There have been a number of stories hitting the headlines this week about companies making radical changes in the workplace, particularly around how and where their staff work. For example, Royal Bank of Scotland announced its decision to allow 50,000 employees to work from home for the rest of 2020, while Siemens is allowing its teams to “work from anywhere” for two or three days a week.
The UK has long lagged behind other countries in terms of remote working due to concerns about productivity, but it’s clear that the coronavirus lockdown has been an eye-opener for businesses and employees across the nation as we start to embrace a new world of work.
Getting used to WFH
When the lockdown was announced back in March, the Wildfire team took to remote working like a duck to water. All the right tools and technologies were made available to us, which made the transition that much easier.
It did take some time getting used to though. Like I said in my previous blog post, I missed the buzz in the office, the random kitchen chats and spontaneous convos around the office. But thanks to the social team we had the weekly quizzes and beer o’clock sessions to bring us all together. I quickly got used to working from home, and I started to enjoy it more.
I was able to fit time in for exercise, spend more time with friends and family (on Zoom, of course) and sit in the garden over lunch and enjoy the weather.
The next phase
The office officially opened at the beginning of July, and we were all given the choice of whether we wanted to come back full-time, continue working from home, or come into the office a couple of days a week for the next two months. I opted for the latter.
Last week was the first time I stepped foot into the Boathouse after four months, and it was surreal (in a good way!). I was super excited to see my friends, catch up and just be able to shout across the office to sanity check something with teams. We had an internal brainstorm organised for a client campaign that day too, and it was great to be able to get creative and bounce ideas off each other.
I left the office that day feeling quite refreshed and said to myself that I will start coming into the office again more regularly.
Flexible working is the future
It’s positive to see companies across the nation being more flexible with new work measures and putting their employees’ safety at the centre. This new era of flexibility won’t be going away anytime soon, so let’s all just get used to it.