Shane Webster

Director at Seventy9

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Another week rolls by and we are now being told by the government that isolation when positive with Covid will very soon no longer be a legal requirement. It will be interesting to see how this pans out with staff absences as we look to finally move forward and 'live with Covid'...

I will avoid any political views here (mainly because I do not actually have any!!) and move on to my main focus of my blog this week which is about 'coming back to the office'. So, we at Seventy9 all officially came back for the first time since March 2020 to work from the office this Wednesday.

After a positive debate about this amongst the three directors of the business, we decided that 'for now', once a week (Wednesdays) we will work from our studio/office. The main reason for this is for 'team purposes', less so production - which we knew would take a hit.

Jo, our project and office manager hit the nail on the head. It was like the first day back at school after the summer holidays! We hadn't been in the same place together for a long time - indeed one of our web developers who started with us in June last year had not even met one of our digital marketers face to face before. There was definitely a lot more noisy banter, a lot more time under desks rewiring and a lot more eating of donuts going on than normal!

Totally understandable I guess, and I was certainly cool with it. That said, it's food for thought moving forward because this was a clear oversight on our part. Will it continue? I'm very much a modern thinking person and do not agree with having a working environment which is void of atmosphere and dare I say it, fun. We are a creative agency after all!

So, the challenge for us now is to strike the right balance. The plan is to eventually get everyone in for 2.5 days a week (so essentially a 50/50 hybrid working model) but on a personal note, I'm not convinced that is ultimately the right way forward. I speak for myself now when I say my thoughts on this subject are totally mixed, and that I literally have no idea what the right balance would be. I'm sure over the coming weeks and next few months we will find the sweet spot but until then, there will no doubt be more discussions and more opinions thrown into the pot. What we will eventually settle on, who knows. But whatever it is, I want all our guys to feel totally comfortable, totally motivated and for productivity to remain at the levels we have come to expect from our brilliant team. We are I guess very much in the minority of businesses that can work anywhere we so wish at whatever time in the day or night, providing of course we still provide a visual and at times physical service to the bulk of our clients who work standard hours in terms of Mon-Fri 9-5. After all, it's between those times when the phones tend to ring and when 95% plus of emails are received.

Anyway. Outside of work it's been a good week for yours truly. Two wins at squash so far, two Northampton Town wins since I last blogged a week ago and in three days’ time, I'm off on one of those things that has wings which likes going somewhere hot (Cape Verde on this occasion).

It will be the first time since the pandemic crushed the whole world, that my family and I will be travelling overseas, assuming our Covid tests tomorrow are negative. Can't blooming wait.

See you's all soon!


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