1999: Office Space – Mike Judge
Today I had the opportunity to go beyond the online and see the bricks and mortar of Google. Here in London, right next to Paddington station is an office that attempts to capture the essence of west coast technology and lifestyle. Google it seems, does live up to its online answers for everything when it comes to looking after their staff, the result being that an army of motivated and committed people take the strain, crunch the numbers, run the algorithms, and test the features of all things Google.
The offices are a little like an indoor beach – including deckchairs underneath palm trees, open spaces, help yourself coffee stations (and some) just about a frisbee throw from the last one. Pool tables, games rooms and even a music studio for staff to jam. There is a huge canteen area with a vast array of choices and its actually a free lunch. The environment encourages more of the collaborative work that you might expect from an organisation like Google and of course uses all of the latest technology to communicate internally and around the planet.
My visit prompted me to reflect on how the working environment is also testimony to corporate culture and speaks volumes of the relationship between management and staff. In most British businesses this would be “extreme business” and perhaps for many smaller businesses, simply beyond their reach. However, there are lessons that could be learned – perhaps a thoughtful, creative environment leads to higher productivity and/or increased loyalty, perhaps it leads to better ideas and better business. Our environments have an impact. That made me think that financial advisers can forget that a property is not simply an asset, but a home. The decision to downsize or relocate to somewhere cheaper in order to release funds for income later on, may be far from ideal, yet for many it is a likely scenario. A financial plan will identify options and provide a reality check well in advance of reaching such a stage. A good financial plan will also consider and reflect that your main residence is not simply a bricks and mortar, but a home – one that reflects your values.
We are a boutique firm of financial planners. We create financial plans designed to achieve a desired lifestyle. We will craft and implement your plan that will provide you with the greatest chance of accomplishing your unique goals based upon the values that you hold. Financial products are little more than the tools to achieve your required results
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