Over the past year, the global pandemic has transformed our everyday working lives. Businesses have increasingly abandoned the traditional office environment, and working from home has become the new normal. With the joys of Teams and Zoom calls dominating our working day and online get-togethers replacing after-work drinks down the pub, we have all had to adapt to new ways of working.
As the vaccine rollout continues and something resembling normality starts to emerge after the lockdown restrictions lift, we have decided to adopt a new hybrid working model at Onyx Health in response to the way the world has changed.
Our hybrid model offers the OH team greater choice over their working practices and a new creative studio to really get those ideas flowing. We recognise that the pandemic has affected people‘s work-life balance; working from home has all too often ended up being living at work. Under our new hybrid model, our team will be able to combine the benefits of home and studio working, splitting their time between the two.
At Onyx Health, we pride ourselves on being a caring company. We put staff wellbeing at the heart of our ethos as an agency. During all three lockdowns, we rolled out a staff-wide wellbeing programme with access to online resources as part of our duty of care as a business. We set up the OH Training Academy to ensure our team continued to learn from each other as well as external experts in their field. We decided to build on these initiatives’ success by investing in a new creative space now that the pandemic is finally coming to an end.
Our new working environment is more a creative studio than a typical office space. While we have traditional fixtures and fittings like desks and chairs, we have invested in IT to allow our team to be completely agile to work from any of the innovative workspaces within the studio or at home.
We all know that the best ideas happen when different people work together collaboratively; our new working environment enables exactly that. The OH studio is a space without boundaries that allows our team to bounce ideas off each other to deliver the best results for our clients. We also want to encourage our clients to come to our studio to spend time with us, working through ideas for their campaigns, so they are part of the collaboration process.
Now that the heat of the pandemic has passed, we felt there was a need to bring the team back together so we can work more collaboratively. As an agency, we have grown rapidly during lockdown, winning several new clients. Whilst this has been great for the agency, it has meant that many of our latest recruits to the team have never met in person. Online inductions can only achieve so much; nothing beats that rapport and connection you only get with face-to-face interaction.
We have planned a series of staff away days and staff get–togethers over the next few months to reignite that sense of team spirit and positive office culture. Our team has worked incredibly hard during the pandemic, but many people are sick and tired of being stuck in the house every day and want to get back to normality.
Working in isolation indefinitely is not good for the mental health and the wellbeing of our team. Our new working model strikes a balance between home and studio-based work, giving the team a better work-life balance.
Some of our senior team have young families, and juggling their working day with childcare is challenging at the best of times; our new model offers greater flexibility for people who need to work at home regularly due to family commitments.
We have always tried to strike a balance between being casual and professional as an agency, and that‘s why we have come up with a solution that offers the best of both worlds.