Working from home: The new normal

Tuesday, 15 June 2021  |  Admin

Working from home: The new normal

As with all businesses during the COVID lockdown year we’ve experienced, the Cyberjammies UK team had to adapt to a new way of working and we
wanted to speak with each member and get their personal thoughts on lockdown, working from home and what they think the ‘new normal’ will look like for
the Cyberjammies team!
 
We first of all, speak with Brand Director, Mark Tweed! Here is what he had to say….
 
 
1. How have you generally found lockdown as a whole and how has it been for you personally?
We’ve been incredibly fortunate as a business which has therefore helped me tremendously during lockdown.  Aside from the first few weeks of April last year,
when we really didn’t know how things were going to turn out for us, we’ve been able to trade our way through lockdown.  Most importantly, whilst the odd friend has
had COVID-19, there have been very few people close to me that have had the disease or suffered badly from it.  I also took the decision to continue
working from our office close to where I live, but alone, while the rest of the team have worked from home. 
My routine has therefore been comparatively unaffected. I won’t lie, I consider myself very lucky to have been in this position!
 
2. How have you found the adjustment from office to home working?
I think the rest of our UK team are best placed to answer this question as I’ve very much been in the office. Having said that, it’s mighty quiet
on my own! One of the positive impacts on our business has been the daily zoom meeting with the UK team. 
It has brought us closer as a team and has ensured that we’ve stayed on top of all the challenges
that have faced us as a business.  We’ve been quick to make decisions and react to changes.
 
3. Has your role at Cyberjammies changed at all since the lockdown started?
Probably not a great deal.  My role has always been to constantly seek improvement and to drive new learning for the business.  That certainly hasn’t changed. 
If anything, change has become the new constant.
 
4. What do you think that the ‘new normal’ working week looks like for the UK based Cyberjammies team?
With lockdown easing we will certainly be looking forward to getting together again in the Chelmsford office.  Having said that, I don’t see us returning to a rigid
5 days a week in the office.  Flexible working from home will be a regular part of the week, I’m confident of that.
Our interaction with our customers will continue to be less face to face and more zoom focused.  Travelling to and from customers offices or stores takes time
and adds cost.  Inevitably some customers, particular new ones or large customers placing substantial orders, may still want to see the product in person. 
Touch and feel will still be an important element to buying.  However, we’ve certainly discovered that buying/selling online is possible. 
Having social distancing in place for so long, business in zoom has become a habit that we have become comfortable with.  I suspect we may not see
previous working practices return for some time, if at all.  A very much suspect a hybrid version of pre/post COVID will settle in during the months to come.
 
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Next up was our Marketing & Digital Manager, Georgia! Here’s her thoughts below...
 
 
1. How have you generally found lockdown as a whole and how has it been for you personally? 
As a whole lockdown has been scary for everyone, the unknown is very unsettling and normal life disappearing was very strange at first, however
as a natural introvert I personally found myself enjoying lockdown life last year, everything slowed down and it was nice to savour the small things. I miss my family
a lot, but Zoom helps!
 
2. How have you found the adjustment from office to home working? 
Transitioning to working from home has been very smooth for us as a team. We quickly adjusted to daily Zoom calls and we have all been more
productive than ever at home in our busiest year yet. Personally I have really enjoyed working from home, I don't miss my 2 hour commute every day and now
I'm home I can enjoy a lunchtime walk, home cooked food and more time with my partner and dog which has been wonderful, my work life balance has never been better!
 
3. Has your role at Cyberjammies changed at all since the lockdown started?
Since lockdown started our business has ramped up a gear so our roles have evolved with it. Pyjamas and lockdown life went hand in hand so we
were busier than ever. My role as Marketing Manager hasn't changed but we are definitely welcoming more change than ever as a business, we have
introduced new systems and practices in lockdown to grow the brand and I expect that to continue.
 
4. What do you think that the ‘new normal’ working week looks like for the UK based Cyberjammies team?
Once it's safe to do I think we will head back into the office for a few days a week and it will become more of a 'Cyberjammies Hub' for our team. We will become
more flexible about working from home and will hopefully be able to travel to our trade shows and photoshoots as normal again. It will be nice to see people face
to face and balance that with working from home, giving everyone in our team a great work life balance. I think our popularity in lockdown will continue out
of lockdown and I expect exciting things to come in the future at Cyberjammies!
 
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Sharon heads up our Customer Service and she said had the following to say on working from home...
 
