Employer Zone - I like where I work because...

Computer Weekly, in association with human resources magazine Personnel Today, is searching for the best places to work in IT. We...

Computer Weekly, in association with human resources magazine Personnel Today, is searching for the best places to work in IT. We aim to put together an "alternative prospectus" of good places to work as selected by those who work in them. We have had a phenomenal response and week-by-week we will bring you highlights from some of the entries. This week we get Kelvin Haste's thoughts on working for Somerset County Council in Taunton

Employer Zone: Kelvin Haste
Describe your office

What colour is the carpet in your office?
How close do you sit to your nearest colleague?

Do you and your colleagues socialise outside of work?

Any other comments on atmosphere?

Are there pubs within walking distance of your office? What are they like?

Does your office have good transport links?

Any other comments on location?

Has your company helped you develop a career path? How has this happened?

Do staff get the opportunity to move around the company to gain experience?

Does your company have its own training department?

Do you get access to cutting-edge technology?

Is your software updated in line with the latest releases?

How old is the oldest computer in your office?

How big is your monitor screen?

Describe any exciting projects you have worked on

What benefits does your company provide?

Do you have team-building events? What sorts of things have you done?

Does your company provide a subsidised canteen?

Describe your IT department in three words
Name: Kelvin Haste Job title: Database manager Company: Somerset County Council Location: Taunton The office is open plan and usually quiet. People are always very willing to help. Blue. About four paces. Yes. We like to go to either the Wyvern club or the Pen and Quill pub. We get together after work for a curry once a month. The atmosphere is always good. We work at the heart of local government, so we are at the front line for unforeseen events, such as fuel shortages, flooding and foot and mouth. There is always someone to turn to for help when you need it - and in turn you provide that assistance for anyone else. Yes, at least 10. Most are very good, with decent food as well. The cost of beer ranges from £1.80 to £2.25 a pint. We tend to congregate at the Old Library in Taunton, which is actually the old public library. The atmosphere is very good and it is less than 100 yards from the office. Our office has very good transport links, but you could just as easily drive as parking is free. Even though we are in an urban environment, I don't feel that we are in the hub of IT action. Yes. The company places a heavy emphasis on training and development. Regular reviews are held to make sure everyone is kept well informed. Yes, people do get to move around and try their hand at something different within the company. We have an in-house training department that promotes training and development. I have been on a number of courses: developer courses, software usage and reporting. Not usually. Most of the cutting-edge technology is left to senior management. Yes. Two years old. 19 inches. I have just finished setting up a database for the largest residents' panel in the world. I get 26 days' holiday a year. You can get three months' maternity leave and there is a company pension. Team building events are usually centred on discussion forums. We get some very positive results from these events. Our team-building exercises are away days, where the whole team gets away for a day to further links and strengthen bonds, without the constant interruption of telephones and e-mail. Yes, the average meal costs about £3. The curries are wonderful. That is by far my favourite meal. On the ball.
This was last published in May 2001

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