Festive Season in the Office

The Glenferrie Hawthorn community is wonderfully broad and our commercial precinct not only includes retail shops, cafes and restaurants, but also a multitude of businesses tucked away in offices, some above and behind the shopfronts.

The Glenferrie Times caught up with some of our local business owners and employees in their offices in Glenferrie Hawthorn to chat about their festive season end-of-year celebrations, traditions and holiday plans.

Staff and office dog at Gerard Coutts & Associates enjoy tasty treats from Doughnut Time (648 Glenferrie Road). This project management team find themselves very busy leading up to Christmas. They take some time off after the Christmas rush and then have a quiet start in the new year. Traditionally the office partake in 'Bad Santa' gift-giving, but this year there is a twist: the gift must be something you already own. Whether it is something you no longer have a use for or just something you think someone else would like more, it is a great way to up-cycle and save money. After gifts are exchanged, the group will head down to Tao Tao for a holiday lunch.

- Left to right: Priscilla, Louise, Jacqui, Portia (dog), Gerard, Alex and Dara from Gerard Coutts & Associates at 827A Glenferrie Road.

Rita, Ankur and Nellie from McLean Delmo Bentleys open up a gift from Mind Games (760 Glenferrie Road) next to their office Christmas tree. The accounting firm has about 80 staff who embrace the giving season each year by collecting food and gifts for the Salvation Army to create hampers and gift baskets for those in need. This year, the staff have also started a desk decorating competition, all in good fun. McLean Delmo Bentleys have an annual office party, this year in the city, to thank everyone for their hard work. The holiday season is a time to relax and reflect. The office closes for two weeks so that when staff return to work they are ready for the new year and meeting new goals.

- Left to right: Rita, Ankur and Nellie from McLean Delmo Bentleys at Level 3, 302 Burwood Road.

Felicity and Ishara at Doing Good Rewards are excited to put together an Australiana puzzle from Blackbird & Fox (714 Glenferrie Road). The charitable marketing company is very busy leading up to the holiday season, before they close for a festive four weeks. During December they are gearing up for charity campaigns for their business clients for the new year, and decorating the office with Christmas cheer.

- Felicity (left) and Ishara (right) from Doing Good Rewards at 88 Hawthorn Grove

Aynkaran and Mary of OYOB, gift-wrapping an art set from Eckersley’s Art & Craft (654A Glenferrie Road) to surprise a fellow coworker. The property investment and development company describe themselves as "community driven" with a "passion to help people". In terms of Christmas office traditions, OYOB joins with businesses in neighbouring office suites at 88 Hawthorn Grove for Kris Kringle. However, this year they are switching it up for Bad Santa where they will be able to steal the most appealing gifts from one another in some lighthearted Christmas thievery. Over the holiday period, Mary is off to Bali for three weeks and in the new year OYOB will begin structuring and planning events for 2020.

- Aynkaran (left) and Mary (right) from OYOB at 88 Hawthorn Grove.

Amalia, seen here opening a Hammamas Reef Towel from A La Plage (816 Glenferrie Road), runs Consult Empower out of a collaborative workspace in one of the office suites at 88 Hawthorn Grove. The property investor consultancy business usually slows down around this time but Amalia is "speeding up and working harder", wanting to push herself this holiday season. For their Christmas party, Consult Empower join neighbouring businesses including OYOB and Doing Good Rewards for a group Picasso art class in the collaborative workspace, followed by a festive feast. Amalia is looking to spend Christmas with her family at their farm in Gippsland and, in the new year, hoping to commit to more charity work - most namely fundraising enough money to build a water plant in Sri-Lanka.

- Amalia from Consult Empower at 88 Hawthorn Grove

At Thatcher Finance, financial advisers for professionals and business owners, it is all about family. Husband and wife duo Barry and Michelle Thatcher bring their son Will into the office to join in the festive fun, unwrapping gifts from Lawrencia Cycles (756-758 Glenferrie Rd) with Jill. As the new year approaches, Thatcher Finance have found themselves "super busy" before the office closes for a couple of weeks over the Christmas period. Their festive traditions include what they call 'naughty Santa', having fun giving each other silly and irreverent gifts. In past years, Thatcher Finance has held their Christmas party at Vaporetto in the Lido Arcade, but this year the staff will go out for drinks on Glenferrie Road before heading into the city for a nice dinner. As lovers of cycling, Michelle says they "always buy gifts from Lawrencia Cycles".

- Left to right: Jill, Will, Barry and Michelle from Thatcher Finance at 86 Hawthorn Grove.

With Christmas just around the corner, the team at Jellis Craig open a Galileo's Thermometer from The Toy Workshop (747 Glenferrie Road) and a record from Alley Tunes (8/660A Glenferrie Road) in a real (e)state of excitement. While the residential property sales department pack their suitcases to make the most of the quieter end of the year, the leasing team have all hands on deck to help families move into new homes over the holiday period. Staff will celebrate the end-of-year festive season with an office Christmas party in St Kilda and a company-wide family fun day. Kris Kringle is an office tradition at Jellis Craig, and waste-conscious Sophie fondly remembers receiving a fancy KeepCup last Christmas. "Someone really put thought into it," she said.

- Back row, left to right: Zac, Kaylah, Con, Sophie, Telisa and Kate. Front row, left to right: Clair, Natalie and Maddy from Jellis Craig at 248 Burwood Road.

The staff at real estate agents Barry & Matthew Iles open up a Catalan recipe book from Readings bookstore (701 Glenferrie Road). Each festive season, the office closes for two weeks so the team can spend the holidays with their families who live from Torquay to Byron Bay, but they still remain on-call to take care of their clients and properties. Each year, Arden decorates the front window with baubles and hangs greeting cards from clients underneath the front desk, and they send off Christmas gifts to their business contacts. Previous years’ Christmas celebrations have sent the team horseback riding and hot air ballooning. This year, they will visit the TarraWarra Winery.

- Left to right: Scott, Susie, Richard, Carol, Matthew and Arden from Barry and Matthew Iles at 793 Glenferrie Road.

The team at BIG4 are buzzing with excitement for the festive season as Jake hops into his new bright red sleeping bag from Aussie Disposals (668 Glenferrie Rd). The BIG4 "helps others enjoy their holiday season" at each of the 180 holiday parks across their network. The office will close over Christmas and New Year’s but remain on-call just in case. CEO Steven plans to take his family on a business-leisure vacation to visit their holiday parks in Western Australia. Around this time of year, the team are holding an office Kris Kringle and looking forward to a Christmas BBQ out on their office balcony, and afterwards heading to ten-pin bowling. For their Christmas party last year, they went to Beer Deluxe just next door. "We try to do something new each year," said CEO Steven.

- Back row, left to right: Michael, Fiona and Steven. Front row, left to right: Rushan, Kara, Septi, Liz and Jake from the BIG4 at Level 2, 313-317 Burwood Road.

* Christmas decorations, hats and props from My Red Shop at 662 Glenferrie Road.

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