We’ve moved! And decreased our commute by a good thirty seconds as we’re only one floor down, but every little helps.
Aside from knocking one flight of stairs off our journey to our desks, we do genuinely believe in trying to protect Ballou staff from the pointlessness of the daily commute if it’s not necessary. In the London office our team takes it in turns to work from home on a Friday and we understand that people have lives outside…lives that aren’t enhanced by sitting on a train for two hours a day.
We do genuinely stick to our guns about working hours too. We’ve all worked in agencies where the rather pathetic competition to see who can send the email at the latest hour or on a weekend is hugely important…(the winner was 6pm on Christmas Eve from an account director of an agency who shall remain nameless).
Setting boundaries for communication management is vital. You can control some of it yourself, ie research shows that if you answer two emails within ten minutes then you’ve set your own pattern then, and any slower and you’ll appear to be slacking. However it really does help when you have the backing of your organisation to set those boundaries, and it really doesn’t help when becoming a one-person rapid response unit becomes part of the company culture.
Likewise WhatsApp has gifted unscrupulous bosses and needy clients with a gateway to an instant response at any hour of the day or night and those telltale blue ticks don’t help. That’s why we don’t allow our staff to communicate with clients on that platform; everyone needs some time and some clear blue sky between them and work. And one less flight of stairs to climb.