- Player: Linda Trim
- Company: Giant Leap
- Position: Director of sales and marketing
- What they do: Office design (workplace specialists) for a better place to work, and think
On office space and productivity
We’ve built our brand and company culture on ‘workstyle’, a twist on lifestyle. The first eight hours of your day are very important, so workstyle is about providing people with an office and tools that help them have a balanced and productive day.
When people enjoy being at work, you will retain the best for longer, they’re more productive and talk proudly of your brand.
We recommend: Optimise your Work Space
On making open plan work
We have a mix of open plan, collaborative and quiet spaces, as modern offices need to be flexible.
Open plan can be disruptive and because we’re collaborative by nature, we have a flag system to signal when someone is not to be disturbed, and if a discussion is needed it’s taken to the collaborative zone.
Private phone calls are taken in our sound-proof phone booth, and if you need to chill out for 20 minutes or need privacy for work, we also have spaces for that.
On lunch breaks
Our company rule is that no one is allowed to eat lunch at their desk – it’s unhygienic and discourages mingling among staff. I tend to take a short walk to the shops for fresh air and exercise, and then I interact with staff in the canteen.
There you learn about their lives, what they’re working on, any work problems, and interact with people you ordinarily don’t speak to. This all lends to a happy, energised workspace.
What do you wish people would realise about ergonomics?
It’s not just about the chair you sit in, it’s your whole environment working together to create a comfortable space geared for work: Acoustic ceiling tiles, correct lighting, comfortable desks and chairs, the right office equipment nearby, departments that work together situated in close proximity to one another, proper ventilation, pleasing colours and textures.
Functionality is more important than the cool factor, as it’s functionality that fosters productivity.
A great office is first and foremost about understanding the company’s function, designing for that, and then promoting wellness and comfort.
How do you maintain your productivity daily?
I have a to-do list and a plan made at the end of every work day so that I can switch off at home, and when I arrive at the office I know what’s important. I always do the things I have to do but don’t really enjoy, first.
I exercise every morning before work, and that energises me for most of the day. When I feel myself losing momentum, I take 30 minutes to sit in our quiet room and practice mindfulness.
I have an app that’s really helpful! After that I often feel as energised as I did in the morning.
What is meditation for you?
For me, it’s really about taking ten to fifteen minutes to clear my mind of all thoughts, and to concentrate on breathing.
I take a Feldenkrais class to learn how to breathe properly for relaxation, energising, and so on.
For example, practice breathing in through your mouth and out through your nose and note its effect on you.
On slowing down
I’ve just read a book called The Slow Fix, by Carl Honoré and it’s about the philosophy of slowing down in order to arrive at better decisions and solutions.
When you push, push, push constantly, you often get a short-term fix rather than the best result. When I catch myself becoming rushed or distracted, I pull myself back and focus on the one important thing that needs completing.
We recommend: How To Have A Website That Works Hard For You
On getting exercise in
Exercise invigorates me mentally, it energises me, and also relaxes me after a busy day. I treat it in the same way I do appointments: I have fitness gurus for everything and I make appointments with them religiously.
That way, they can think for me, can push my boundaries, and I can’t just skip it because I don’t feel like it.
Alan Knott-Craig On Learning To Overcome Your Fears And Building Successful Businesses
After Alan Knott-Craig ran some of South Africa’s well known companies like Cellfind, iBurst and Mxit, he’s on a mission to broaden South Africa’s wireless internet network with HeroTel.
We interview entrepreneur Alan Knott-Craig, who after running well known South African companies like Cellfind, iBurst and Mxit founded HeroTel, which is a Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP) and his strategy is to buy up smaller WISP companies to create a broader network.
Ian Fuhr Explains Why He Likes To Launch Businesses In Unfamiliar Industries And How He Made Sorbet A Success
Ian Fuhr, a serial entrepreneur is not scared of opening businesses in industries he knows nothing about.
We interview entrepreneur Ian Fuhr, who founded the Sorbet Group in 2005 which has now grown to over 200 stores in South Africa with stores in the UK. Ian is a serial entrepreneur who has launched many successful companies in industries he knew very little about.
How Pepe Marais Went From Bankruptcy To Founding Joe Public And Becoming An Entrepreneurial Success
After being bankrupt in 2009 Pepe, along with his partners, turned their business around to being one of the best advertising agencies in South Africa.
We interview entrepreneur Pepe Marais, who co-founded Joe Public, one of the biggest independently owned advertising agencies in South Africa. After being bankrupt in 2009 Pepe found his life’s purpose and not only turned his business around, but his entire life. It’s all documented in his booked titled Growing Greatness, which is a must read.