Well, this was unexpected.
2020 has been strange, to say the least. My new year’s resolution was to improve my career and take Make Agency into new regions around the country but these goals have been put to an abrupt halt.
Over the last few weeks our working habits and environments have shifted. I personally feel like the norm we knew a month ago will soon become a memory of the past.
Over the last six years, we’ve done most of our business by having face to face meetings with clients and the wider team. Currently we’re operating by using Google Hangouts, Slack and Zoom and have found an increase in success and productivity across our delivery. Clear objectives are being set on a daily basis and the work is being delivered to our clients quicker than ever before.
As we’re still getting used to our new environments and awaiting the news of being able to move around more freely again, we all have to adapt. Not only in a professional way but in a personal way as well. As we have members of the Make team that either live with family, friends or alone, we have daily video chats to keep us closer as a team. We have also been having weekly ‘pub nights’ where we all put our tools down and talk about music, films, life etc. I can see the team bonding more than ever before, even though we’re miles apart and spending less physical time together.
I find this really intriguing. Video calls don’t allow people to talk over one another and every individual can get their point across with everyone paying attention, whereas in office environments this isn’t always possible. We’re also getting to know each other in our personal spaces, what pets people have, what hobbies they may be into and photos and art on walls show individual personalities over job roles.
How does this impact our process in the future?
Whilst we’re not sure what impact this will have on the immediate future, life as we know it will most likely change. Having a large office space in major cities will be an overhead most businesses may no longer see as an essential part of their operations. Smaller satellite offices having been popping up for years now, I believe this will become a major part of digital business practice for the future. Here’s a list of my predictions for business in the future:
Monthly team meet ups
I think businesses will have more teams working remotely, with a monthly team gathering to go through each team’s progress along with the following months objectives. Businesses that come through this successfully will adapt to remote working and flexible working hours, it’s vital that we’re quick to adapt whilst ensuring the wellbeing of the team and clients.
Flexible working hours
The 9 to 5 has been ever changing, Finland has been at the forefront of flexible working for years; starting in 1996, they allow employees the right to adjust their working hours up to three hours earlier or later than what their employer typically requires. (see https://qz.com/work/1780373/finlands-prime-minister-wants-her-country-on-a-four-day-workweek/) Technology allows us to be flexible, I believe allowing team members the right to choose the hours they work whilst being at home will increase productivity and show trust from both employers and employees.
Although I’ve mentioned businesses will adapt to remote working, I do believe that most HQ’s will stay in place, however, the environments of these will change and hotdesking will be encouraged with open office plans. This isn’t necessarily something new, with companies looking to be creative and having very open planned spaces with an ‘at home’ feel. I believe more businesses will start to adapt to this.
Being flexible and approachable will be a key asset and businesses that show compassion and understanding will have the greatest success. These businesses will attract the best talent, win more meaningful contracts and look to prosper by growing their teams before the business.
These are a number of my thoughts during this very interesting and unusual time, it’s vital we all stay positive and remain calm. I welcome to any ideas or suggestions and I’m keen to hear how others see what the outcome of Covid-19 will have on themselves and their business.