Working From Home

I’ve been musing about the benefits of remote working as I’ve wandered around a the cobbled streets of a Mallorcan village, overhearing snippets of conversations that you’d not normally expect to hear beside the beach.

But then what is “normal”? So much has been unexpected. I didn’t expect to be in Mallorca in 2022. I had expected a holiday for two adults and one child in May 2020 and yet here I am on that postponed family holiday… but for two adults and two children in May 2022!

Perhaps I was more closely attuned to the situation as I was doing bits and pieces of work from my mobile but I don’t recall ever having listened to people having such obvious work discussions from this setting in the past.

As we all adjust to new working patterns post covid, there’s great debate about the return to the office, flexible working or the omnipresent “hybrid working” solution.

There are the cynics about the benefits of working from home, those who have felt isolated and would like to reconnect with colleagues in person, those who have loved working in their own homes and those who have mixed feelings having juggled different ways of working for so long. There are also those in roles that don’t allow any flexibility whatsoever. It’s definitely not clear cut and everyone has their own reasons for their particular preference, wherever their feelings lie.

We opted to let an office for Neville Robertson. To work together effectively, we wanted to be in the same space and so we viewed a few options before selecting a serviced office. We both felt we wanted a change from the video calls and online meetings we’d relied on so heavily when it was the only option.

Our other consideration was that of privacy. We wanted to have our own space to invite people to come and speak to us and to chat freely ourselves in a comfortable and confidential setting rather than a coffee shop… as well as avoiding traybake temptation! And, of course, it’s great to reconnect in person again.

I’ve particularly enjoyed dipping in and out of work at the side of the pool. It has worked for me. But I have missed viewing things on a monitor and, while texting updates is workable, I find it much easier to talk in the office. Real life meetings are not to be taken for granted.

For the first time in years (literally), my husband has switched off his work emails. Our work / life balances have changed throughout this period and it’s a welcome change to see him enjoying relaxing without the constant need to respond to emails. It’s a break he didn’t know he needed until he logged out and realised how frequently he was checking his inbox.

Of course it can’t be one size fits all, but perhaps we can all accept that different people and different businesses have different needs. We can be here to listen and we’d be pleased to help you or your organisation bring people together again, however that may be.

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