Noticed something in the air that hasn’t been there for a while? Us too. It’s optimism, we think. The vaccine, lower infection rates, springtime, and the first tiniest glimpse of a shot at normality.
We’ve been very lucky at Ballou. Everyone has thankfully remained safe, everyone has returned from furlough and business has operated successfully and efficiently throughout the turbulence of the last year. We’ve missed each other greatly despite keeping up with the sociable elements of work remotely.
But now we’re contemplating the return to the office, and we thought we’d share what we’ve done around this. Obviously we’ve ensured that the office environment is Covid-safe in line with government guidelines, but there are big behavioural adjustments that every company needs to be aware of.
There is a preconception that everyone has been climbing the walls for the last year and is desperate to get out, whether that’s back to work or socially (the re-opening of pubs and restaurants is being described in tones normally reserved for a combination of New Year’s Eve and Mardi Gras). Not everyone is going to feel like hurling themselves back into that whirl. A year is a long time to spend in isolation and the ramifications of that lack of interaction may not reveal themselves for a while, socially or at work. Just as we need to respect differences in every aspect of our working lives they need to be addressed here too. Some people may need more time than others to adjust, some may experience anxiety at the return, and some may be overjoyed at the prospect of a commute and a Pret sandwich.
Our company culture is vitally important to us at Ballou and we are determined that the collaborative and consultative aspects of our work, and training and development, do not suffer as a result from prolonged remote working, but at the same time by respecting our team’s individual comfort zones we hope that everyone will feel confident to be able to attend the office for work when required.
So however and whenever you get there, we’ll see you back in the office. Coffee?