Remote working is not a new concept to me. Before starting Koala Marketing (of which I have recently reached and surpassed my 1-year milestone, and I am so proud of where my little marketing business has come!), I worked for a technology company, now one of my biggest clients, whom themselves operate an agile working approach.
This company, as is the case for many ‘tech’ firms, have staff operating remotely at client sites, globally, from co-working spaces, hot-desking in the office and taking a ‘pitch-up-and-work’ attitude where ever there is a Wi-Fi connection and power; making coffee shops an everyday work and virtual meeting space (pre-lockdown!).
Having been a key player in this practice for some years, I am used to the ‘instability’ of working out of an office, and I love it, here’s why.
A remote working culture brings variety and new experiences to my day. I’ve never been one for a cemented routine; the same drive to the same place of work, sit at the same desk and do a job that requires the same process day by day. The times I have had to adopt this system with little freedom, have been some of the most unhappy times in my working life.
As an artistic person, too much of the same pattern dampens my creative flow. I find it monotonous, after a while, and I yearn for change, diversity and something unfamiliar.
As I have matured and learned more about myself, I have come to realise that I am a person that needs variety. I like working at different locations, with different people, on various projects and since freelancing, with varied clients. This suits my character, my job and makes me feel inspired, productive and happy.
I don’t like too many rules. Leaders who have micromanaged me throughout my career have gotten less out of me. Employers with a strict 9-5 policy have driven me to give less outside of work hours, and a routined job has forced me into ‘robot-mode’, dampening my creative power. It’s taken some time for me to evaluate, that as a creatively-thinking person, what I need to reach my full potential is flexibility. This versatility gives me the platform I need to develop ideas and be innovative. The deeper I have entered this process, the more adjustable, resilient and hardworking I have become.
Today, for example, I wrote this blog at 7 am on a Saturday morning. I followed a thought trail from bed to couch (something I frequently do; ideas are not regulated by work schedules!), wondering how many people (creative or not) are trapped in a routine-driven work culture, with unused and compressed ideas bursting to come out?
For example, if I worked for a company with a strict 9-5 model and zero flexibility, or for a business that drives a complete office shut down at 5 pm on the dot, but I had an idea outside of ‘work time’, would I still peruse the idea just the same? How people think about work and how they operate is heavily centred around the culture they work within.
Let us look briefly at what a functioning and positive workplace culture should look like, “Culture is the ability to work together as a team. To make decisions even in the absence of key personnel. To work productively when no one is watching. Feeling fulfilled when things are going south or north. And ultimately, serving for the mission.”
At this point, I would like to caveat by recognising that I know not everyone is like me. Just as I need freedom and change to bring out my best and most creative self, others crave routine to be their fullest. It’s not a one size fits all kind-of-thing, but giving people the opportunity of flexibility can only be a good thing, right?! That being said, as part of this research, I would love to hear how you work your best. Views from people working in all roles and sectors are welcome. Please drop me an email to email@example.com.
As I end my early morning idea cloud, I completed this thought process by establishing one new and relevant change to my business operations. As I grow Koala into a business that (hopefully) inspires others to be their best selves and develop into a leader that motivates and excites those around them, I aim to maintain a culture built on a pledge of flexibility. This new value will join my three existing company virtues; Ethical, Creative, Expert and Flexible; which I hope to each principle to be able to deliver authenticity and a sense of purpose.
“Awarding flexibility will inspire creative talent and raise team commitment; A flexible approach affords a more premium service for customers and allows for greater fulfilment and happiness at work.”
(Caleigh – Koala Marketing, Company Director)