Another month has flown by and the last one seems to have gone particularly fast. It’s now week five in our new offices at Red Lion Street and I wanted to share some of my thoughts on returning to the office for a few days a week.
It’s been great to see people! Like seeing lifelong friends and family we reconnected quickly and it was as if the 5 months or so working from various parts of the country and our homes had not happened. Naturally, we all adjusted to the office at a different pace and most people felt tired at the end of the week having spent 2 days in the office after months working from home. I think that this came from the change in routine and perhaps the additional emotional energy required to connect with people in person and to invest in those experiences.
The engagements have been much more meaningful. We have made a few great decisions and had so much more natural collaboration since we have been back in the office. I think the business and our team are moving forward faster as a result of this (although that maybe my bias talking!).
I know that personally, I am having a much better time spent with the leadership team and I feel so excited about the plans that we are making in every part of our business
In short, meaningful engagements have been a big plus.
We continually ask our team for feedback and we are yet to have any negative feedback about people feeling safe in the office or people wanting to spend more time at home. So far it seems that the balance that we are working with, is working!
Interestingly in some ways, I have felt like I have accomplished less since I have been back in the office. My days in the office are spent in meetings with people and when I am not in meetings, I have been easily distracted by people. Over the first few weeks back in the office our productivity dipped slightly.
I put this all down to people spending time re-engaging with one another and readjusting to the office environment again and enjoying one another’s company - I think that this is a great thing.
Meaningful human experiences at work matter; They make work meaningful and they create more purpose in whatever your company values, what you stand for, and are working to achieve.
Over the course of the five weeks since we returned to the office our productivity has improved in every metric we measure. It’s hard to assess this meaningfully as it is a short period of time and we are in an improving market. Most importantly we feel more connected and we think that people are being given more support and more nurture in their roles. And still with balance and freedom that comes with working from home for a large part of each week.
Back to my productivity... making the most out of the time I have matters a great deal to me and after two weeks of being back in the office, I felt like I had been a little unproductive.
There were projects on my to-do list that I had not started and some that were half-finished. That always gives me a great sense of anxiety and a sense that I was not doing my best work.
I needed to re-prioritise and analyse where and how I was spending my time.
I now have a longer walk to the office from Charing Cross - so I use these walks to make important phone calls (professional or personal). I am commuting again (on an all but empty train) and am using this time (two hours a day) to do something proactive in the morning (like writing this blog) and to respond to non-urgent emails on my commute home.
The Takeaways on Productivity
- I am using my days in the office to meet people for 1-2-1’s or group sessions and, this week, I am starting to run workshops again internally for the first time since February
- When I am at home I am blocking out time to focus on clients and various projects and responsibilities that come with running the business
Working at home and from the office is different from working at home for five days a week or working from the office for five days a week. I think that it gives you incredible balance at home and at work and gives an opportunity to be super productive, purposeful and nourished at home and at work.
My top tip is to think about what work you have on each month, week, and day and then decide where you will be most effective doing that task? Then plan your time accordingly. For me, that’s people engagements in person and project-based work at home.
In the future, it will not be a "one sized fits all solution" for companies and the people in those companies. We are committed to deciding how we can work in a way that enables everyone to have the best experience at work, to do their best work most often, to have personal choice, freedom and be able to do it together, as Team Sphere.
I’ll let you know what we decide together once we are ready and able to make a decision.
If you're thinking of making the move back to the office space and want to hear about how we were able to do this safely, then feel free to reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Co-Founder and CEO, Europe and North America
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