Having a workforce that wants to come to work every day of the week is an impressive achievement. It’s something most organisations hope to accomplish, so we reached out to the shortlisted companies of the Best Place to Work in Tech Award at this year’s SPARKies to find out what makes their workplace special. Next is Atomic Smash, who won Highly Commendable for the award.

Atomic Smash is a specialist WordPress and WooCommerce studio based in Bristol – if you’re in need of a bespoke, intelligent website or platform to boost your company, these are your guys.

We spoke to Piers Tincknell, co-founder of Atomic Smash who tells us, “We are learning all the time about how people want to work and that everyone has different needs, so we are constantly evolving our processes and ways of working to suit the team.”

Reactive working

Listening to the needs of your staff may sound like a no brainer, but it’s often a simple trick many organisations miss.

Piers tells us that at Atomic Smash they have, “an online staff handbook that people can refer to if they have questions about certain things.”

But rather than having a list of policies written down that each member abides by, they simply engender a certain way of working that can be adapted as needed.

Piers explains, “Part of our culture is about learning and self-development, we ensure people have time in their work schedule for personal development and for learning new skills; our Production Manager helps to keep peoples schedules from getting too busy.”

However, there are aspects of creating a happy yet productive workplace that remain unchanging. Piers believes if there is one policy every company should adopt it would be to, “Reduce the number of hours that people are expected to deliver work and carve out time for personal development.”

Ensuring their staff aren’t overworked is crucially important for Atomic Smash. In order to enact that, the team traditionally stick to a 9-5 work day with an hour lunch – and that means home time at 5 on the dot!

This may sound rigid, but Piers explains, “We do offer flexi time as well which people really enjoy having.”

The reasoning behind this ethos is because Atomic Smash finds, “with design and development people are exhausted by the end of the day and we do not want people to burn out so we make sure people do not stay late.”

It’s all about number one

One of the benefits of working for a small business is the personalised experience you can receive in the workplace. Atomic Smash recognises the importance of this and uses the unique opportunity to foster it to their advantage.

Piers says, “It is important to reward staff and each person has different requirements. Some will want more money, some might want more time off and others would rather have a new piece of hardware.

“We try to find out what is important to each team member and build their benefits around them and their goals.”

But in a competition of culture vs benefit Piers says, “I believe that culture is more important.”

He goes on to explain, “You need to find out what your staff want and design a business around that, what works for one person might not work for someone else and so there is no handbook or blueprint for designing the perfect working environment, it is an ever-changing playing field with ever changing players and rules.

“One thing that I believe is a constant across everyone is that people need time and space to think and develop so ensuring extra time is factored in as much possible is always going to help teams to be healthier and happier.”

Thanks to Piers for taking the time to talk to us about working at Atomic Smash. To find out more, check out Atomic Smash’s website or follow them on Twitter: @atomicsmash.

Shona Wright

Shona covers all things editorial at TechSPARK. She publishes news articles, interviews and features about our fantastic tech and digital ecosystem, working with startups and scaleups to spread the word about the cool things they're up to. She also oversees TechSPARK's social media, sharing the latest updates on everything from investment news to green tech meetups and inspirational stories.