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TechSPARK interview: Working at Storm Consultancy

A little while ago our Marketing Exec, Holly, caught up with our friends at TechSPARK who were interviewing some of the best tech companies in the region who are thought of as the ‘best places to work in tech’. 

Best Workplace is an award we’ve been shortlisted for on multiple occasions (twice just this year!) and a title we have also won previously.

Have a read of some of their interview with Holly below, who explained the forward-thinking and inclusive culture we have created.

Excerpt taken from TechSPARK interview 2019. For the full interview please visit their website.

Working at Storm Consultancy: it’s more than just a job

Work-life balance

Storm ensures the optimum work-life balance is possible for their employees, “Since Storm’s inception 10 years ago, Storm has offered unlimited annual leave and flexible working,” Holly explains.

“In addition to this, staff have every Friday afternoon off but are still paid a full week. We also treat our staff to a team lunch every other week to ensure we spend time together.”

Another important factor to Storm is engendering equality in the workplace. The team recognises outdated hierarchal systems don’t always optimise morale or productivity; therefore, the company has opted for a flat management system. 

Holly tells us this is to, “make everybody’s voice equal, honest and of value, and so the variety of work for our developers is both challenging and exciting. One day you could be working on a new front-end website for a start-up company, the next you could be programming a robot!”

A lot of time and effort is put into maximising the staff experience of working at Storm, which was also voted the Best Place to Work in Bath. Holly says, “All staff have frequent one-to-one meetings with management, regular pay increases, a bonus scheme, plus additional spontaneous bonuses.

“Oh, and did I mention the annual staff retreat? Every year the whole team is treated to a long luxury weekend away, filled with fun activities, incredible food (yes, the bosses actually cook for us!). Plus, many fond memories with friends.”

More than just a job

Holly tells us, “Storm isn’t just a job. It’s a lifestyle.” And it seems to be a lifestyle the Storm team passionately embrace. The mentality that colleagues are also genuine friends contributes to an overall welcoming and fun workplace.

She goes on to say, “As a culture, Storm is a social, fun-loving, happy place of work. The team feels more like a family than a group of colleagues, and you’ll rarely experience a day not filled with laughter or great teamwork.

“You can find the Storm doing anything from lunchtime games sessions and ‘Wine Wednesdays’, to epic quizzes and regular discussion groups about the latest TV series.” (RIP Game of Thrones)

Storm has nailed the perfect balance of culture and benefits, enabling both to contribute to each other with the outcoming creating a place where people enjoy working. 

Holly explains, “Whilst financial and healthcare benefits are very important, we believe that benefits which contribute to an employment culture make all the difference when it comes to staff retention.”

This outlook is key to why Storm organises benefits that the whole team can experience together. All of what Storm does is because they, “want their staff to enjoy coming to work.”

Holly says, “Because the team have so much flexibility and freedom, it encourages them to still work hard! They enjoy their projects and work great together as a team to ensure we deliver the best possible standard for our clients.” 

Equal treatment

When it comes to words of wisdom, Holly says, “Treat your staff as you’d like to be treated. The policies we have in place are solely as a result of our founders, David and Adam, wanting the same rules to apply to everyone – not just them! They always ensure their staff are motivated, enjoy the work they are doing, and get along well with their colleagues. Storm likes everyone to feel valued, equal and trusted.”

But as always, there are other components involved that create one of the best places to work in tech. Holly says, “As Dave once explained, ‘don’t be afraid to reward your staff’. The benefit often outweighs the cost as staff will return the favour in the long run.”

The standout policy that Storm enact is not restricting the amount of leave staff are allowed to take. Holly recognises this would not be practical for every business, but still underscores the value in this outlook. 

She says, “It gives our team the freedom to enjoy life outside of work and not miss out on important events, or spending time with their families. More often than not, the team take little more leave than the standard amount anyway, but it relieves the stress of juggling work and their personal lives, and vastly reduces sick leave.”

Thank you to TechSPARK for featuring us! It’s great to be able to showcase how we work at Storm and hopefully inspire other companies with ways to build a positive team culture.

Visit the TechSPARK website for the latest goings on in tech in the South West.