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At WATERS, the world influences every aspect of our creativity.
Here’s what’s happening in our world – company news, press coverage and a glimpse at what we get up to behind the scenes.
05 Dec 2016 A Day in The Life of Waters
8am – Our early shift team members open up the offices, the immediate priority being to get the kettle and coffee percolator on to ensure a caffeine powered start to the day. It’s Monday morning so our offices smell ‘fresh as a daisy’ after being cleaned over the weekend.
8.15am – whilst sipping their drinks our team catch up with each other about what they did the night before - there’s excitement at the mention of the latest episode of Game of Thrones, they respond to emails, check the daily work schedule and review their priorities for the day. The great thing about working shifts is not just the flexibility, but early starters benefit from quieter concentration times before the phone starts ringing.
9am – Late shift arrives, gets settled in, and cue the telephones. We ping onto Social Media and check our latest interactions. We do love being social, and moreover it’s good for business!
9.30am – Thanks to the open plan office layout, our design team have their morning catch up at their desks, whilst running through schedules online, they check deadlines and ensure all projects are on track. They then discuss a new branding project that has just landed, and share out some of the research work required for this project.
10am – Team web head into the downstairs meeting room to have their weekly catch up, it’s an hour long session but is invaluable to the business, one of the directors sits in on this to input and update the team on work in the pipeline, and finance attend to ensure forecasts are being met.
10.30am – Our post is delivered by Andrew (who has to be the most friendliest postman in Swansea) our admin team Ashley and Rachel sift through the post for supplier invoices, payment remittance and the regular invite or two for localised business and networking events, (we sure do have a lots of networking options here in Swansea!).
11am – We refuel our creative minds with fresh, strong coffee. Bourbons and Jammy Dodgers are at the ready, just in time for one of our longstanding clients who has booked a brand immersion session with our strategy team, although already an established business they are launching their products into a new sector, our design team cannot wait to get started on the visuals but understand how important it is to tease out the important aims and objectives of the new offering at this session before any creative work is started. These sessions are fun, but clever as they get the client to reveal information that makes the difference between a good brand and a great brand.
11.30am – There’s a buzz of excitement around this time each day. The studio is now in full swing with the ‘hustle and bustle’ of work, the hum of conversations, the printer whirring, the kettle boiling, all meeting rooms are in use, plus the sofa area is being used for a client who’s just dropped by – This is what makes us tick. Passion, ideas and solutions flowing freely. WATERS at it’s very best.
11.47am – Clarkey, our reliable and long standing print supplier drops by to deliver a sherpa proof of a brochure for a client who requires exact pantone matching to represent their brand in the best possible way, our designer Rhianna cross references a supplied swatch, checks the thumbnails and signs off the job. The supplier heads off to get the job (which has a tight deadline this time) onto the press for us asap.
12 midday – A few of the team head off for an early lunch, always offering to pick up lunch for others who are busy - with several supermarkets around the corner we are completely spoilt for choice. A couple of the designers sit upstairs chatting and comparing last nights ‘left overs’ in our fully equipped kitchen area watching lunchtime TV, reading a good book, doodling and colouring often takes place (we love a mindfulness colouring book and sharpie!).
Rhianna and Emma take advantage of living close to the office and pop home to enjoy a quick dog walk at lunchtime (weather depending of course).
12.30pm – Team members from both design and web have arranged a get together to chat through the arrangements for our next internship with UWTSD. The discussions include timings, suitable projects and the application process (we tend to change this each year just to keep students on their toes and challenge them creatively).
1.30pm – Ashley returns from lunch (typically beans on toast) and gets straight on with invoicing. An important part of any project!
2pm – There have been quite a few quote requests today, so a few of the team quickly meet to chat through who will look after each customer and decide on the best supplier to approach, playing to their particular strengths to get the best results for our clients.
2.30pm – Generally Rachel in our finance and admin team is last to have lunch (we think she just likes a short afternoon ;) ). For about 30 minutes everyone is quiet, busy working on projects, keyboard keys tapping and the occasional phone call.
3pm – Snack Break! (or more recently, Fruit Break!) And it’s time for our regular monthly team meeting held in our comfy sofa area, the agenda which is set by the team covers actions set and completed, new items, tells everyone about the topic and date of the next planned internal training session, and is topped off by announcing our team member of the month (our clever developers have created an online tool to record votes and comments) the winner gets time off in the afternoon of their choice or a £25 gift voucher. This month it’s Leah our UX/UI designer who wins, all the lovely comments from the team are read out for every nomination. Leah chooses a £25 River Island voucher (we think she’s got her eye on a new bag).
3.30pm – We’ve just launched a brand new website and so a Content Management System (CMS) training session kicks off in one of our highly creative meeting rooms. We provide training for at least three people. Ceri our friendly developer welcomes our guests, offers tea and coffee and then takes them through the system so they are all comfortable using it. At the end of the session Ceri hands out copies of our CMS manual and creates user accounts for them so that they can start using the editor the moment they are back in the office.
4pm – A potential new client calls in to discuss the design of some new case studies, with a brand already defined and brand guidelines to work within, Sophie our designer sits with them to go through the finer details including paper stock, finishes and quantity options. The client asks for assistance with copywriting and key messages, so Sophie gives Rhian a call to sit in on the conversation and to provide advice on a more strategic approach.
4.30pm – our early shift packs up, check their team mates are ok with everything and then leave for the day.
4.45pm - Rhian and Rhianna who are both welsh speakers take a scheduled call from a client who prefers to conduct all business in Welsh as it’s his first language. The client is creating an annual report and works for a large organisation with multiple stakeholders. Rhianna makes changes on screen in InDesign while Rhian guides the client through the edits, ensuring nothing is missed.
5pm – There is a large branded umbrella order going out in the morning for a university open day at the end of the week, so Rachel checks in with the supplier to request a delivery time and then contacts the client so they know what time to expect them. We can’t wait to see a sample!
5.10pm – the last part of the day is that much quieter and provides a great chance to get through the remaining items on our lists. We begin wrapping up our work for the day, ensuring all deadlines have been met. We all think the office is a time machine, time goes so quickly here.
5.30pm – More often than not, 5.30pm ticks over without anyone really noticing, and we continue to work for at least another 15 minutes. We operate a clean desk policy (Rhianna our designer is nominated desk monitor and often leaves helpful post-it notes ;-) ) so all cups and glasses are washed and put away. Rachael and Emma compare steps on their Fitbits, there’s a bit of healthy competition, but more often than not Emma wins hands down!
6pm – With deadlines met and our clients up to speed on progress, we lock up and head home, smiles on faces it’s been a good day and we are all looking forward to tomorrow!