by Chloe Gunn
We have been pleasantly surprised with our remote working experience, sometimes a shake-up of the norm can lead to innovation we never knew we wanted. Here are our findings and experiences so far:
Now that kids are back in school, Catalysta parents are finding it easier to juggle school runs and work. Not to mention, parents can now easily run that forgotten science project or P.E kit into school to keep their kids on-track to be the next Einstein or Serena Williams.
With three of our offices spread across New Zealand (Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington), we are no strangers to earthquakes. And, if Rūaumoko is having a day – we are ready for it. This new normal means that our business continuity plan more is more robust and natural than ever.
After speaking to Catalystas, it has become evident that our attitudes and experiences strongly correlate with the recent research carried out by Otago University, which found that most Kiwis saw an increase in productivity and would like to continue having a mix of office and remote working.
At Catalyst, we have people commuting from just about everywhere - Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt, Johnsonville, Kaori, Titahi Bay and even further up the line – so some Catalystas are flourishing with their newfound two hours, some are using this time for slow coffees in the morning, longer lay-ins or even just enjoying a beer an hour earlier on a Friday. Whatever you use it for, it’s more productive and less hectic than commuting.
Lockdown has encouraged us to take stock of how we run our meetings. Since working remotely, our meetings have been more inclusive. In the past, we hosted weekly Business Operations meetings in Wellington, while Christchurch and Auckland would dial-in. This dynamic often meant that smaller numbers from Auckland and Christchurch would struggle to follow conversations. Since bringing these meetings online they are easier to follow and contribute to. So these are staying online because who doesn’t want to feel included?
Catalyst’s Managing Director, Don Christie, says "It would be silly for New Zealand to drift back into the centralised methods of working that we have been using since the industrial revolution. But, no single organisation can achieve this change on their own, everyone has a role to play, Government, clients, staff, and managers. There is also a huge amount to learn for us to be able to work effectively, safely and inclusively where ever we want. But that's exactly the type of challenge that Catalyst enjoys."
It seems going forward that the new normal may be, “what days will you work from the office”, with the home being the new norm for some. It is worth noting that working from home isn’t ideal or realistic for everyone. Some people did not enjoy working from home, but thankfully, those people are now welcomed back into the Catalyst offices. So here’s to finding our new normal.