At Scott Bradbury we met outside for some socially distanced team time last week. We sat in parkland in glorious weather and enjoyed the opportunity of face-to-face conversation time. We spent time reflecting on the past year, the pandemic, the changes in society, but we also looked forward and thought about what the next year could mean for us.
How can we make hybrid working work for us? How can we ensure inclusion when we are working in different locations? How can we maintain team conversations, creativity, and communication?
How were we feeling about this? Anxious, nervous, excited, daunted, positive, challenged?
Predictably, all of the above.
We ultimately agreed a plan that provided us all with home- and office-based time. Our approach is centred around respect. Respect for one another as individuals, but also respect for us as team…
Routine was top of our list. Having a regular consistent approach, so we all know what to expect and things aren’t haphazard. This requires a bit of discipline, but we now have individuals committed to days based in the office and days at home.
Setting expectations is important. Being clear about what we all require. Being upfront and honest about what we expect of one another means we build trust and develop mutually supportive team behaviours. We’re committed to regular team meetings, and we also honour time set aside for individual work tasks.
We discussed how we could define a structure to our working week. Monday is all about planning for the week ahead, co-ordinating the workload and ensuring we all know deadlines that are approaching. Tuesday is our conversation day, a day where we place our monthly scheduled catchups - our ‘team time’ meetings. On Wednesdays we’re committed to exercise, which for us is a 45-minute Pilates session before lunch. Thursday is assigned as creative time. And to finish the week, Friday is a progress day – completing tasks, signing off editorial content, finalising reports etc.
There was also agreement around hourly, weekly and monthly patterns. There are core working hours, which are essential for us as a team as we have part-time colleagues. We also considered optimum personal productivity – the times when people are at their best – are we morning or afternoon people? Thereby ensuring we get the best not only for the individual but for the team as a whole.
Exercise is important to us, whether we are based in the office or at home. It’s about checking in with each other and ensuring that we’ve got out away from the desk for a walk during the working day. Especially important if we are home-based, where we’ve seen a tendency for longer working hours. We’re committed to Wednesday lunchtime Pilates and are respectful if we see ‘walking’ time booked in the Outlook calendar.
We have thought about team cohesion. There is agreement from all parties, everyone has contributed to the new working structure, all have been heard, all feel loved, and all are mutually supportive of the new structure. Therefore, we have a cohesive and inclusive approach.
There is a balance of time available for both collaboration and individual working. We all need our own time, but also time in smaller groups, in pairs, and time for us all to be together. Our together time will be via Teams or Zoom, and in socially distanced office space, or a combination of both!
So, our hybrid working is focused on RESPECT…
Routine, Expectations, Structure, Pattern, Exercise, Cohesion, Time.
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