Is working from home the new norm?


BY Haydon Macleod


23 July 2020

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Like many places, we were out of the office for some time during the COVID-19 outbreak here in Australia. While most of us were used to working remotely a few days a week, it was completely new to me. I was afraid that I would be too easily distracted and my productivity would plummet. I was pleasantly surprised to see how much work I could get done from my makeshift home office.

After the pandemic situation calmed down a little in South Australia, we were given the option to continue working from home or come back to the office. I personally enjoy coming to Digital Noir every day, while others split their time up between home and the office as it suits them. We trialled this ‘Flexi-work’ arrangement for one month and then got together to review how it was going.

Here are the outcomes…

The good

  • Improved and more frequent communication with off-shore team members.
  • Diversity of workspaces allows for more energy and creativity.
  • Avoiding long commutes leaves more time for other activities.
  • Allows for more focus time as it’s easier to tune out distractions.
  • Improved meeting attendance (it’s hard to be late when it’s just a few clicks away).
  • Home offers a quieter place for video calls.

The bad

  • I missed real coffee. So much.
  • It’s hard to manage files and documents on our shared office server from our homes.
  • Some meetings are just better face-to-face, which is harder to facilitate when our in-office days vary.
  • Setting serious boundaries with your family or housemates can be difficult.
  • Lugging our laptops, mouse and keyboard back and forth between home and office is tiresome.
  • I miss the group dynamics when I’m the only one in the office for the day.
  • My mental health suffered a little, I didn’t realise how my behaviour had changed until I came back to the office.

The outcomes

  • Introduce a new file management system that is easier and faster to access.
  • Upgrade our video call equipment to make remote meetings as smooth as possible.
  • Create hotdesk islands so that those who wish to work in the office can collaborate easily.
  • Maintain a ‘Flexi-work’ calendar where we can schedule our in-office days.
  • New Macbooks so that everybody can take their work with them wherever they choose to work.

What will you do?

Businesses have now realised that remote working does not hinder productivity, for us it’s even saved valuable time and resources (less Uber rides for meetings)! Have you switched to a ‘Flexi-work’ schedule?

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Haydon Macleod

Haydon is a member of our design team, and has already shown comprehension and collaboration skills beyond his years. Top it all off with a wicked (if not sometimes weird) sense of humour - the perfect fit for our team!