Mindful productivity

Members of the Vitsœ workshop team
Martin, Lily, Daniel and Alistair at the Vitsœ workshop in London

The atmosphere inside the Vitsœ workshop is unique. It is an ever-evolving hive of activity where the team works together with trust, good manners and respect towards a common goal: to assemble and dispatch furniture to Vitsœ customers around the world. It’s a place where the opinions of the staff are valued.

Previous workshop experience or a specific education are not so important here. Vitsœ prefers to nurture those who have the desire to support others, rather than focusing on their own agenda. Understanding one another’s strengths and weaknesses enables the team to keep the production and distribution of Vitsœ furniture running smoothly.

Martin at the Vitsœ workshop in London

Martin…

“In the workshop, we’re not really the kind of people who want to sit down all day. We pray for the phone to stop ringing, or the emails to stop pinging. We want to get back to the physical part of the job, which is what most of us really enjoy doing. But you still have to use your head because here we have a ‘way’ of doing things, we’re not just mindlessly lifting boxes. It can be very meditative when you are getting on with the task in front of you. You can forget about the world; you can forget about your problems – it’s liberating.

“It’s different to what I was doing back home in Slovakia, where I was working for a law firm after graduating from law school. I gave up on wearing a suit and driving a fancy car because I just didn’t feel happy. When I moved to London I was working as a pizza chef before I found Vitsœ. Here, I get real job satisfaction, it’s really tangible. I get a good feeling, seeing all the pallets stacked up from the work I’ve done that day - I can see what I’ve achieved.”

Lily at the Vitsœ workshop in London

Lily…

“You might come to the Vitsœ workshop and expect to see craftspeople, but our skills are more mechanical…we like putting things together. We need people who enjoy the idea of assembly and hands-on work. Of course, it’s good for someone to be creative and innovative, or be brimming with ideas for improvements, but I don’t think that’s the most important thing. It doesn’t even matter if you’ve never assembled furniture before because if you like baking or anything else that’s hands-on – with components, rhythm, method, time – then the workshop is a good place for you.

“We are all so different, but it really works. You need a mix of personalities and I think it’s great that there are people from all sorts of backgrounds because that’s what rounds out the team. We all put the team first. It’s never what you want to do, or what you want to work on today – it’s always got to be what is best for the team. This is the attitude you need to have. We never come to a task in the workshop and think ‘what can I get out of this?’ There’s no room for ego.

“Once you’ve proven yourself, you have the freedom to try and change things or shape how you work and make improvements. We have a workshop meeting after our tea-break on a Monday morning and everyone speaks freely, everyone can contribute, regardless of the number of hours you work, or the job you do. Here in the workshop, everyone’s opinion is equally important.”

Daniel at the Vitsœ workshop

Daniel…

“The ethos of the company and the way we work here is worth a lot. When you work for some companies, you don’t have the same level of freedom. In the workshop there is an atmosphere that enables you to do your own thing, to find your own niche. You’re able to find what you want to do and follow it, alongside like-minded people.

“I’ve been here for 5 years now, and what makes it for me is the team, the unique characters. Most people have an unusual background and before they come to work here have done something quite unrelated to making furniture. I think it makes it a really good environment to learn new things from each other.

“Before coming here, I worked in offices and the kind of exhaustion you feel after sitting in front of a computer all day is very different to the way I feel now. I hardly ever feel tired – it’s absolutely the opposite. We get hungry, we eat a disproportionate amount than office workers, but we’re all super fit. The workshop keeps you trim.”