At Optix we have now been working remotely for a whole year. When we left the office last March none of us expected that we wouldn’t have all been in the same room together at all a whole 12 months later. Now that we’re optimistic about a future where we can return to some degree of normality, we have taken the time to reflect on what we have learned and how we will approach office life going forwards.
Once it is safe to fully reopen the office we will, like many businesses, be moving to a hybrid model where team members can find a blend of working from home and in the office which works for them. In the meantime we’re keeping in touch via Teams, Slack and Zoom and looking forward to spending time together in real life!
Below are some thoughts from the team about how we got on over the last year:
Xenia Casas Espina – Digital Marketing Manager
A positive thing I have noted about working from home is that I’m now able to schedule more video calls with clients and keep in touch with them a lot more every week/month since everyone had to learn how to use Teams and Zoom.
I have enjoyed being able to easily go for a quick run at lunchtime and have a shower before going back to work. This helps me feel refreshed and motivated for the rest of the day.
Not being able to see my colleagues face to face and have the ‘office banter’ has been challenging. I’ve also missed having face to face social activities such as the Christmas dinner.
Alastair Banks – Co-Founder
I’ve always been a fan of remote working. I’m about 75% more productive working from home than the office but there are other benefits that I/we get from being in the office environment. I think a blended approach in the future is likely to work for us all. I can’t wait.
I’ve found that because travel isn’t really a thing anymore, the meetings get stacked up back to back and before you know it you’ve been on Zoom for 4 hours and you’re exhausted.
I’ve really enjoyed the chance to put together some great routines in my life. I get up, do exercise, cold water therapy, go for a walk all before work starts. It energises me and starts my days more productively than pre-lockdown where it was 100 miles an hour from getting up.
I miss getting in and having those water cooler moments or sitting down at lunch and chatting.
Becky Brennan – Account Director
Working from home has been a completely new experience for me, having never done much of it before; I can’t believe we’ve been doing it a whole year now.
I’ve learnt the value of quiet time and how productive you can be, which is something I want to take back to the office with me and allocate time for. Having said this, I’ve missed the social interaction and the natural creativity that comes from being in the office, so it’s a vote for a return to office life from me, and of course, I’ll be bringing with me the new resident office pup, Rocco!
Crystal Carter – Senior Digital Strategist
A positive thing I have noted about working from home is that I have been able to write more because I am able to better portion off my time from the hustle and bustle of the main office. This has allowed me to contribute to more publications and to build stronger connections online.
I have always enjoyed the camaraderie that we have as a team. Though we have been great at maintaining strong connections online, there is a great value to being able to discuss ideas around a table.
I’m really looking forward to being able to see the office dog again!
Thomas Haynes – Head of Digital
I enjoy remote working and find that I’m more productive in my own space than in an open-plan office. I’ve spent some time improving my office and setting it up in a way which works well for video calls and feels like a reflection of my personality.
The downside to working from home is, of course, missing out on impromptu conversations and bouncing ideas off each other in a casual way. I think a hybrid approach will work well – when I need to focus I will work from home and when I need other people’s energy I’ll travel to the office.
I’ve valued not having to commute and therefore gaining hours back. I have tried to use these constructively and have been able to run more. I have found running a lot more beneficial to my mental health than sitting in traffic in Marsh Barton!
Rob Stevens – Managing Director
I’m looking forward to seeing all our team together again and working as one, enjoying the highs and supporting each other through the lows. Sharing a laugh and a joke together, celebrating and just sharing good times.
Being able to work whenever is convenient, and I have enjoyed walking at lunchtime with my Wife and our dog, Ronnie. Having home cooked food at lunch and being here when the kids come home has been nice.
I think with remote working, you have to get a good routine, look after yourself properly, hydrate, eat well and sleep well.
Not being able to interact with people in person has been challenging. So much is lost when we communicate on video calls. Non-verbal communication is such an important part of how we communicate that it’s certainly a challenge I’ve consistently faced. Having a sense of connection with our team and sharing the moments when we win and lose together is something I’m looking forward to once we’re allowed.
Jack Warne – Digital Marketing Manager and Head of Training
Not having to commute and being stuck in traffic for hours every week is awesome – for me and the environment.
We’ve all done such a great job working from home but one of the best things about being surrounded by passionate digital experts is the energy and enthusiasm everyone brings to the table where everyone’s always up for bouncing ideas around. I’m looking forward to that once we are back in the office more often.
I think it’s really important to have a dedicated work space at home. Having somewhere that’s a set office space really helps to maintain work/life balance where you can close the door at the end of the day and come back fresh the following morning.