As the first week of September gets underway, it marks the return to the office for the Open Comms team. Situated in the heart of Wakefield city centre, our head office is surrounded by numerous businesses that are, like us, taking the first steps into an environment they have missed for the best part of five months.
After working from home for so long, I can honestly say that the hustle and bustle of the morning commute is very welcome. This change in routine has been needed and interacting with my colleagues in person has never been so valued. Yes, we have put strict Covid guidelines in place, but we are certainly back to business for the most part.
With that said, the Open Comms team did implement and execute a successful working from home strategy. Despite this year’s widespread disruption, our work remained uncompromised and our client list grew.
Although transitioning into remote working did have challenges, we were able to adapt and evolved our business processes. We realise that we have been fortunate. And although virtual client meetings may be here to stay for the foreseeable future, I can honestly say that returning to the office has given me a sense of normality I have longed for.
Despite only just returning, the benefits of working at Open Comms HQ are already obvious.
When I look back at my own lockdown experience, the one aspect that I felt I significantly lacked and missed was a routine. Whilst I initially intended on maintaining some sort of constructive regime, this was quickly abandoned.
The allure of extra sleep and the ease of staying in become all too hard to fight. This was in addition to the separation between my home and life becoming somewhat blurred.
I quickly realised that I was someone who didn’t just like a structured day, but also thrived off it. So, it comes as no surprise that I can already recognise improvements in my daily routine, especially when I sit at my desk to begin the day.
Don’t get me wrong, during the lockdown period I evolved my skillset, adopted more efficient working practices and became a more well-rounded PR professional. But, as I transfer these traits into a constructive and purposeful office space, they are amplified and enhanced.
This is because I arrive at the office to work and leave the office to go home. The distinction is clear. As a result, I personally feel that my productivity has already improved, and my focus is much sharper.
The true value of the evening commute has also been fully realised. This time, which I obviously didn’t have in lockdown, is now one of the most important parts of my day. It gives me the chance to reflect on the day just gone, plan for tomorrow and ultimately switch off before arriving home.
One of the most enjoyable aspects of working in PR is the opportunity to have a creative outlet. Whether this applies to securing coverage in the media, increasing brand awareness, promoting a new product or growing a company’s profile, we need to create engaging content for our clients.
I must admit that there were times I often stared at the four walls of my bedroom office, which I say loosely, in search of some creative inspiration. But my home décor isn’t the most ideal surroundings for when I needed to create some striking social media posts or compelling copy for marketing material.
I firmly believe that your environment has a significant impact on your productivity. This is unquestionably the case when I work in the Open Comms office.
With spacious and comfortable workstations, ability to work from multiple rooms and access to critical resources, I tend to deliver improved results, perform more efficiently, and increase my levels of productivity.
Collaboration and communication
As an expert communicator, it may be obvious that communication plays a pivotal role within my daily duties. However, this aspect of my profession was arguably the most impacted by the pandemic.
Not only was it apparent that robust communications played a crucial role in the lockdown period, it also became clear that this was also the most challenging to achieve.
Shifting to remote working put daily correspondence at risk. The Open Comms team had to adapt new technology to not only maintain communications with our clients, but also each other as well.
Whether it was transferring team-wide meetings to video conferences, scheduling private Teams chats to discuss key projects or just wanting to have a catch up over the phone, communicating with one another was not as simple as it may sound!
The benefits of discussing ongoing PR Campaigns and client projects in person not only quickens the entire process, but it also helps establish a much more cohesive working environment. We at Open Comms pride ourselves on being strong collaborators and this is much more effective when we can communicate clearly and much more frequently with on another.
Now we have returned, there is a sense of enthusiasm and buzz among the team that reassures me we will pick up like we never left!
If you would like to know more about Open Comms and the services we offer, why not give us a call on 01924 862477 or contact us here.