Meet Michaela: magical multi-tasker, CSR superhero and finder of lost rhinos. Every day, our Office Manager takes care of Maverick Towers with patience, skill, cheer and an endless supply of dad jokes. No wonder she’s won the office ‘Radiate’ award more times than the rest of us put together. However, there’s more to Michaela – and her job – than meets the eye, as we found out when we caught up with our Maverick miracle-worker.
Office Managers. They order the stationery and manage the cleaners, right?
That’s true – but that’s just the tip of the iceberg! Office Management is like the theatre. You see the play but you don’t see what is going on behind the scenes! And my responsibilities range from ensuring we have the correct stock to support people and the smooth running of the office, to mitigating security risks, sourcing environmentally friendly products and planning the office for the future of hybrid working.
It sounds like you’re juggling loads…
I currently wear many hats. Post pandemic the volume of my Office Manager tasks decreased (due to lack of people in the office). And as I love being busy and challenged, I looked to get involved in more areas of the business. That has seen me doing a stint as a Production Coordinator in Eric, supporting Carron [Edmonds], Owen [Rees] & Chris [Tedman], recruitment and onboarding, as well as filling in for Tom [Ramsay], our Creative Services Manager. Which means two days are never the same, and you’ll often find me jumping from one project to another (not literally though).
But at the same time I still have my day to day role, and people come to me with all kinds of requests. Not long ago, I had to track down two missing rhinos…
We’ve arranged with WWF for every employee to adopt a rhino as part of our CSR efforts, but two Mavericks hadn’t got theirs. We sorted it out though; their WWF welcome packs had got lost in the post…
CSR is something of a passion for you. How are you making the office a greener workspace?
When I started, there was no CSR team in place. To begin with, it was just me doing what I could, but we’ve slowly grown the team to seven. With the help and inspiration of Lucy [Cadel] and this team, we’ve been making changes so The Maverick Group is more environmentally-friendly. We’ve upped our recycling game by removing individual desk bins and putting a sustainability box on each floor. Now, you can recycle PPE and crisp packets as well as the usual paper and glass. I’ve also made sure all our stationery and printer paper are from recycled sources. My next project is changing the lightbulbs over to LEDs so they consume less energy.
One of the things I’m most proud of is switching from plastic milk containers to glass. The only problem is that people keep chucking the lids: any Mavericks reading this… please don’t – they’re special sustainable ones!
With so much on your radar, how do you keep yourself organised and motivated?
I make lots of lists and reminders, but occasionally, tasks do fall by the wayside. I always try to help people when they come to me, which means a lot of jumping between jobs.
Keeping things fun is important to me and I do a ‘Happy Friday’ newsletter at the end of the week. It’s full of lighter stuff: spot the difference, fun facts, positive quotes, funny gifs. Unfortunately, my jokes don’t get quite the reception I would like! I also organise events for occasions like Halloween or Pancake Day, and of course, the office favourite, our Christmas Party. Not long ago, we organised a virtual Step Challenge to raise money for the Felix Project and help everyone stay active, which went really well! We’ve now been working with our charity partner for almost a year.
I can see why the team loves having you here, but what about you? What do you like about working at Maverick Group?
The people, the company values… you’re well looked after and your opinion is always valued.
And the future? What’s in store?
With the pandemic, it’s been hard to get plans and ideas off the ground. I’m looking forward to getting things done and I’m planning an office update. I’d love to see our work showcased around the building, with lots of pops of colour!
Longer-term, my ambition is to one day become a COO. I’m gradually taking on more responsibility, like managing finance processes and looking after the IT asset register. It’s a case of learning on the job and I’ve been taking on some of Chris’s tasks and getting his expert advice. I’m taking on a lot but it’s the right path for development.
Last question: do you have any tips for people who want to keep on the good side of an Office Manager?
Yes! If you need anything – like a client lunch prepared – always give me advance notice. And don’t forget your door fobs!
So that’s Michaela – an all-round awesome package of efficiency and fun. Just don’t throw away her milk bottle lids. (But do feel free to laugh at her dad jokes.)