Returning to a Hybrid-Office

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See how we implemented new working-conditions in order to preserve & grow a culture that has been at the forefront of our company's values for over 40 years.

Returning to a Hybrid-Office

Wow.

If you’d told me back in March 2020 that we’d still be working from home 15 months later, I don’t think neither I nor anyone else would have believed you.

Thankfully, as an agency we’ve weathered the storm well largely due to both our amazing client partners the plans and processes we’d already started to implement at the beginning of last year - things could have gone very differently as they did with a lot of agencies.

Now the time has come to publicly reveal our planned changes in how we’ll work post pandemic.

To have the very best chance of long-term success, we need to be together face-to-face, to collaborate, innovate and challenge each other whilst building on the culture we aspire to nurture and grow.

Moving to a Hybrid Approach

Sherwen Studios has and always will be an “office centric” company as it allows us to collaborate and learn together most effectively. We live in a creative industry and in order to carry out our best work we need to collaborate and grow alongside each other - something which simply can’t be done effectively over Microsoft Teams.

At the same time, there are aspects of our typical working weeks which afford a more quiet and un-interrupted working environment, which was a key take-home from our 1-2-1 sessions. Tasks like writing up a proposal, developing a feature to a deadline and art-working some banners – in essence the delivery of project deliverables.

Once fully implemented we’ll be utilising the office as follows:

  • Firstly, we’ll be replacing our desktop machines and issuing everyone with a new company laptop to operate this hybrid approach.
  • The office will be available to every member of the team whenever they wish to work there providing we have the capacity.
  • Every full-time member of the team will have the option to WFH for up to eight days across a four-week period. It will be up to each individual which days these are providing there is not a requirement to attend key office meetings, workshops, reviews etc.
  • For part time employees this will currently be four days across a four-week period.
  • The overarching plan is that the office will become more of a collaborative and creative space with WFH coming into its own, where our members of the team simply want to knuckle down into something.

A Move to Core Hours

Working from home brought about a blindingly obvious but unexpected change in working hours. I for one found myself working many long days without a commute and I know members of the team have occasionally done this too.

As a company we’ve been looking into how we can not only implement WFH in the long term but also how we can provide a greater level of flexibility into our working hours to promote a better work/life balance.

For many of us, the 9-5 option works perfectly fine as reflected in the feedback collected from each team member, but I want to give everyone more freedom wherever necessary.

With that in mind we’ll be shortly introducing core hours which will work as follows:

  • Whilst the weekly working hours will remain at 37.5 every member of the team will move to core hours of 10am – 4pm. This is a time where they are actively working wherever they may be.
  • The remaining 10 hours per week are for members to work as they wish e.g. Members may work 8-6 one day and 10-4 the next or 10-6 every day.
  • To ensure continuous client service, we will still be contactable by clients and line managers between the usual 9-5 and beyond in relation to any queries.

When will these changes come into effect?

It was always the intention to provide sufficient notice of these changes for members to acclimatise to our new working conditions and make the necessary arrangements. Going one step further, we are currently in the middle of a phased approach to try and eliminate avoidable sudden changes.

Date

What's Changing

w/c 19th July

Phase One: Introduction of 1 day/week office for all employees.

w/c 2nd August

Phase Two: Introduction of 2 days/week office for all employees.

w/c 16th August

Phase Three: Commencement of hybrid-working and core hours as specified.

Team Members can defer their return to the Office

Whilst we’d very much like for all team members to come together in line with this plan, we appreciate that there is still a sense of anxiousness around COVID-19. All team members have an option to postpone their return to the office.

Thanks for reading.

If working in a hybrid-office is something that sounds like the perfect fit for you, then please visit our contact page or get in touch with us hello@sherwen.com to discuss a potential future role with the Sherwen Family.

- Matt Sherwen, CEO, Sherwen Studios.