“Do you like ping-pong?” Not the first thing you expect to hear when starting a new job at a video agency. But that’s what I was asked by Gusto.film‘s Creative Director, Tom, my first day in the office…
When planning out an office space, we’re used to thinking about practicality. Comfy chairs, mazes of meeting rooms, coffee machines (if you’re lucky). But what about design for the mind?
“Companies that invest in an office space that is designed well can boost employee productivity by up to 20%!” – Nemogroup
Stepping into Gusto.film‘s office space at Brighton‘s new Plus X building, I knew it was going to tickle me with creative inspiration on a daily basis. It’s lightyears ahead of the two metre square, windowless box I’d been working from before, with something cool, collaborative and captivating around every corner.
Championing a company culture that takes an equal stance on both work AND play has danced and skipped it’s way into the office space over recent years. And it makes perfect sense.
We’re not talking about tie-wearing employees being given a license to chase each other around like toddlers. But – as stated by Brendan Boyle of global design and innovation company IDEO – by creating opportunities for office recreation, it encourages employees to “experiment, empathise and take creative risks”. Take Google’s HQ, for example… You’ll spot an adventure-scape of surfboards, deckchairs and giant slides. No room for boredom there!
And it’s here that ping pong comes into play.
While it may not let you slide between your colleague’s workspaces, we believe ping-pong has mega mind value.
It’s fast paced. It’s competitive. It’s fun. But how do you take that and make it part of the furniture within an office space? And how, as a creative agency, do we reap the benefits that bouncing a little ball across cross a table brings?
Our table tennis mad video production team hold a solid set of brand values and, as coincidence would have it, the pros we get from picking up our paddles align incredibly close to some of our key mantras.
- Let’s start with the obvious. Ping-pong boosts morale and productivity. And at Gusto.film, we strive for happiness and fulfilment. Ping-pong is a workplace energiser and gets that dopamine pumping, giving you a feel-good hit – you might even be able to replace it for your morning coffee. It’s also a great place to open up and un-pack the mind when things get tough at work or at home. Tom will regularly hold check-in’s with us over a game.
- It’s “the worlds best brain sport”. We are bar raisers, who are unfulfilled delivering mundane, standard and fine. Taking a trip away from the desk for a game of midday ping-pong encourages you to keep your brain buzzing, think outside of the box and engage those senses that might have gotten a bit sleepy. When you return to your creative conundrum with a fresh set of eyes, you’re more likely to land on new lines of thinking. As the vice president of Samsung states, “the most creative ideas aren’t going to come while sitting in front of your monitor”.
- It’s a team builder. There’s often times where our Producer, Dan will be in and out of meetings, our Editor, Mitch is buried deep in post-production or our D.O.P., Joe is out on a shoot. So it’s plausible that we go a few days without spending much time as a team. Ping-Pong is an excuse to get everyone together. To take work caps off and put social caps on. The more we gel as a team away from our desks, the slicker we are when under the cosh.
A perfect example of ping-pong in office play has been designed by Erika Stokes, who manufactured a dual-purpose table for her office space. By day, it’s a conference table, but from 5PM onwards, pens are downed, paddles are donned and it converts into the ultimate ping-pong arena.
As film making experts, we are first and foremost creatives, and table tennis is that little bit of extra mind juice we incorporate into our working diet. Whether it’s midday meetings, after-work battles or quick-fire question and answer sessions, it brings the team together.
Fancy a chat about your upcoming video production project? We’ll see you at the table!
At Gusto.film, we have sure-fire methods to cultivate killer creatives.