One step back, two steps forward

I feel like we’ve been here before. 

Another lockdown and a continued need to work from home for the next four weeks. It’s a frustrating time, as before Boris’ announcement, we were in the throes of a slow and gradual process of returning to the office.

In between lockdowns, we’ve been very lucky to have been given the opportunity to intermittently come together in the office, to work on our client’s projects as well as the next phase of our #CreativityConnects campaign (which you’ll be seeing more of over the next few weeks) and to just see our fellow colleagues too.

Since starting my career, my brain has defined the office as my only designated working area, however, I’ve gotten used to working from home (even with three kids running round). Some of my best work and ideas have come from the corner desk in my bedroom, or being sat at my kitchen table.

“The last seven months have certainly shown that remote working, whilst not preferable from a creative standpoint is, at least, perfectly possible”

Daniel, Progress CEO & Founder

For example; we’re very excited to soon be able to launch a major project that began and was managed remotely during the last 6 months: the team has been busy creating a new outlet name, brand identity, collateral and a website for a brand new bar and restaurant at the Hilton Frankfurt hotel in Germany.

Our initial process (pre-COVID) for this project would include visiting the site, understanding the flow and theme of the outlet, as well as a few creative client workshops to really get us under the skin of the project. It’s been a slightly different way of doing things, however, we are on course to deliver an amazing project for a fantastic client.

As remote working has had to become a thing of the present in order to continue our work, the positives that come out of getting together with your colleagues are hugely rewarding; not just from a company perspective, but also for the mental wellbeing of our staff.

The second phase of our #CreativityConnects campaign was devised by us coming together in a COVID-secure environment, consuming lots of coffee (or Coca-Cola and Red Bull in mine and Caelan’s case), bouncing ideas off each other and devising a route to success.

There is no better feeling during an in-person brainstorming session than seeing the ideas flowing, sparking new thinking and opening up alternative possibilities. Compare this to an online Zoom session, where we all fight for the right to be heard, then no prizes for guessing the option we prefer. But it’s currently part and parcel of the world we currently live in, and it won’t stop us from creating amazing.

The freedom we had, may well have been taken for granted. However, it has also emphasised the fact that as humans, we require connection and face-to-face interactions in order to come up with the craziest, unique and exciting ideas.

“For me, being in an office is not about being in a place in which a work mindset comes freely – it is about the human connection, the banter, the laughs, and the convenience of communicating with colleagues who are no less than a name’s call away.”

Caelan, Web Developer

It certainly feels like more of a hybrid way of doing things right now and as a company, we’ve already discussed a balance of working from home, and being in the office when the time is right. 

We may be constrained and restricted by our physicality right now, but that doesn’t restrict what we do. So, whether from our spare rooms, kitchens or bedrooms, we’re still doing what we’ve always done: working with global clients, getting under the skin of the project and delivering the sort of creative thinking we’ve become recognised for. 

I for one, am relishing the prospect of being back in the office, with my colleagues, when the opportunity presents itself.