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Employee #1

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When I left the civil service and set up a company, nearly two and half years ago, it’s fair to say I didn’t have much of a plan. Thanks to many kind people and plenty of luck, the purchase orders kept flowing and I’ve found myself working alongside some fantastic people, whether it’s training communicators or simulating armageddon. But for my own sanity (and because the box room at home has weak defences against two vociferous small boys), it’s time to take the next step. Or rather two.

Firstly, I’ve been lucky enough to secure Luke Oatham as Helpful Technology’s Employee #1. Luke was the first digital hero profiled on this site, and runs a great blog about intranet design and UX issues, drawing from his work at the Ministry of Justice and elsewhere.┬áHe’s a government webby of the finest sort, and will be joining me from September working across all the various things that we – now a proper ‘we’ – do.

Secondly… I think I mentioned the box room. As I’m now working with around 15-20 clients at any one time, having a central base to make meetings more flexible and save on the Starbucks Tax has become increasingly important. Silicon roundabout isn’t quite right for a small business working with central government, so from September we’ll be based in a bright little office in Duncannon St, just off Trafalgar Square. I’m hoping to be there three days a week, and planning to set up a little drop-in hotdesk for friends and clients to use in between Westminster meetings. It would be lovely to see you.

Despite the cuts, despite (or perhaps enabled by) the Government Digital Service, there’s clearly a market within and beyond the public sector for good value, specialist digital communications support in various forms, from social media training to WordPress digital engagement platforms; UX research to crisis simulation. With Luke on board and a more central base, I’m hoping we’ll be able to provide a better service and follow up more of the exciting leads that are coming in.

These are pretty optimistic times to be in digital, whatever sector you’re in, and that’s certainly true in my little corner. Roll on September, and thanks again for getting me this far.

Update: Luke blogs about the move

Cheesy clipart credit: Business-Clipart.com

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23 Comments

  1. Looking forward to the office warming party ;-)
    Great news for you and @luke_oatham and your clients who ‘have’ to visit you in Trafalgar Square

  2. Same team. Remember that. All pulling in the same direction. Good hearts & good minds. Well deserved and well done.

  3. Steph – great news on both getting Luke and new office! Really pleased for you both. Looking forward to new office tour.

  4. Very exciting. Great to hear you’re doing so well. Hope to swing by with some biscuits next time I’m hot desking at the Yard.

  5. Congrats, Steph, and long may it continue. I like the ‘didn’t have much of a plan’ bit – those are usually the ones that work best. ;-)

  6. Congratulations – fantastic news!
    And seeing as you will be just the other side of the square, I can’t not come and visit – do shout when you’re safely installed ;)

  7. Great news. I remember it was when my daughter, aged 18 months, was able to stand on the bottom step and reach the handle to my office door. That was the trigger for the office and employee #1 for me. Amazed you’ve lasted at home so long!