Continuing a collaborative culture in a hybrid workforce at CloudTrade
The year 2020 was one of disruption and global change. After a few months in early 2020 of hearing the word ‘Coronavirus’ here and there, it didn’t seem long before it was very much at the forefront of all of our lives.
What followed was getting to grips with isolation, baking banana bread and, for many, working from home for the first time. As the UK went into lockdown in March 2020, we packed up our equipment and retreated to the home office, the bedroom, the kitchen or any other area we could set up for ‘a few weeks’ - if we only knew!
Those few weeks have turned into many months of remote working and have subsequently changed the way that the world views working from home. What was once an option for only a few in select industries became the norm for many overnight, and the staff here at CloudTrade were no exception. Thanks to having offices in London (UK), Newcastle (UK) and Boston (USA), our employees were already pros at the art of the Microsoft Teams meeting, frequently collaborating with colleagues many miles away. Those who had not worked remotely before rose to the challenge and maintained the same high standards as in the office, despite the major changes and uncertainties brought by the pandemic.
Sixteen months on, and a few vaccines later, we are finally ready to start returning to the office and getting to grips with ‘normal’ life again. It stands to reason that our employees will have varying opinions and preferences on what the future of working should be and how it should be approached. We made sure to canvas a range of opinions on hybrid working, asking our colleagues what they felt would be the ideal working pattern. As guidelines change and develop, we continue to keep the lines of communication open to ensure that everyone can work safely, comfortably, and productively.
Although it seems that hybrid working is here to stay for the foreseeable future, we are optimistic about welcoming our staff back into the CloudTrade offices. Despite many enjoying the lack of a commute and the added convenience of working from home, in our last internal survey a sizeable proportion of employees said they were looking forward to getting back to office working
Microsoft Teams meetings are useful, but there is undoubtedly still an aspect of collaboration brought to the fore by having a team physically together in the office. In addition to this, seeing your colleagues during the week can mean that connections develop more easily and perhaps more naturally than being in front of the screen, and it is these connections that form the culture of the workplace. Extroverted personalities and those more established in their careers may find developing relationships virtually effortless, but for others, particularly for junior colleagues, this is not always the case.
At CloudTrade we believe it’s important that our vision and purpose is shared by all members of the team, no matter in which department and no matter where they work. We will continue to support employees, fostering excellent relationships and building a collaborative culture, especially now we have adopted hybrid working. As we see a return to the office, we are ensuring that we remain a Covid-secure workplace for both the safety of our staff and their families. While keeping a keen eye on the ongoing situation, we are hopeful and confident that we can hit the ground running with CloudTrade’s new normal.