As you may know, Supersonic Playground transitioned to working from home back in March following the UK-wide lockdown. As a cloud-based IT business, it was easy to make the transition to remote working. Like many others, we thought it would only last a week or so but instead ended up lasting 4 ½ months.
As a team, we embraced the many positive benefits of working from home, such as more time, less of a commute, a better work-life balance, and better focus and productivity (not to mention the fact that it was government guidance). But we also saw that working from home came with challenges and downsides, not least a lack of communication and collaboration – two vital components of a creative environment – as well as feelings of isolation, loneliness and repetition. We also found that the lines between work and home life started to blur, as the team found it harder to switch off when there was no commute time to break up their days.
So, by the beginning of August, the team were keen to get back into the office. After undergoing a proper third party Covid-19 risk assessment, we returned to our workplace at The Business Terrace and rejoiced at having gained some normality back to our daily lives.
Eight weeks on, the Government’s latest guidelines found us back at the drawing board discussing the pros and cons of working in the office vs working from home again, as Boris announced those who could, should. Our decision was not made lightly, we collectively weighed up our options, but ultimately due to the uncontrollable nature of a shared working environment, combined with our lease ending at the end of October, we’ve decided to spend the remaining months of 2020 working remotely.
We know that we’re not alone when we say that working from home wasn’t a breeze. As a small business, one of the perks is that we’re a close-knit team who work collaboratively across projects, and this, combined with the fact that it was the first time a lot of us had ever worked from home, made the process challenging. It was also a big culture shock for a team who enjoyed eating lunch together, chatting between meetings and generally being present in each other’s lives.
This time around, things will be different. We’re a slightly bigger team with our Junior Designer, Ashleigh having joined us at the start of September and another new starter set to join us early November. This will give our Director, Rich Dean, the capacity to take a step back and work alongside marketing to steer the business into 2021.
Our open and honest discussions have also meant we’ve highlighted our weaknesses as a team when working from home, and we’ve now set clear expectations and processes alongside daily catchups to streamline the working day and mitigate potential issues early on.
It’s an exciting time for the team as we navigate the next few months, but it’s safe to say that working from home is not the new normal for us. We still plan on meeting up when and where possible, following strict Government advice, to discuss vision and mission as well as to keep the company culture alive.
In the longer term, Supersonic Playground will always be a predominantly office-based business as we now look for a new space ready for early 2021, or whenever government guidance allows us to do this safely. But we’ve also recognised that there are positive benefits of working from home as well, so wherever we end up, we’ll be looking to strike the right balance; giving our team the flexibility to have the best of both worlds.
And… just to give you a little insight into our world’s, we asked the team to share their WFH setups 💙