 
1. How have you generally found lockdown as a whole and how has it been for you personally? 
To be really honest, as I have worked from home for the past few years, it wasn’t strange at all for me! I’m used to working remotely as I’m based
in Wales but the UK main office is just outside of London. Therefore, I’m very comfortable working alone or as part of a team. Luckily as we’re
a very busy company, the days do fly by! The most noticeable difference I think, is that as a team working remotely, we have been far more interactive
than I’ve ever experienced in the past. This is down to our daily team meeting on Zoom and an array of other meetings we hold via Zoom which are all
very interesting and have been an incredible help in letting us communicate efficiently with our wholesale customers and other external contacts.
 
2. How have you found the adjustment from office to home working?
This doesn’t really apply to me in my case as I’ve always worked from home anyway, with the exception in the past for trade shows and important
meetings that I’ve had to attend in London with the team, so no adjustment required!
 
3. Has your role at Cyberjammies changed at all since the lockdown started? 
My role itself hasn’t changed much, I’ve just got incredibly busier! As the business has grown substantially over the past 12 months, there’s just more
of my tasks from before to do for more people, which is great news all round!
 
4. What do you think that the ‘new normal’ working week looks like for the UK based Cyberjammies team? 
For me personally, it will be the same as before working from home, so no new normal for me!
 
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Karen, our Merchandiser started with Cyberjammies not long before we went into a full lockdown. Here is what she had to say...
 
 
1. How have you generally found lockdown as a whole and how has it been for you personally?
At the beginning I found lockdown quite difficult. I’d only been working at Cyberjammies for 8 weeks!  I’m not really one to go out a lot anyway,
so I’m more than comfortable being at home. I have horses so I still had to go out twice a day to see and tend to them but we were unable to ride,
as the government had said that it was not a good idea due to potential accidents that could happen and the hospitals being overrun. To be honest, I didn’t
want to risk having to go to the hospital as I’d actually caught COVID at the beginning of lockdown whilst at home and didn’t want to go through it all again!
 
2. How have you found the adjustment from office to home working?
Again, at the beginning it was quite difficult for me but as time went on things got a lot easier! I now find that I get more done working
from home than in the office, as there are no distractions!
 
3. Has your role at Cyberjammies changed at all since the lockdown started?
Yes, definitely. As I had only been working for Cyberjammies for 8 weeks, I hadn’t really got used to everything that I needed to do so I had
to continue learning remotely. Even though we have been working from home, I really have been made to feel part of the team. It's a brilliant
company to work for as the support I’ve received from the directors and managers has been spot on!
 
4. What do you think that the ‘new normal’ working week looks like for the UK based Cyberjammies team?
I think going forward I can see a mixture of working from home and going into the office throughout the week!
 
 
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Phoebe was our newest recruit, starting February 2021 and has learnt the role and worked virtually alongside the team virtually since day 1! Here are her thoughts...
 
 
1. How have you generally found lockdown as a whole and how has it been for you personally? 
I think like a lot of people, the biggest thing that affected me was not being able to see family and friends but apps like Zoom
and Facetime really helped. Lockdown, however, has also provided people with the opportunity to prioritise life outside of work, to try new things
and just also take some time out to focus on what they enjoy. Therefore, although lockdown was due to horrible circumstances, good things have
also come out of this crazy situation we've found ourselves in.
 
2. How have you found the adjustment from office to home working? 
Lockdown started for me when I was working at my last job at another company last year. I found the adjustment a
little odd to begin with as we hadn’t had the option to work from home a few days a week before COVID, so then when we suddenly went to the full
week at home, it felt a little strange! I quickly got used to it and as we had such a lovely, sunny summer last year, I made the most of it going on
some lovely lunch and evening walks at lunch and after work. Therefore, the challenge for me was actually starting a new role and learning
the ropes all from home when I joined Cyberjammies back in February.
 
3. Has your role at Cyberjammies changed at all since the lockdown started?
As I only joined Cyberjammies in February of this year,  I’ve started the role and learnt everything virtually, so it's all I’ve known
in this role and therefore, it stayed the same for me! The team have all been great in teaching me everything I need to know and
supporting me along the way and I look forward to finally having some office time and meeting with them face to face!
 
4. What do you think that the ‘new normal’ working week looks like for the UK based Cyberjammies team?
I think the new normal for Cyberjammies and for a lot of other businesses will be a split week between the office
and home, providing a lot more flexibility across all employers than there ever was before! Businesses have realised that productivity
has not decreased, their staff are happy, healthy and have a great work/life balance and are still coming into the office for important meetings
and any other events to allow for that key facetime and socialising!