Joining the team in early September 2020, I’ve known nothing other than flexible working whilst at Queen’s. Having been 100% office-based whilst at previous Fine Art Shipping Companies, I’ll admit I was nervous as the government announced a second period of working from home was possible only weeks into starting my position. Thankfully, our team adapted super quickly and I’ve come to love my ‘new normal’ approach of splitting my time between home and our office. Here are some of the things I’ve learned from a year of flexible working:
Technology is a wonderful thing
As a relatively young company (founded in 2018), Queen’s has always been keen to adopt new technologies into its working practices. However, there’s no doubt that this has been accelerated across the board by the need to keep teams connected whilst out of the office for weeks at a time. Without Zoom, Whatsapp, Trello, and a host of internal tools completing the most basic of tasks would have been considerably more complicated once I no longer sat across the desk from my colleagues.
Webinars have their place
With so much changing over the last year, we’ve been really keen to keep our clients as up-to-date as possible. Personally, I still preferred the few in-person seminars we held at our offices this summer, but with over 100 clients dialing into our webinars there was clearly a need to keep everyone informed whilst restrictions were in place.
I don’t miss the commute
In choosing to work from home three days per week, I save more than 24 hours in time previously spent commuting from my home to our office in Fitzrovia. It’s been amazing to have this additional time to spend with my daughters, Mila and Adaline, even if it does mean I’m the one rushing them out of the house for the school run each morning. And that’s not to mention the financial saving, though I do sometimes miss my morning coffee on my walk to the station.
Recruiting over Zoom isn’t always easy
Our team has doubled in size since I joined with a further three new starters lined up to join us in January. This has meant an almost constant stream of interviews, most of which have had to take place virtually. It’s not always the most comfortable of formats, especially when meeting someone for the first time, so I’ve tried wherever possible to host second and final stage interviews in person, at our office.
Nothing beats face to face
As easy as the transition to flexible working has been made, and as much as I enjoy an extra half an hour with my girls each evening, there’s nothing quite like meeting with colleagues and catching up with clients in person. With the majority of the company choosing to work on average two days per week from home, we try to coordinate being in the office as a team as much as possible. The ideas that spring from casual conversation are often the most valuable; James, our Marketing Manager, even convinced me to write this blog whilst we made our morning coffees.
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