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Productivity

Smart work pods: Thinking outside the box

Tiffany Loh
Smarter Writer

Tiffany Loh is the Smarter Business™ & News and Digital Editor, with varied writing experience always looking for a unique story

Tiffany Loh
Smarter Writer

Tiffany Loh is the Smarter Business™ & News and Digital Editor, with varied writing experience always looking for a unique story

Jason Fremder, managing director of Harwyn, says his idea of prefabricated pods to provide businesses a little extra room for a lot more freedom came to him like a bolt of lightning after his baby daughter claimed his quiet sanctuary, his home office, and he had to relocate to the backseat of his 4WD.

work pod

Have a positive attitude and you will succeed

“Whenever you set your mind to a goal and stay the course, you are going to achieve it. And with age and experience, it becomes easier to have faith that all you need to do is set your mind to a goal and pursue it with absolute certainty.

The starting point always comes from knowing exactly what you want to achieve. When I’d first started surfing a number of years ago, the ocean seemed so ferocious. The fear could have easily overcome me and sent me scrambling from the ocean but I knew I wanted to catch waves and experience the feeling of riding big fast waves. With a very clear goal, I knew what I had to do to get Harwyn started.”

Dream big, plan right and watch the magic happen

“My first big goal was to prove the concept of the prefabricated pod would sell. Our first customer was proof that assumptions made in the planning of this business held true: that people need space and they would embrace the idea of a prefabricated pod being delivered to them (craned in from the street and over two buildings if need be). Up until now, we have flown under the radar for the most part but we have a lot of competition from the building industry.”

Don’t see the unknowns as failures, see them as learnings

“When starting this company, there were many unknowns but one thing I was certain of was that the showroom needed to be in a central location, not favouring any side of Melbourne. Abbotsford was a natural choice for a showroom that would be convenient for the entire Melbourne metropolitan area.

“As far as production went, the thinking was that Dandenong manufacturing was a good choice because it’s close to suppliers, but the 40 minute drive between the two facilities lost me too many hours in travel time. We’ve since moved the production facility closer to the showroom so I can float between the two with ease.”

The starting point always comes from knowing exactly what you want to achieve.

- Jason Fremder, Managing Director of Harwyn

What’s next…

My plan for business growth is centred on customer service. I’m passionate about providing every person who comes in contact with our company great service and great product. From that, I believe our business will grow steadily. Every day, I’m always thinking about what we can do to maximise the customer experience.”

Jason's tips for a productive workplace
  1. “Over the course of the next 10 years, you are going to spend around 20,000 hours in your workspace. So the first thing to make the space productive is you have to love that space.
  2. It should be designed to give you great natural light, a comfortable work area, plenty of overhead lighting and enough space to step away from your desk to take a phone call in a different setting to break things up a little.
  3. There should also be plenty of natural ventilation with the ability to open windows. And as we know, we have very extreme weather so a great climate control system to bring the temperature to your sweet spot when necessary is a must.”

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