by Kevin Chadwick

A few months ago, we implemented a new hybrid work policy, asking our staff to be in the office on Mondays and Tuesdays every week. After being remote for such a long time during the pandemic, I am grateful to be back in the company of my colleagues.

There’s no replacement for the human connection that we have when we’re all in the office. We did a great job with remote work, as we were doing it long before 2020, with some key staff in remote locations. It didn’t cause many hiccups for us, but there’s more to teamwork than just a lack of problems. We wanted to recapture the synergy and comradery that came from being together.

Being in person also provides an opportunity for what I like to call “proximity questions.” You get input from people who just happen to be around at the moment. We can move from getting a cup of coffee straight into a conference room and a whiteboard to generate possible solutions to a challenge that has just cropped up, or a new need a client has expressed. I see this often solves the problems in just a few minutes of collaboration. It reduces the need to schedule meetings or interrupt tasks in progress. It also means we collaborate with a wider variety of people, which leads to more creative design solutions for our clients.

Overall, our hybrid work policy fosters our connection and gives folks the opportunity to work in the environment that suits them best, whether that is at home or in the office. We also have a “work from anywhere” benefit that gives our staff time to be in other locations, so they can enjoy longer time at a family or vacation location.

These policies are part of the way we put our values into action. We believe in effectiveness, and that can look different for everyone, so providing flexibility is important. We also believe in caring for each other, including people’s lives, health, and well-being. I am convinced that the hybrid work environment directly supports our staff’s health and well-being.

I’m a big fan of our new policy. We spent hours talking about the best ways to set it up so that it worked to benefit our staff and our clients. I would love to hear your thoughts as you experience working with FSi now and in the future.

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