This is the fourth episode in our Behind the Screens series. Read below for some of the key learnings from this Tough Cookies episode, or if you want to listen to the whole podcast you can on Spotify, Apple podcasts or on our website here.
We’ve had to embrace a fully remote team for the last three months. What’s your take on that?
Well, it’s funny because it never really worried me because we had everything already. We’ve had remote people in the past, so we knew kind of what was happening, and we had everything in place, all the communication tools, everything we knew we could do remotely, but I think it’s shown the downsides of being remote, I guess, and having to work from home, because it’s not all nice and rosy. It can be hard and it can be tough. So yeah, I guess for me it’s crucial in my opinion that we do need an office.
Flexibility is key…
I read recently a study … a research or you know a study that said that I think the happiest employees were those who could work remote, but had at least one day in the office to actually be with people and be around people. So, it goes to show that it’s not being completely remote. And I think, I mean, it’s quite brave for these big companies to say they’re going to go fully remote. Maybe it will work for the type of employees that they have, but I’m really not convinced it’s going to work for everyone.
I think if one thing has been shown during COVID and no one could have predicted that three months in and we’d still be working from home or most of us would be. Three months is quite a short time if you think about it, but it feels like such a long time to be working from home and to be stuck at home. So it’s definitely not for everyone and it’s not for all the companies. But I think I would be worried if a lot of them didn’t offer an office to go to because it just doesn’t suit every kind of personality.
It’s important to recognise that work might not be done on a typical 9-5 schedule, and to trust your team to get it done in their own way…
It’s about team culture – company culture. And again, it’s something we’ve tried really hard to put in place because I we’ve always tried to build within Cookies – a place where we would want to work. You’ve worked in larger companies before and there were things that you didn’t particularly enjoy like a grey cubicle or times sheets.
It comes down to trust and to being focused on the outcome rather than the time actually spent. Someone might be really productive one day because you have those days when you’re a bit more productive and days when you’re a bit less productive and that’s very normal. It’s also important to understand that you can’t work eight hours flats every day. It’s just not true. If you’ve had a really productive day, well then go off an hour early. That’s fine, as long as your job is done for the day. And we’ve never asked anyone to say, “I’ve worked eight hours, nine hours, 10 hours, whatever.” It’s not about the time. It’s about what you do and how you do it. That’s what’s important.