Have we enjoyed working in our pyjamas? Sure. Being able to walk the dog at lunchtime? Even better! Dodgy internet, working in the kitchen and death by conference call? Maybe not.
As life inches closer to normality, we’ve been reflecting on how we’ve been working for the last year and half.
The Before Times
In that happy time before “coronavirus”, “social distancing” or “national lockdown” were in anyone’s vocabularies, our working patterns were fairly traditional. We came into the office five days a week, met clients in the office, played table tennis, drank tea and ate biscuits together, in the office.
Like many businesses, it was a shock for us when offices were forced to close. We had to adapt quickly to working from home, video conferencing, and everything from site visits to those all-important tea breaks going online. There have been pros and cons. Everyone’s experience of working from home has been different, but most of us have at least enjoyed a bit of time freed up from not commuting. We’ve been filling it with everything from walking and cycling to moving to Somerset and gaining extra qualifications.
There has also been a significant positive impact on our carbon footprint – drastically cutting down on commuting and using a lot fewer office supplies as we’ve upgraded to paperless systems. We used 66% less paper in 2020 compared to 2019.
Fast-forward 15 months and our offices have been open for a while, albeit with reduced occupancy, and it’s clear that “the future of work” is looking very different. We’re keen to retain all the positives of this experience, whilst bringing back the elements we’ve missed – face to face meetings and that elusive element of team spirit which is so hard to capture online.
Like many companies we have introduced an agile working policy so staff have more flexibility to choose where they work and when. We hope this will have a positive impact on everyone’s wellbeing and work life balance, and still making some savings on commuting. We’re still using video conferencing for most meetings, but we’re keen to meet face to face wherever possible as well.
We still don’t know what the future looks like, but we’ll be approaching it as flexibly as we can. We’ll always strive to balance the needs of our clients with needs of our staff, and the need to run the business responsibly and sustainably for the future.
We’d love to have a brew and catch up with everyone we haven’t managed to see yet – give us a call!