First impressions of Locus Research: an employee’s perspective
I’ve been an employee at Locus Research for a couple months now. I took a moment to pause and reflect on how my time here has kicked off.
On day one, I arrived to a welcome pack that included a glass Keep Cup, a Locus designed and developed Field Journal that fits perfectly into my back pocket (I can’t live without a notebook), and a black ink pen that was just the right thickness for sketching and writing. We had our Monday team meeting outside at the waterfront, on a beautiful sunny day. These details were all alluding to a company that relishes thoughtful design, is environmentally aware, and fosters inspiration.
As time has gone on, I’ve been delighted to confirm the authenticity of these initial inklings and to experience the company culture. Wearing bare feet, blasting music, or getting outside for some fresh air are all encouraged if it helps prompt your creativity. Simon Sinek is a household name. Coffee, when of the right quality, is essential for maintaining human life. Interesting personal projects are going on in the background e.g. furniture design, recipe perfecting, volunteer work.
Living and breathing in this environment inspires creativity. It makes you pretty darn excited to get out of bed in the morning. It’s conducive to getting the best out of you. A massive amount of progress is made each week on projects. When you work with a team of people who bring their ‘A’ game, you want to bring your best to the table as well.
In the short amount of time that I’ve been here, I’ve been exposed to a wide range of projects. From nutraceutical packaging, food products, software development, forestry logistics, international port research, to a bike rack and dog kennel. The variety is huge, but at the core, the process of what we do for each client remains the same. The shared expertise in research, product development, and innovation consulting can add value to small or large clients, in any industry, dealing with any product or service. We work on new ideas, so each and every project is exciting! It does make it difficult to switch off outside of work.
I’ve previously worked for relatively large companies (e.g. Fisher & Paykel) with product development teams of 300 plus people. They are different beasts altogether. As a product designer in a larger company, you tend to have a more specific role with defined constraints to operate in. You don’t tend to see the complete product development process or fully understand how and why high-level decisions are made. Seeing all sides of the business is something I’ve always been really interested in. At Locus, we have full visibility and commercial viability is an integral part of the process. We look at ideas from all angles as a multidisciplinary team.
Taking up my role at Locus involved relocating to Tauranga. I have lived in a variety of locations including New York City, Whakatane, Vancouver, Rotorua, and Auckland. Big cities and small towns each have their individual advantages! Tauranga combines both nicely. It’s big enough to have a great selection of restaurants, bars, cafes and shops. It’s small enough to have the beautiful outdoors in close proximity. The Mount, the beach, and the mountain bike trails make for a pretty great playground! My commute is a 20min bike ride to work (the perfect way to start and end the day).
Well, the honeymoon period doesn’t seem to be going away. I’m under no illusions, I will have to work exceptionally hard, but I feel extremely lucky to call Locus Research “work”. I look forward to seeing some pretty exciting projects progress and learning lots from my wonderful colleagues.