But flexibility has felt good too. So, is remote working here to stay? At saintnicks, we have experienced first-hand its benefits and downfalls – and with government Covid restrictions being removed completely from April 1st, here’s our take:

Water your desk plant, ditch the joggers, we’re back baby!

We’re thrilled to be back in the office. The change of scenery, the Hart’s coffees, seeing clients and colleagues face to face – nothing beats it. In-person collaboration has also fired-up our creativity. There’s something about the team working together in a room that brings a bit of magic to agency life. Bouncing ideas off one another and seeing projects develop through the entire creative pipeline boosts energy, collaboration, and curiosity. But there’s a bit more to it…

In-person meetings are more memorable

Physical environments have the power to trigger more memorable and emotive meetings. According to research, “memory formation and recall involve association of event with context, especially spatial and temporal context. This linkage creates a mutually reinforcing interaction of event and location.” We know that positive encounters in our office space can make our work more memorable and communication more streamlined. Whether we’re recruiting talent that fits our culture to a T or delivering strategic, creative work that delights our clients, we appreciate that face-to-face meetings matter.

The power of visualisation

The power of visualisation is another sales technique that can help us clinch the deal, whether we’re meeting with a prospective client or an employee. Not only does it help to set future expectations, it also helps people imagine what working with us will look like. During a pitch, we love to make use of the physical – whether it’s print advertising or re-designed packaging, delivering a strategy that the client can experience live and in the room is invaluable. It also allows prospects to ask themselves: can you see yourself thriving with this team? Those early connections are often made more immediate and memorable when the experience allows for spontaneity and in-person connection.

Recruiting top talent with confidence

Hiring top talent is a test of chemistry. In addition to a CV that knocks our socks off, instinct and gut feeling are crucial for us as an employer and can be stronger in person. Ensuring a positive cultural fit for our team is vital and as physical environments offer up more social and spatial cues about our business, prospective candidates are able to gain a better understanding of what makes us tick. Because our office environment truly reflects our culture, it provides candidates with a fool proof insight into our brand. So, where possible and safe to do so, we ask for a face-to-face follow-up meeting to substantiate remote interviews. That way we’re able to learn more about our candidates through body language, eye contact and social cues that can be vital in the decision-making process. Seeing people animated when presenting their work excites us too.

More flexibility, agility, and focus

It’s clear that finding a balance with remote working opportunities shapes businesses for the better. According to Campaign Live, “the majority (55%) of staff say they get through just two hours or less of “deep work” in the office, a significant 69% report achieving at least four hours of meaningful work a day while remote, with 37% spending at least six hours in the “deep work” zone”. The opportunity to work from home allows for focus and depth of thinking on brand strategy, copywriting and client projects. Peace and quiet can help our team avoid multitasking, which “has been found to increase production of cortisol, the stress hormone.” (Source) – so, for many, the ability to block out time wisely and focus deeply makes for a more satisfying and productive day. This seems to be reflected across the board in agencies. As Campaign Live reports, “98% of agency employees want their workplace to adopt a permanent remote work policy. The largest share (41%) prefers a partially remote policy, in which everyone works a set two to three days in the office and the rest remote.” We know that our team has different preferences when it comes to working spaces, so we’ve catered for both.

Find the best of both worlds

We don’t know where the world is headed when it comes to remote working and the pandemic, but what we do know is how to make it work for us. From providing a desirable Employee Value Proposition and more flexibility within the working week, we are proud to offer better balance than ever to empower our team. We’ve implemented work from home flexibility on Mondays and Fridays, with the office open full-time to those who need it. But it’s safe to say we’re still on board when it comes to the boardroom… want to pick our brains over projects that will take you further? Get your shoes on – we’ll stick the kettle on.