This week is National Work Life Week and a good point to reflect on what working from home (WFH) has looked like for some of our staff, including me.
As a business we moved to WFH quite early on in March 2020, before it was made compulsory, taking the opportunity to stress test our systems and iron out any issues whether on a system or individual basis. It wasn’t entirely seamless – few of us had used any of the video conferencing platforms other than occasionally, and that was before we factored in pets and children. But our systems proved up to the task and our staff were resilient and resourceful.
For the most part everyone is now back in the office, although some of us are still mixing up our days in and out of the office to take advantage of the benefits each environment has to offer. I enjoy being back in with my colleagues and team mates, meeting in person, problem solving and collaborating. The sense of joint endeavour is easier to foster and maintain when we are in a shared physical space, and we all benefit from that.
Other parts of my work are, however, more easily dealt with from home: reviewing and drafting lengthy documents being an obvious example. And, of course, I am now much more adept at online collaboration, so this continues to form part of my working pattern.
Personally, the ability to mix and match work types to different work locations is a real help to productivity and we are finding that questions about the possibility of hybrid working are increasingly being asked as part of the recruitment process, so it does seem that this is something that is here to stay.