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Opus team working together

How We Work

How we look after each other

Opus is a worker owned and controlled company. This means that everybody who works here has a say in how the company is run. This also means we can choose how we look after each other.

Find out how we do this below, or jump to Governance

  • We pay everyone the same hourly rate, regardless of what role they do. This recognises that everyone's time and skills are equally valuable.

  • We pay everyone above the real Living Wage. We regularly review our pay rate together as a group, and increase it when we're able to.

  • We give everyone two extra weeks off at Christmas, on top of our annual leave allowances. This helps make sure we properly recuperate ahead of each new year, and reduces the likelihood of burnout.

  • We have a dedicated Wellbeing Officer, who proactively checks in with everyone who works at the company. They're also always available to everyone who works here for a confidential chat.

  • We give each other time off when we're not feeling well, or need some space due to personal circumstances.

  • We're flexible about where and when we work. This allows us to meet any caring responsibilities we may have without taking time off.

  • We pay each other overtime when our work requires us to go beyond our contracted hours (for example, during the Festival of Debate)

  • We run meetings in a way so that everybody feels seen and heard, and has their perspective respected

  • We follow a practice of ‘consent-based decision-making’. This means we can make better, faster decisions that are good enough for now while involving everyone

  • We use a peer-to-peer appraisals process, allowing us to help get the best out of each other in an empathetic and open-hearted way

Opus team member working at laptop
Armando Iannucci at Festival of Debate

Governance at Opus

Designing organisational governance models which create the conditions for learning, caring and accountability proportional to the pace, depth, urgency and complexity of the work is something we regularly return to at Opus.

 

Our current thinking is informed by the following insights: 

 

  • the importance of creating governance mechanisms that are adaptive and able to respond to new information quickly

  • the value of inclusion and agency in decision-making, by those who are likely to be most affected by the decisions

  • the importance of including voices who provide perspectives that are detached from the day-to-day delivery of work in the organisation 

  • the recognition that often our work is in deep partnership and collaboration with other organisations, whose perspectives we value and whose work and insights often inform our own

  • good governance should be oriented away from ‘ownership’ models to those of ‘stewardship’ 

  • that the level of learning, insight and contribution we need in our governance requires commitment and passion beyond what could be reasonably expected from a volunteer – therefore people should be paid for governance work

  • that mutual and equitable accountability to each other in governance can create a culture of curiosity, sense-making, compassion and shared commitment to the work

Current Governance Structure

  • We have a single worker-owned and controlled governance board

  • All people who work day-to-day at the company are members of Opus, with one vote each on the governance board

  • Opus also employs people specifically to hold governance positions at the company with one vote per member. This is paid at the same hourly rate as all other team members.

  • Each member of Opus’s governance board agrees to a bespoke stewardship contract that articulates the kinds of contributions, skills and knowledge they would like to bring to the governance of the organisation

  • All members of Opus agree to the code of conduct, behaviours and baseline expectations that are expected of those in governance positions at the organisation

  • Board meetings are held quarterly or can be called for in the interim by any board meeting

  • The board elects directors and a chair of the board annually from its membership

  • The board uses a consent-based model to make decisions

 

If you think you’d like to be an Opus board member, get in touch and let us know what skills, knowledge, capacity and experience you would like to bring to the team and the work we do.

Opus team member at work
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