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Insight

28 January 2022 | 5 min read | Insight

Back to the office or not? That is the question!

The current question on everyone’s lips is ‘will I be working in an office now or in the future?’

Back to the office or not?  That is the question!Back to the office or not?  That is the question!

The current question on everyone’s lips is ‘will I be working in an office now or in the future?’

Well…as Talentheads have just literally signed an office lease, and we have all been working from home – without an office – since we were established in 2020, it probably sounds to some like this is a very bold move to make in the current circumstances.

As someone who has not have a traditional office for 2 YEARS!!2 years, my goodness! I thought it topical to share some of the reasons why I think an office space is so important and also why I believe many companies and individuals also like to share a postcode other than their own.

I, for one, need to leave this house! I love my house and my husband and I worked hard to get it. But it is my home first and foremost – and although originally I enjoyed seeing the fruits of my labour everyday – I now need separation.

As many of you know, the Talentheads team are in a very fortunate position to work from our partner’s offices a couple of days a week – and in doing so, we get to see and feel the difference this offers us and our partner’s teams.

For me, the structure of getting ready, leaving for the day, planning tea and after work activities for the kids – feels comforting. I’m in control. The differentiation is there – office then home. No blurred lines and not one seeping into the other.

The emotional dilemma of being at home - but needing to focus – can occasionally take a toll too. As it gets closer to 3.30pm each day, and I’m beavering away, I can feel the pressure to finish anything that needs absolute, precise, undisturbed attention. I know as soon as that door opens…that I - rightly so - need to concentrate on the little humans that enter.

The emotional dilemma also comes throughout the day (please do not get me wrong – I am pretty level headed on most days) when something like an unexpected email pops into my inbox and I have a very short inhale of breath – as if I wasn’t expecting any additional emails! In an office environment, again my personal opinion, is that intensity of the silence…the ‘in the zone-ness’…feels less heightened. That message is still as important when received in a shared office - but it definitely gains less of an emotional reaction.

My last personal point is that when working from home I just can’t stop working! I just can’t -

‘I’ll go and pop the kettle on’… (once I finish this paragraph – and the need for another paragraph takes over).

‘I’ll make some lunch once this piece of work is submitted to XXXX’... (then how good would it be if I can also get that other piece of work over? It should only take another 30 mins…)

‘I’ll take a walk at lunch time’.(I can honestly tell you that I have been for a total of 4 walks, on a lunchtime since working from home.4!)

However, all joking aside, there is some real reasoning for getting an office that isn’t just about my need to stop and prioritise life. It's the need for us to grow our team and our business. I know that businesses can very successfully grow remotely. We partner some of those fabulous companies.

For Talentheads however, we need to come together. I believe this is due to –

  • We are a ‘newer’ team – it’s been less than a year that we have all worked together. We have some bonding and deeper personal connections to make
  • Team is important as we support each other’s workload (either by sharing our experiences to give the most to our partners, offering our individual strengths to projects or ensuring cover and capacity)
  • We have team members who are energetic, fun loving extraverts and the wellbeing and ability to seek their source of energy through discussions and people is paramount
  • We are building a team for the future and have taken the fabulous Jimmy straight from University. This came with a commitment to invest in sharing the conversations, offering shadowing, and simply just working beside to identifying issues, learning, and successes together. This to me is essential
  • We are committed to growth and that means our values, mission, and our ‘why’ needs to be tight and collective. We’re expecting to welcome new team members into Talentheads in the not too distant future so to share that learning- to get everyone up to speed as quickly as possible - is of upmost importance

Although I have provided my reasons as to why I will be kicking my height when we enter the new Talentheads office, I do think it’s important to say it is about balance and it is a personal decision on why you do (or do not) want to see an office again.

With that in mind, we will be taking the learnings from the last 2 years and balancing them nicely with our new offices –

  1. Teams can work from home productively and committedly when and if they need to
  2. A mixture of both office and home working allows some individuals to have the link to home that has become so precious and important to them
  3. Some people NEED an office for their personal wellbeing
  4. Development and succession planning is a consideration point when purely offering remote working – particularly for future talent
  5. We’re all still on a journey and ways of working are more flexible now than they have ever been – that is a HUGE positive!

Want to discuss this further? Or to explore the experiences we have with businesses working remotely, from offices and hybrid – give us a shout!

We look forward to sharing our office and team pictures with you soon!

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