Spicy Insights On Remote Working: Pros & Cons.

Article — The pandemic certainly put a spanner in the works for how the traditional office employee is able to work. Here, we reflect on the remote life of 2020, and look to the future of work.

Posted by Spicy Web

The pandemic certainly put a spanner in the works for how the traditional office employee is able to work. Video platforms like Zoom and Google Meet became more important than ever, and everyone has to turn their attention to digital means of communication, socialising and office teamwork.

At Spicy Web, we’d like to say that we adapted pretty well to working from home. Now that the Spicy Web team is back in the office four days a week; in today’s post, we’re doing a bit of an interview-style reflection on what worked and what didn’t.

Tony Sambell, Director & Founder of Spicy Web

How well do you think Spicy Web adapted and why is that?

We did exceptionally well, I was actually so proud of how everyone kept their cool.

We knew that there was no way to plan or act like we knew what to do, so we stayed in the present and acted to the environment from that week, in a way, we had to pretend we knew what the next 6 months would look like.

What was your most and least favorite thing about working from home?

Most favorite was the time and repetition of seeing my son and wife, although I still worked 9-5, I would see my son every 10 minutes as he popped in to ask if I was finished. Least favourite was the fact I couldn't be with the team. The energy and collaboration was just not the same in a video call, I missed being among the people I work with.

If you could give your pre-2020 self some advice on how to adapt in a pandemic and successfully lead your team, what would it be?

There was no prep for this event, people will always come first. So keeping this in mind; try to find as many ways as possible to be open and in contact with everyone so they can open up as much as possible even though we can’t be together in person.

Ryan Stannage, Creative Director

What did you enjoy most about working at home vs. working in the office?

Being able to better identify how I work best was my biggest take-away. Most folks are not going to be at 100% for their 9-5 day. I know that for me, I need an hour or so around the 3-o’clock slump to recharge with some sunshine and a podcast, or even a quick walk with the dogs, and this then helps me to cap off a day with a few productive hours.

That said, for me, the energy and connection of being with the team in an office is still really vital, so I’m really excited to see how we balance the office/remote life going forward.

What’s the biggest thing working from home has taught you and how we can continue working as a team?

The biggest learning during this time was the trust we can have in our team. We were never big on micromanagement, but a forced situation like this is a nice reminder that the people in our team are all dedicated to the work they do and can be given the reins to manage their output.

It has also been a good reminder of the true value of meetings. They still have their place, and meeting in-person can still form a really valuable bond, most meetings can easily be conducted over a quick video chat, which leads to much more productive and effective use of our time.

Andrew Scott, Performance Marketing Director

Did you find anything in particular more difficult when working from home?

Communication would definitely be the hardest part of permanently working from home. It’s much more difficult to communicate effectively with your team and long Zoom calls can become exhausting as we can’t rely on further cues such as body language etc which are normally incredibly important.

What was the best part of working from home?

One of the best parts of working from home was the lack of a commute. I don’t have a particularly large commute normally (25-30mins) but even for me it was noticeable how much more time I had during the day. It was also great to spend more time with my dogs when I wanted to step away from my work and ‘de-stress’.

Alastair Coleman, Senior Consultant

What was your favourite thing about working from home?

My favourite thing about working from home was having my own space. i.e. making phone calls and video meetings without other noise in the room. Second to that was with the extra time that I saved on commuting, I spent on exercise. I loved my morning routine of walking to the coffee shop and back.

Was productivity ever an issue? How does working in the office compare to WFH?

As a whole no, productivity wasn’t an issue. Sometimes energy and motivation were, but this was counteracted by the focus I had on tasks and was always able to make-up for any time lost, by simply working longer.

David Kloeber, Account Director (PPC)

Did you find anything in particular more difficult when working from home?

I actually couldn’t believe how easy it was to switch. My output has always been delivered and implemented 99% online–even before working from home and I really enjoyed the convenience that came with working from home. Although communicating with the team was a little harder, I think we adapted quite well and learnt to trust and support each other even when we’re not physically in the same room.

How do you think working from home has affected our industry and do you think it is more accepted now?

From my experience, it has taught us that frequent communication within the team is vital when working from multiple locations on one project. Clients as well as team leaders now feel more and more comfortable in holding training, presentation or catch-ups online.

Working from home was definitely a highlight and lowlight for many people, but most importantly, 2020 also made us more aware of the privilege we have, to not only be able to continue working but have the opportunity to work from home. As part of our mission, ‘Good Work for Good People’, we aim to continue our charitable efforts in the community and do what we can to spread good while we do what we know best.

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