces, it simply would not suit our needs, nor would it reflect who we are as a company. As we expand in the number of employees and scale of work, our virtual office space can expand with us, keeping the sense of cohesiveness between our multiple locations. Our portal is also the one space that doesn’t see the sun ‘set’. As one office shuts for the day, another is logging on, ready to pick up where the other left off. This wouldn’t be possible without a little bit of creative thinking and a touch of ambition.
Another positive aspect of being a start-up has been the possibility to clearly define our values from inception and develop our culture based on the goals we set for ourselves. We wouldn’t be true to ourselves or the culture we want to create if we didn’t integrate our values into our everyday office lives. Thinking outside the box and using technology to bring our teams together across various locations is so important to us because it sets the precedent for the way our company grows. Hentsū not only puts technology, innovation, efficiency, and security at the forefront of what we deliver to our clients, we also value them as intrinsic to our day-to-day lives. We are not only using technology to change the way our clients work, we’re also using it to change how we work and accomplish our goals. We believe that as a start-up, it is important to invest in developing our values and culture, because it’s investing in our teams, and therefore, the overall growth of our company.
While start-ups may indicate new beginnings, they don’t necessarily equate inexperience. What may be the start of something new to some, is simply the next stage of a career for others. A solid foundation bears stability, durability, and trust in the long term. Setting up a business may sound straight forward and easy, but being able to steer the company in a successful direction for both the employees and clients requires experience and know-how. Our Directors each have over a decade worth of experience and careers in their respective fields. Since its foundation nearly two years ago, Hentsu has expanded and grown substantially in size thanks to the leadership skills and experience across our team.
As Hentsū grows and expands we will seek new ways to maintain the cohesive feel across our teams. Our offices have expanded rapidly, with new additions joining our teams every month since the New Year. Coming up with new ways to build team-spirit and develop as a company is part of the growing process of a start-up. As we grow, we will carry on integrating our core values of efficiency, security, reliability and innovation into our everyday lives… enjoying the occasional free beer and game of table tennis along the way.