As we recently announced on LinkedIn, our new London office in Angel opened on 2 August 2021. This is in addition to our office in Rickmansworth, which (for the time being at least!) will remain our headquarters.
Since the announcement, I’ve had lots of people reach out, mostly to congratulate us on the expansion but some to ask how a new office fits in with the trend of home working. I thought I’d use this blog post to clarify some of the rationale behind the move and detail how Distinctly will operate going forward.
Why the new office?
We are fortunate enough to be well positioned to capitalise on the market trends that COVID has brought about. As digital adoption has increased, we’ve seen an increase in activity amongst our existing clients as well as taking on a considerable number of new clients over the last 12 months.
This has led to a significant expansion in the size of our team, which has almost doubled from Spring 2020 – we will soon be a team of circa 30.
The impact of homeworking
Everyone in the agency works from home at least one day per week, the majority 2-3 days per week and some entirely from home. We have left this decision to the discretion of the individuals, trusting that they know what works best for themselves and their teams. This approach has been a huge success and something we will continue with for the foreseeable future.
Since the start of the pandemic, we regularly polled the team to ensure we understand what they value and how they want to work. Our strong team culture has been a theme in all responses; the team enjoy working together and value face to face interaction with colleagues.
The move to at least part homeworking has impacted our team in a couple of other ways of note.
Those who lived in their family home became tired of working across the dining room table from parents and siblings. Increasingly, as restrictions have been lifted, these individuals have moved out and more often than not find themselves living with friends in London. These people still want to work with their teams in person but getting to Rickmansworth can be difficult. One of the drivers behind the London office was to accommodate in person working for these people.
As the team is not coming to the office as frequently, we have been able to recruit people from slightly further away than we have traditionally. Face to face communication is still vital to our working model going forward so we prefer people to be able to come to the Rickmansworth office as needed, but doing so once or twice a week means we can expand our reach. All roads (and trains!) tend to lead to London so having a central hub is also of real benefit to these people.
Hybrid? Flexible? Call it what you want but we’ll continue to give the team the choice about when they work (flexi-hours) and where they work. Having a London office makes it easier for the team to get together, which is something we all value and can only be a good thing.
Here’s to another 12 months of growth!