Like many businesses, Infotex has embraced working from home in modern times. The pandemic taught us to adapt and learn, and we learned that there are benefits of providing staff with flexibility and improved internal communication and collaboration.
We continue to adapt and learn, and we now operate a hybrid of homes and offices. Some of the teams meet regularly to work together, whilst the majority of us work from our homes as the default. Plenty of hats and scarves needed at the moment, but no gloves seen yet.
Four times a year the whole company comes together for 2 days of work and play. These gatherings are built on a tradition over the past 15 years of the annual Christmas party plus something in the summer, usually outdoors and involving boats. We now have four company gatherings a year, the dates planned a year in advance.
Our most recent gathering was last week, based on the traditional Infotex parties, but nuanced to reflect the reality that we no longer have a large HQ office to host the activities. So Katie found a house with 13 bedrooms to rent in Ipswich, which became our home for 48 hours. Just spending this time together, as friends and colleagues, was all the more valuable because we are not now all in the same building every day.
For much of the time, people just carried on with their work, but also everyone took the opportunity to have meetings on specific matters, so useful conversations were had, as a group. Being in the centre of Ipswich, we were minutes away from a wonderful pub (The Lord Nelson, in keeping with our nautical traditions) which kept the house guests well fuelled throughout their stay.
On the main day, we held our first awards ceremony – complete with prizes – followed by the now legendary (in our world) Christmas Quiz, which is created and curated by our very own Kris Parker.
In our business update session, we took time to talk about the year behind us, and our hopes for the year ahead. Like so many around us, it feels like it has been a year of two halves, with the optimism at the beginning quickly coming into contact with the reality of the Ukraine war, in collision with our own domestic politics so that the autumn started off with spirits low.
However, fuelled by awards, quiz wins, food and drink, warmth and companionship, we are ending the year optimistic once again, further boosted by a spate of new orders from some long-term clients and the successful completing of some challenging technical projects.
And once again, I have been reminded of how lucky I am to work with such a great team. Capable and competent in their work, talented in their modesty and quietly doing things which make me proud (when I hear about them!).
Time soon for a well earned break…..