It is extraordinary how much human beings like being together. We are social animals and we do well to remember it. As we have all braved our way through the past 18 months of lockdowns and working from home, much has been written and said about the positives and the move towards a new normal.
In Infotex, everyone has certainly embraced the opportunities presented when working from home, to be able to do our jobs whilst also enjoying less time travelling and more flexibility in our working days. We have been focussing on these positives, and in doing so I wonder if we have almost been experiencing a mild form of “Stockholm Syndrome”, whereby we were deluding ourselves that we are better off held in captivity.
With the knowledge that we were going to be allowed to emerge in the Autumn, as the Covid restrictions finally abated over the summer, and having entered a team to take part in a running event for charity, we took the opportunity to block out the diary across 7-10th October, and I was pleased that we were able to bring the whole company together for two days in our Riverside House Suffolk HQ. And I was amazed at how enjoyable it was to simply be together again. Perhaps after 18 months of daily video communication, I shouldn’t have been amazed. It was almost like meeting a whole bunch of people I am used to seeing on TV, the excitement of meeting the cast.
We spent the two days holding overdue discussions about our business – technical and commercial strategies were explored, productivity workshops held, along with team discussions about how we can work more effectively together as an integrated unit.
We continue to discuss across the business the pros and cons of working-from-home. As we approach 2022 we are carrying out a thorough review of our working patterns to make these as effective as possible for the future. We all agreed on the importance of meeting up in person, and we are now committed to regular sessions like this at least 4 times a year, whilst we also remain committed to supporting the work-from-home infrastructure which has also proved to be so durable and effective.
So will we keep Riverside House? This is currently not certain, but we can be sure that we do continue to see value in having our own “HQ” in Suffolk and a physical presence around which we can all congregate. Meanwhile, we have had a reassuring reminder that we still have our “home from home” in Suffolk, and another happy memory of time spent there….