Community/ News

In the fast-paced world of gaming, Chineham Park has successfully integrated one of the world’s leading gaming accessory providers, Turtle Beach, into the business park, creating a workspace that appears more like a multi-player experience than a 9 to 5 grind.

Sitting across from the EMEA and ANZ Managing Director, Nick Forder, we’re struck by how down to earth he is. He’s a true team player and clearly cherishes the shared office experience between globetrotting trips, recently returning from Asia, San Diego and Iceland.

His Nordic adventure was a well-earned break from 24/7 operations, a business that has witnessed huge expansion in the wake of the gaming industry’s explosion.  The surge, fuelled by the pandemic’s need to connect, has prompted Turtle Beach to immerse itself in the new gaming ecosystem, leveraging best-in-class audio to offer headsets across all price points to those who enjoy working hard and playing hard.

Immersive Experience

The relocation of Turtle Beach in January 2023 from old premises in Basingstoke to its new HQ in Chineham’s Central 40 initially faced some opposition from form the team. Hesitant about leaving the town centre, the office has since become a benchmark for company culture among their US counterparts.

Contrary to tech stereotypes, Turtle Beach’s UK employees prefer coming into the office and whilst there’s no written rules, Nick notes an unspoken routine – most come in three days a week, with the flexibility of two remote days, home working.

Sense of Community

“We all enjoy the office and hanging out together. It’s a cool and dynamic environment to work in and we’re still near major rail hubs and can get straight into London.

“Nothing makes me happier than when it’s six, seven o’clock at night and you can still hear people laughing, playing pool and having fun in our games room. It shows we’re doing something right.”

Gaming is after all a very social industry. “It kind of grabs you.” Reflects Nick. “It’s fast paced, adrenalin fuelled but also about community and self-expression, with some great minds at work and characters who are integral to unlocking the next level of opportunity.

 “During the pandemic our team missed being together.  It was tough for many of the young people working from home. Often, they would be living with parents or in shared accommodation. It’s far from ideal working from your bedroom or breakfast bar all day.

“By the end of it, it was very evident they couldn’t wait to get back and our move to Chineham Park was in part a reaction to this experience and the desire to create more room and a space which they could put their mark on and call their own.”

This is clear from the quirky Christmas Decorations we see in reception which Nick said had appeared on his return from Iceland. “I’m too soft,” he laughs. “But I’m not big into hierarchy, I like to feel we’re all on the same level and that I’m approachable.”

Embracing the spirit of gaming

The design of the offices says tech, but also relaxed and fun. “For the fitout we brought together a team of four or five people and asked what do you want out of the office? One of the main criteria was to create a great atmosphere and be open plan. We eat, drink, work and play together, so you understand everyone’s roles inside out and can learn from each other and share a joke.”

Work hard, Play hard

Asked if his team enjoys being part of the Chineham Park community, Nick says they’re always up for being entertained.

‘We utilised The Green to stage our own summer party.” Adds Nick. “We’re always celebrating! So many birthdays! It’s not great for the waistline.

“Quite a few, including myself use the gym and I know the team like the pop-up food vans.” What about the new pizza place we ask? “Ah I haven’t been there yet,” then spontaneously calls out to a few team members grabbing drinks in the café area. Their lively retelling of a recent visit to the new Italian eatery fills the room with smiles, earning Pizzeriagali a resounding thumbs up.”

Levelling Up

This close-knit team’s sense of belonging is reflected by its low turnover rate. “Our sales, commercial and marketing directors have been with us for eight to 10 years each. I think that highlights how we look after people.

The family feel established since Turtle Beach’s inception in the 1970’s is as important as its sense of responsibility to the environment in which it operates, which also informed its move to Chineham Business Park.

“We believe our mission to do the right thing is important for our long-term success and we’ve been working hard listening to customers and working out how we can recycle more, make more sustainable packaging and reduce our impact on the planet.

‘There’s no simple solution,” says Nick. “But our values are crucial, and we have some of the best minds to help make it happen. We want the next generation to grow up with our products and being a socially responsible company is paramount for them.”

Share your story: