Mixing Business with Pleasure

Bedroom with smart lighting

Tim & Karen Chugg, co-founders of Intelligent Abodes, share their experience of working together and achieving the work/life balance

What led to you working together?

Tim & I both liked our gadgets and one evening, we had a conversation about the potential of a smart home control company in the South West of England. Tim had great technical ideas, but knew he didn’t have the time or the skill set to meet the demands of setting up a new company in a newish market. We thought that by combining our knowledge and experience, we could become a potent combination, as our skill sets perfectly complement – so it all began in June 2008!

What came first business or love?

Tim & I met each other in 2000, so the love came first, followed by the children! We often wondered whether working together may help the work/life balance and enable us to spend more time together. Looking back we both agree that our marriage has made our business partnership stronger.

What are some of the ingredients for a successful working partnership?

Divide & Conquer – we have always taken ownership of certain roles within the business according to out personal strengths. I tend to focus on strategy, marketing & sales and inance, which enables Tim to fully focus on project management and technical integration

Family Matters – family is really important & the priority for both of us, so we ensure we have quality time for each other, the children and the pets!

Respect – we value each others contribution to the relationship and the business everyday

Challenge Gender norms – We divide the tasks, whether at home or at work, according to our capability to get the job done. I may be the Managing Director, but I still make Tim’s sandwiches every day!

Flexibility – we don’t have a strict separation rule, we often bring business home at the end of the day, sharing it with each other and the children; we have found it fosters support, understanding and injects a little humour!

Modern white bedroom with smart lighting

What are some of the pros of working together?

Sharing the same goals, aspirations and supporting each other on a challenging day, but ultimately the greatest benefit is trust and faith, in knowing your partner is investing as much as you.

What are some of the cons?

Organisational differences in the workplace!

What’s been the biggest achievement for the company during this time?

We have been incredibly lucky to work with some wonderful people that are well respected members of the business community in the South West. In 2016, we were part of the team that worked on the boutique hotel, Lympstone Manor owned by Michael Caines OBE.

We teamed up with the Apple Business Team in the South West, providing presentations and open evenings to clients and local businesses at the Apple stores.

In 2015 I won the Venus Award for customer service, which was a great complement to have that aspect of our business recognised, as Tim & I both have a very client focused “can do” attitude.

What does the future hold?

Technology in the home has never been so exciting, so we need to continue to be creative with integration to meet the evolving needs of each client.

White tablet with control4 program

– New Screen features

The media screen, where you can see what’s playing in each room – whether that be music, movies or both – has also been overhauled, with a new media bar with artwork, volume slider and an indicator for music quality. They have introduced 1000s of new features including a Global Room Driver for lights and music – so that you can control multiple rooms – great if you are entertaining in several rooms of your home! You can even set a threshold, so for example if you turn the music up in all rooms, it will only increase to a maximum threshold, set by you, so no blowing the speakers or ear drums!

There are also enhancements for climate control screens, security, shade control, native support for streaming high-resolution audio, and a whole lot more.

Wallpaper examples for new Control4 OS3 update

– Wallpaper

On each screen, you can now add or create a unique background which can be viewed on the smart phone, tablet or even your TV screen. This is a handy way to quickly identify which room you are operating and its a great tool to help memorise key screens for each member of the family.

Professional Integration with personalisation for home-owners

Achieving the sophistication clients want to manage their home, requires the knowledge and experience of a professional installer; however, only a family knows the nuances of their day-to-day lifestyle. The new Control4 Smart Home OS facilitates professional installation to make sure everything works together, while empowering families to make their smart home experience uniquely their own.

New OS3 Control4 user interface on smart phone