Back to the Office
Working from home
The year that was 2020 was pretty hard for everyone but definitely taught us some lessons about our life work balance and priorities. With an all time high of people forced to work from home, businesses had to adapt and move into a more digital and flexible workspace. Working from home became pretty common, and according to one Taking the Pulse of the Nation survey, most of us (70% of people surveyed) would be pretty happy to work out some sort of arrangement with our workplace to continue to do so. Making the change from working from home to moving back into the office can and will be, a tricky space to navigate for some businesses and employees. Although some businesses may offer flexibility with options to work from home, there are definitely benefits to catching up in real face to face meetings, chats and collaborations with coworkers. Surely there is a way to balance both working from home and from the office to make the most out of time spent at work and give us a little more freedom to enjoy our life outside of work. At KBB we think we have it figured out…
Not only did we head back into the office (for a couple days a week at least), but we also had to move everything into a brand new space, make adjustments for working with Jake who had moved to England and make way for a new employee. With so much going on as well as a normal workload we really had to think about what was key in making sure everyone was happy, productive and on track. Here are some things that we did and are proud of that just may help you adjust back into the office life;
What worked for us!
Luckily for us we are a small business and we are able to jump in and out of the same projects in and out of the office. Justine and Ange are both mums, Jake lives on a whole other continent and Felicity has a second and third job so it’s obvious we all have our own things going on outside of work hours. Making sure that we maintain a healthy work life balance for us means that we are able to adjust the days we come into the office, work from home and shuffle hours if something unexpected pops up in our ‘outside of work’ life. As long as we maintain our workload, keep on top of tasks and communicate clearly with each other we are able to slowly create a work lifestyle that works for us and our business. We believe ‘a happy worker is a good worker’, and we respect that we all have things that are important to us outside of work. Making sure work doesn’t get in the way of these things means that we don’t despise coming to work everyday (either at the office or at home). Dare I even say we somewhat enjoy doing what we do, because we know that as long as we manage our workload and hours, when we are done for the day or if something pops up, we get to do the fun thing!
While communication has always been pretty important, when we were all working from home it became even more important. There were no little updates as we passed each other in the office, and the ability to turn to the person next to you and tell them you’ve sent them that thing that needs doing by the end of the day, was completely lost. Communication becomes even more important and more difficult (but definitely not impossible), when one of your coworkers moves overseas. Scheduling in updates, video chats and times to be available became super important and helped us improve our communication skills to narrow down and pass on exactly what needs to be said. Using online task boards, workflows, emails, phones and social media we communicated what we are all up to and what needed to be done. Now in the office we are still using all the same strategies on top of the face to face chats. Although it may have been a task using different forms of communication during working from home it has definitely made us better at scheduling updates and communicating what we are up to more often, so when one of those things that pops up that takes us away from work, the team are all on board and it is ‘no biggie’.
During covid dining tables, beds, balconies and kitchens became office spaces. There were kids running around and pets of all kinds dropping in to zoom meetings. We became used to not being tied down to a computer, taking Netflix and lunch breaks, walking the dog instead of heading to the water cooler, spending more time with the kids while juggling the whole teaching from home and working from home debacle. Being able to keep some of the things that helped us enjoy working from home (definitively not working and playing teacher!) helped us move into the office space with some ease. We are keeping the flexibility of going home or out for lunch, going on a walk for some fresh air and endorphin releasing exercise, listening to music and even bringing our home office companions (the four legged kind and the kids) in every now and then. We have found what makes us happy to go to work, stay at work and therefore do some of our best work, and have continued to adapt our working from home flexibility into a productive working from the office flexibility.
Lucky for us at KBB Digital we have some very tech savvy minds that made setting up digital communication pretty seamless. We also work in an office space in a great location (close to the beach and home, except in Jake’s case obviously), that allows us to wander around, work in a different zone and even bring our four legged friends and other family members in if we need or want to. Every workplace is different and we have been able to figure out what was important to us so coming back to the office, and giving each of the team what they need to adjust back into the office while still having time for themselves, families and life in general was vital. We think it’s a pretty cool place to work!