In late 2004, with a small family loan, we bought two laptops and founded ustwo™ in the confines of our kitchen. We wanted to use technology in a creative and innovative way – and in such a fast-moving industry, we knew we had a chance at making a difference. Our mission was to build a studio where like-minded, creative individuals could work under one roof, share unique ideas and then bring them to life.
We’ve always felt that the workplace should feel like home: when you walk through the office doors, it should feel as though you’ve just stepped into your front room. At ustwo™, we’ve consciously created a space that blurs the boundaries between work and home life. Our aim is for our staff to feel more excited about the Sunday evening before work than a Friday night in the pub – it would mean that they’re doing something they love, not something they’re always trying to escape. After all, home is where the heart is and we’ve personally built the studio from the heart up.
Over the years, thanks to our success, we’ve been able to invest more in our staff. For example, we make sure we buy laptops over desktops so no one’s ever stuck to their desks – something that wasn’t possible in the early days. We’ve also moved into a bigger studio with numerous break out areas, meeting rooms and an open plan kitchen with a barista grade coffee machine at the centre of it all. When you spend at least nine hours a day in a studio, it’s essential that everyone’s needs are met.
In creating our studio space, we also wanted to challenge the standard boss-employee relationship: in our opinion, having a physical divide between bosses and staff will only lead to an emotional divide. We’ve never ever considered ourselves as bosses – we certainly don’t want anyone to treat us like that. In our view, all of us at the studio share one goal, so we prefer to sit among the team as other pieces of the puzzle.
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