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September 13th 2022

Remote working: why the decision should come from the individual, not the company

By Fiona McKenzie | Managing Director

It’s one of the hot topics of the moment, whether to return to the office or not. While there seems to be much commentary from businesses on their corporate stance, there appears to be less acknowledgement that arrangements will likely differ for individuals across each business. The role, the team setup, experience level, and working style, just to name a few considerations.

At Revere, we are not setting a minimum number of days to be in the office and we’re standing by our WorkAnywhere policy. Everyone is empowered to work remotely or from the office, based on where they feel as an individual and as a team member, they will be most effective.

When Covid hit and we were forced out of the office, we surprised ourselves. We saw benefits in several important areas – most of our employees reported a better work-life balance, productivity was boosted and, perhaps surprisingly, collaboration within and between teams became more effective.

WorkAnywhere is a crucial part of our positive culture

Now the dust has settled, we’re still advocating individual choice. Remote working hasn’t come without its hiccups. In some ways, being at home makes it easier for our ideal working culture to go off track when agency life and client demands crop up. We recognised the need to set some boundaries as a business to support a healthy work-life balance and continue a positive culture for everyone at Revere.

Our managers led the development of Respect@Revere – a charter that gives appreciation to everyone deserving to work how they want to – and through mutual respect, we can all show that we value and support each other’s personal choices and limits. Respect@Revere gives recommendations to make sure everyone knows what is expected. These include championing the lunch break, meeting free Friday afternoons, and only business-critical communications being sent pre-8.30 am or post-6 pm, just to name a few. So regardless of whether employees have worked at Revere for years or joined us recently – there is a clear expectation to support boundaries and effectively switching off at home.

I am sure there will be more in the future. And while I’m not underestimating these challenges, I believe they can be overcome. And we’ll be focused on ensuring they are.

It’s up to leaders to lead with the office-working benefits

Don’t get me wrong, I am a massive advocate for face-to-face interactions. But I believe it’s down to us to show the benefits of when this is suitable, so people can make a choice about when the office is best. Observational learning is probably the biggest benefit for me – and this applies to all levels. While we’re holding more virtual training and knowledge-sharing sessions than we ever have, the unexpected learning that comes from overhearing colleagues is still what brings me into the office. I continue to learn from everyone in the business and don’t want to lose that.

It’s our job as leaders and managers to promote the benefits of the office to our staff, and more importantly to continue to build a culture that is effective regardless of location. It’s safe to say Monday and Friday are the quiet office days, and that isn’t surprising. Agency life is fast-paced, so it’s great that people can start and finish their week at home – beginning with the quiet to focus and winding down to start their weekend as soon as possible.

We have to make employees want to come together, not force it. We’re introducing more social events and virtual initiatives that give people that chance to get to know their colleagues. Unsurprisingly, desk bookings are always busy for our monthly Rise and Shine company breakfast and the days when we’re off to the pub in the evening. But that’s the reality now, whatever the reason, people need one to rationalise the journey, and now is the time for businesses to accept that.

WorkAnywhere is a part of our evolving story

Given the challenges that Covid posed it seems a shame that blanket rules are being applied and people are being ‘forced’ back into the office. At Revere, working remotely or in the office now seems the norm. As it is for most of our clients. They continue to inspire us and provide us with ideas for effective remote working.

Five years ago, when we established our company, ‘we trust in our team’ was one of the seven agreed values, and we’ll continue to live by this. Another was ‘we focus on continual improvement’ so we will continue to listen, learn, and grow. Making the experience of working for Revere the best it can be – because an engaged, productive team delivers the best possible work for our clients.


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