Working Inhouse

Working in-house is always an eye-opening experience. I am a naturally nosey person so I love being able to poke my nose into a new place and see if it challenges my preconceptions. Here are a few I used to have.

Big companies are more organised
Some big companies seem to be in a constant state of winging it, living from one deadline to the next. They get you in last minute and literally throw you into the chaos. Although, that might seem negative, sometimes those environments are energising and create a really good sense of team spirit.

Small companies do smaller projects
Also not true, some of the smaller places I have worked at offer up really big client names and really long drawn out projects. I enjoy these because you get to be a bigger cog in a smaller wheel.

Hotdesking is impersonal
Not true, I kind of like it – words I never thought I would say. Sometimes you end up sharing a desk with other part-timer freelancers and everyone seems to leave a bit of themselves behind. I remember sitting at one desk that had a tiny post-it note attached to the monitor offering up a very minimal line drawing of a guy with a beard on it. I’d say one level up from your basic stick man drawing. The amazing thing was though, that when the guy turned up in the office a week later I knew instantly it was his picture and his claim to the space.

It’s hard to fit in as a temporary employee
I don’t think that’s true. Sure if you are only in a place for a week that can be the case, but often you bring some fresh air into a place and people’s curiosity makes them friendlier to you. You yourself, have to talk to people. You have to probe and ask more questions than you would normally because you haven’t got the leisure to fit in slowly over time.

I’ve had some great in-house experiences. From sitting in an office of tennis balls at Ace Tennis magazine to working out which parts of the Guardian had the best air-conditioning (during high summer in the old Farringdon building).

Below is a typical freelance in-house project. Design a supplement on Global Warming for The Guardian. It was a great intensive two week experience working with their graphics guy Micheal Robinson who created all the info-graphics. I loved the big archive of diagrams they had and their amazing bookshelf of design books. It was a great experience.