by The Iocea Team
You know that old saying – If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.
Well, that’s exactly what we thought when it came to reassessing our post-pandemic working approach. Whilst many other businesses rushed to get their team back in the office, we held back a while. So long in fact, that we’re heading into the end of 2022 and are still not back in the office full-time, nor do we plan to be any time soon. And, for good reason. The exact reason of ‘If it’s not broken, don’t fix it’. You see, both our clients and team have benefitted from working between home and the office, so why change?
Anyone that works in an office full-time knows that it can be quite a busy, distractive environment, but it’s also one of the best places to keep the team connected and to brainstorm exciting ideas for upcoming client projects. By adapting to a hybrid approach, we’re able to meet in person to collaborate on strategies, roadmaps and events planning, then crack on in our own space with fewer distractions, allowing us to reach targets much faster and maximise work output. Hybrid working has allowed us to maintain a strong, motivated team who are their best selves for our clients, whilst also cutting out unnecessary time-wasting which can come with working in an office full time.
At iocea, we’re all 100% committed to driving the business forward and providing the highest quality service to our clients. Our clients don’t work 9-5 and neither do we, we get to work flexibly around both their needs, and ours, giving us more opportunities to manage family life, fitness regimes and free time.
When deciding on which working approach to move forward with, we had to put our clients first. We weighed up the pros and the cons that both remote working and office working have for our clients, identifying the impact that both have on productivity, planning, costs and quality of our output.
Does a busy office environment cause delays in projects? Would we be required to charge clients more to cover increased energy overheads? On the other hand, if we moved fully remote, then would we lose team spirit? Would project planning be as precise? There were benefits and drawbacks to both options, so we figured that hybrid working was a fantastic medium to allow us to make the most of the benefits of both remote and office working.
One big reason for wanting to keep our office is that we love to invite clients and prospects to visit us in person, and this space provides a warm and friendly environment for us to do so. Many of our clients aren’t local, so hopping on a video call can be a lot simpler, but hybrid working allows us to schedule meetings in a format that best suits our customers.
By not requiring our team to be in the office full-time, we’ve been able to recruit talent from across the UK, which allows us to hire the best talent without any geographical restrictions. Not only this, but by keeping our team happy and allowing them to work in a way that best suits them, we retain talent and this allows clients to build long-term relationships with our team without the fear of frequent account management changes. This is incredibly reassuring for our customers as their account handlers learn to understand everything about their brand over time, and we can maintain consistency in our communications.
There are so many other advantages of hybrid working for our clients, which you can discover in the graphic below!
When the pandemic hit, we were forced to work from home and at the time, this was a big and daunting change. But, as we became used to the new set up, the general consensus is that everyone much preferred the flexibility and improved work-life balance that came with WFH. We saved money on petrol, we got to spend more time with our loved ones, we could nip to the gym on our lunch break or take the dog for a stroll in the sunshine! Gone were the pricey convenience store meal deals, replaced with proper home-cooked meals and countless cups of coffee (without needing to make a brew for the entire office).
In terms of work and productivity, our team noted improved output and faster communication with clients, which helped to accelerate the growth of both the company and our customers. If meetings were needed, then we could get together at the click of a button, with fewer interruptions or time-wasting chit chat. We didn’t have to fuss about the temperature of the meeting room and whether it was too hot or too cold, and generally, life became much easier.
This being said, we’re social beings, and whilst working without distractions can allow us to knuckle down with the task in hand, it can get a little lonely. Working from home full-time can also cause disconnect within the team, which over time could result in communication break down and a lack of motivation. According to mental health charity Mind, more than half of adults (60%) and over two thirds of young people (68%) said that their mental health worsened during lockdown due to reduced interaction with others. By continuing to get together regularly in the office, we’ve been able to maintain a sense of unity and purpose, and collaborate in-person on important projects. This quality time spent together in the office, combined with the benefits of working remotely, is what has made Hybrid Working the perfect solution for our team.
Below are the highlights from a recent survey conducted internally, which shows the benefits to our team of working Hybrid - We also asked our team what would help them to feel better connected to the team, and will be putting these suggestions in place so that we can operate as best as possible.
The simple fact is that when our team are given the freedom to work however best suits them, they’re happier, more productive and driven. We all work towards one common goal which is to push our clients to meet their goals, which encourages us to go above and beyond for them. This is why hybrid working really WORKS for everyone – Below, we’ve compiled a handful of comments from our team on how hybrid working has benefitted them individually.
Have a read…
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