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It’s been a case of ‘all change!’ for me this year, with both a move of the NACFB headquarters to a new location in central London and some work to revamp our offices here at Goodman Corporate Finance.

When I first became Chair of the NACFB, the association was based at Hamilton House on the Embankment, which looked very grand from the outside, but step inside and it was very much Downton Abbey in all aspects – from lifts that worked only when they felt like it and poor temperature control, to more modern issues like unreliable internet and phone connections. In addition our lease had just a two-month notice period and the building was up for sale, so it was clearly a significant risk to the Association.

After a lot of work from the team to find and equip suitable new premises, we’re now based at 33 Eastcheap in Central London, where we have a 10-year lease. I’m so glad we’ve made this move as we can now spend less time worrying about where we ‘live’ and return our 100 per cent focus to being a membership association, built by members for members. While the new home still looks very grand from the outside, it’s very modern inside and much more conducive to a forward-looking organisation. We now have a space that enables the whole team to work together in one room with some capacity to grow, and a separate meeting room where we can run events rather than hiring external facilities, which makes it more cost effective too. I’m looking forward to meeting lots of members and patrons there.

Improving the offices at Goodman HQ

The importance of a good working environment was also the inspiration behind me recently picking up a paintbrush myself to improve the offices at Goodman Corporate Finance.

It had dawned on me that the team spends a great deal of time in the offices, and to be honest they were a bland and dour place to sit for eight to ten hours a day. So I took some time over a number of nights and a weekend to fix the problem. I could of course have employed someone else to do this work, but that would have meant disruption to the office and, if I’m honest, I wanted to be involved first hand in creating a better working environment for my valued team. Thankfully they absolutely love it, which does bring a smile to my face.

I’ve repainted all of the office space in our corporate colours to freshen everything up, improved the general professional look of the place and redone all of the key documents that we have on display to reflect this updated image. The place has a definite corporate ‘wow factor’ now.

Supporting great people by creating a great place to work

Company owners need to attract and retain the support of great people – no business would be a success without a great team – so we must provide them with a great place to work. We all spend such a large part of our life at work, it’s important that we enjoy that time as much as possible. And if a by-product of providing a positive, modern and aesthetically pleasing environment to work in is greater productivity, then it’s happy days for us all. I am extremely lucky to work with some talented, motivated and professional people, and giving them the right environment to work in is the very least I can do.

If you’ve done something else to improve your team’s working life that you think I could try please do let me know – I’m always open to new ideas!

Paul Goodman.