Office Odyssey is a social enterprise, a business with a mission: to create opportunities for people on the autistic spectrum and those with other barriers to work while minimising the environmental impact of our clients’ print operations
When we established Office Odyssey we wanted to build a company that was about more than profit.
Epson’s introduction of sustainable technology into the market created the opportunity for us to do something different and drastically reduce the environmental impact of our clients’ print operations. As early adopters we sold hundreds of Epson products to customers and the excellent results convinced us to base our own business around this groundbreaking technology.
We had learned about social enterprise through our research into ethical business and when establishing Office Odyssey decided to become the first managed print provider in the UK to operate as a social enterprise. As parents of a child with both additional needs and great potential we wanted to create a jobs and a workplace for people with developmental learning disorders or diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
We know very well how hard things can be for adults with barriers to work to find employment that works for them too and we are proud to have been able to create those roles within our business. Most of our staff are either parents to a child with special needs or are diagnosed with a condition such as Aspergers syndrome. We are proud of our neuro-diverse workforce and of the great results they deliver for our clients.
We are a Living Wage employer offering flexible and meaningful work. We have created over 3,000 hours work for people with barriers to employment.
Just 16% of adults with autism are in full-time employment. We provide permanent employment and training for people with neuro-diversities.
We provide free printers and copiers to small relevant charities and special needs schools so that they can use more of their funds for projects.
We reduce the carbon footprint of our clients’ print operations by an average of 86% and reforest every page printed with Print:Releaf.
Impact Case Study:
Office Odyssey’s Systems Specialist, Dr Tim Kendall PhD
I am diagnosed autistic and am personally familiar with mental health issues. As such, working with the social enterprise Office Odyssey has been transformational. I had been unemployed after a previous career in science and academia as a postdoctoral researcher and, apart from a couple of damaging attempts at employment in IT, this remained the situation until last year when I began working from home with Office Odyssey. I had wanted to work (mostly) from home for many years, recognising the internet easily allowed this possibility. This would allow me to be in charge of my own time, something an autistic person (in my experience) finds essential.
I have been looking after a subset of our printer fleet numbering around six hundred, requiring the careful maintenance of databases and spreadsheets. This suits me well and uses my existing skills.
In addition I have had a number of days in the warehouse which, being occasional, make a refreshing change and are good for my mental health. Office Odyssey have made this very easy for me, providing transport and taking into account my needs as an autistic person to the maximum possible.
I strongly believe that social enterprises are vital in providing employment to those such as me who otherwise may have languished unemployed for the duration. My experience is that I would be turned down for all of the jobs I had applied for as overqualified. This is why I can describe my experience with Office Odyssey as transformational.
Working in the Community
Our sixth form are so grateful for the Epson photocopier we were kindly given, it has made a massive difference to their enterprise projects, and we have had great fun making various items from stickers to cards.
The team are friendly, great with the learners and continually helpful. Thank you so much!
As well as supporting the work of Café Track financially, Office Odyssey have also helped to create a range of opportunities for individuals to access employment. We look forward to continuing working together and making a real difference to the world around us.
Tom Cliffe – Director of Track
Office Odyssey has been really great for us. They were very generous and supplied us with a really reliable Epson printer/copier. Their customer service is outstanding – they were always very responsive and flexible. I think that over the course of last 3 years we must have saved a significant amount of money that we are able to spend elsewhere into developing our programme for people with learning disabilities and autism. I would recommend Office Odyssey for any charity or social enterprise.
A Social Enterprise
Office Odyssey are certified by Social Enterprise UK as a business with a social mission at the heart of its operations.
We combine our social value with a business model that utilises only the most sustainable technology in our market.
Living Wage employer
All workers are paid a minimum of £11.00 per hour, which is above the London Living Wage. Office Odyssey try to use suppliers that pay the Living Wage and as often as possible are social enterprises such as Social Telecoms who we chose for our phone system.
Disability Confident Committed
Disability Confident is creating a movement of change, encouraging employers to think differently about disability and take action to improve how they recruit, retain and develop disabled people.
Being Disability Confident is a unique opportunity to lead the way in your community, and you might just discover someone your business cannot do without.