Cathy finished her last Blog by revealing that “like wider society, we have taken cautious, safe steps to begin returning to the office…”.
Despite the many benefits of working from home, particularly work/life balance for our team, and potential future cost savings from letting go of physical office space, we have decided, as a team, that we need that face-to-face contact in order to do our best work for our clients. That is, after all, what motivates us each day, and one of the core values upon which I have built White Label.
Whilst at home, we have daily team meetings and instant access to each other should we need to talk but there are still times when being in the same office space, being face-to-face, would be so much more effective and so much easier. The whole White Label team agrees.
Brainstorming, ideas generation, morale building, team building, joint projects and simply working together, we find is so much better face-to-face. We realised early on that we are definitely a business and a team that thrives in the office. The whole team has, quite rightly, been behind the decision to return to the office.
Importantly, we haven’t made a sudden switch from home working to the office. We recognise the benefit to most people of having flexibility so we are maintaining some home working. Office days are currently on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Monday and Friday, the team can still work from home. And even I have discovered that I enjoy working from home on a Friday so that is where you’ll find me each week!
So, how have we managed our return while minimising the risk?
We’re incredibly fortunate that our office is in Hertford which means that everyone can commute by walking or driving – no-one needs to take public transport and if they did, we wouldn’t expect them to come to the office at the moment.
Our office is spacious but self-contained. It has been quite simple for us to have a re-jig to allow for social distancing. We have access to our own entrance into the office meaning we no longer need to use any shared spaces. We can limit who comes in, and take full control of our environment.
As we have introduced new protocols to make our office Covid-secure, we have also made sure that everyone is comfortable with the plans and processes. Everyone received a ‘Welcome Back’ Pack to make the return a positive experience. The team has adapted incredibility fast and if you ask any of them, they’ll tell you that they’re loving being back in the office and feel incredibly safe.
I’m so proud of how the team coped during lockdown and am equally proud of how they are managing their way back to office working. We’d missed the banter, the laughing together and the support we give each other. We may not be able to get closer than 2 metres but seeing someone in the flesh, for us, is something that can’t be replaced.