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Bespoke Careers

14 June 2018

14 June 2018

Hayball, Melbourne: Diverse, Generous, Curious.

The Culture of Practice

“Hayball believes in nurturing each individual’s career development and this is something that we invest in heavily. Our staff tell me they find it refreshing that we consciously work to align their own career trajectories with the evolution of the practice,” says Hayball Director Sarah Buckeridge. “We see ourselves as an organisation that celebrates learning and is generous with how we share knowledge – we all learn from each other – be it from colleagues, clients, or our wider community of friends and collaborators.” 

Located in the heart of Melbourne’s vibrant arts precinct, Hayball currently employs more than 140 people across its dynamic and flexible open-plan studio. A conscious decision to diversify the practice expertise across multiple project sectors and varied project scales, has allowed it to adapt, innovate and grow while retaining the essence and ethos of its mid-scale roots. 

The practice has evolved within the space it has called home for more than 20 years by designing a flexible working environment, including what it calls ‘collaboration labs’ – breakout-style spaces that allow larger teams to come together for dynamic working sessions. “We’ve found that by implementing an open and adaptable office layout we can introduce very popular shared spaces that support our design culture and the exploration of ideas by project teams,” says Buckeridge. 

In terms of practice and design culture, Hayball has always bred an evidence based approach which is underpinned by research and the sharing of knowledge. Whether internally or via specialist partners and collaborators, initiatives like their ‘design matters’ programme – a lively debate on architecture hosted over drinks and snacks, or their fortnightly ‘connect’ series – a presentation by an industry guest followed by a Q&A, are all part of a culture of openness and enquiry that permeates the practice. 

Hayball offers specialist mentoring for junior staff preparing for registration, as well as a staff social club, which focuses on activities outside of work including film nights, cheese and wine tastings, family picnic days, a bike club and enthusiastic membership of the Archisoccer league. “Social connectedness is fundamental to supporting our people throughout their careers,” adds Buckeridge. 

“We work very hard to develop opportunities for true career growth and development for all our staff. We strive to provide opportunities for people to stay here with us for a long time and to challenge themselves as they progress through the organisation. We are always thinking ahead, about the future generations and iterations of the practice as well as how to empower all our staff to be curious, constantly learning and inspired,” concludes Buckeridge.


Author: Kat Allenby, Global Head of Communications, Bespoke Careers

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