I started at Drew London almost a year ago, and when I describe life in our cosy East London office to friends and family, many people stare at me aghast when I mention our flexi-working hours, unlimited holiday and our adorable office guardian Spike. “How on earth do you ever get anything done?” they ask. So I thought I’d give you a sneak peek of how our awesome creative family works together as a team to produce beautiful brands, websites and print design.
Good Morning Clerkenwell!
Monday mornings are where it all kicks off! At 10:30am, once the last team member is in and settled, we make a cup of tea (very important), our CEO Elle usually brings in some pastries from our favourite cafe Albion, and it’s time to get stuck into our weekly production meeting. As Drew’s Project Manager, I update everyone on the status of each project, talk about new work coming into the studio and make sure we are on track to complete everything on time and within budget.
Every other working day we do a daily stand-up (with tea...of course). It’s a great way for the team to quickly update each other on their daily tasks and for me to remind anyone of client meetings or any urgent internal discussions. Mainly though, it’s to check in with people and ensure that our team are A-OK before we start the working day.
Watch Us Work It
The next vital part of the day is to blast the tunes on Alexa! Music is what keeps us going and motivated here, we all love sharing playlists we’ve created through our Office Music App. Everyone gets a say in what we listen to - well, most of the time. 😉
Then it’s time to knuckle down to work….with more tea. (Can you see a pattern emerging here?) The great thing about having a small team is that we can generally stay on top of projects through our daily stand-ups and regularly updating each other. There are, however, a couple of handy tools that we use to help with project management and to ensure everyone stays on track with daily tasks. It also means we prevent disrupting each other's workflow as we can just send a message on Slack or tag each other in a comment on Trello. I touched lightly on these apps in my last blog post How to Keep Yourself Motivated at Work. Here’s a more in-depth look into both:
Trello is a great application that we use internally and with some of our clients. It shows an overview of the work we have on a particular day or week and also shows our future and pending work. This helps our team to work better collectively and is very user-friendly. As Project Manager, I definitely enjoy using it the most (I admittedly have been known to get a little nerdy with it), it helps me to see the overview of each project that comes into the studio, I can update projects when clients get back to us and keep the workflow moving. We have 2 main boards - one for digital and one for print. I manage both teams and ensure that the designers and developers are fully briefed on each project and that we are staying in budget and on time with absolutely everything.
We LOVE this app. It gets used all day every day - fab for uploading work to be QA’d internally, sending quick messages, reminders or just for a bit of light relief to send a GIPHY or two. In Drew Labs we also created a plugin that connects with Slack called ‘Tea Roulette’ - the clue is in the name. Very useful to reduce arguments about which Drew team member’s turn it is to make the tea. We’re still puzzled as to why Nadeem who created it has still never made a cup of tea...rigged? I think so!
Did Someone Say Drunch?
Eating at your desk is discouraged at Drew London. We usually always sit around our big glass table at lunch and catch up or read out articles we’ve found to each other.
One of our favourite things to do at lunch, however, is run. Whoever fancies getting out for half an hour in the fresh air will gear up and run down along the canal. The best thing about our ‘Drunch’(Drew RUN lunCH) club is that we run as a team, no matter what level of fitness you are. We find that it helps with getting motivated in the afternoon, sort of like meditation, and is a way to clear the mind. Some creative ideas have been brainstormed on these runs too. We’re working on designing some Drunch t-shirts, so if you spot us running around East London give us a wave!
After lunch, (and another cup of tea) we all crack on back to work. As some team members leave earlier than others we are always mindful to ensure that everything that needs to be discussed internally is done so by 3pm. This means if anything needs to be followed up after the meetings it can be finished before people head off for the evening.
Meetings at Drew London are fairly relaxed. We have an open plan office with a round glass table in the corner of the room, which allows our lovely clients to feel at home when they come in to visit. Any meetings that need a little more privacy take place in Central Street Cafe across the road, which also happens to have the best scrambled eggs on toast in London!
What's the Vibe?
One thing I really value at Drew London is our culture. Our CEO and founder Elle is always encouraging us to learn something new or visit talks, exhibitions, and events - so good for inspiration, keeping up-to-date with trends and bringing new ideas to the studio.
We also hold internal workshops called ‘Drew Learns’ where one member of the team teaches everyone one a new skill. In the past, we’ve had Calligraphy writing, how to present your elevator pitch and painting with watercolours. These workshops are an opportunity for the team to bond and learn something they wouldn’t have necessarily looked at doing outside of work hours.
Another thing that I noticed when I first started, which I have found can be quite rare in some companies is that we love our clients! No seriously, we LOVE them! It’s one of my favourite qualities about Drew, that we really take the time to get to know each and every one of them and work with them from the start right to the end of the project. We keep clients involved and up to date on each stage of the process and as a result, have great relationships with all of them.
I hope that has given you an insight as to what our awesome creative team does here at Drew London. If you’re interested in becoming one of our lovely clients or simply want to pop in for a chat, get in touch with our wonderful founder Elle - firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll pop the kettle on.
We have space in our office for some new faces! If you're a start-up, a creative individual or small company and are looking for a shiny new shared office space please get in touch (tea lovers desired but not essential)