5 Minutes with Heidi Slee… 2021 what’s next in the working environment?

Meet Heidi, our HR Manager at Third Kind Games. We recently had a conversation around what 2021 holds for us in the workplace, and how we might consider returning to the office environment. This might be a topic that is currently affecting not just the video game industry right now, but also many, many other sectors.

How do you feel our teams have adapted to remote working?

Teams across all businesses appear to have adapted fairly well to remote working. Here at TKG, we were very proactive and ensured that our teams were set up to work remotely, which enabled us to have our entire team working from home two weeks before the lockdown was announced.

We are fortunate that due to the nature of our business we can quickly adopt new practices and flexible working, so this has not impacted our team’s productivity.

Looking to the future how do you see us making a successful return to the office?

As we look towards 2021, I am sure that we, along with many businesses, will start to look at how we can successfully move back to an office environment. Although some businesses did make a partial return to the office, we at TKG remained working remotely.

In preparing to return to the office environment, we will still consider how our people feel about returning, even though the government has approved several vaccines, it is understandable that people will still feel uncomfortable to be around others for some time. I think it is important to think about how workplaces may still need to consider social distancing and hygiene measures for the foreseeable future.

Our team has grown considerably over the past year, with many people developing working relationships virtually, and I think it will still take some adjustments to transition these to a physical working environment.

I think that whilst it will take some time for the population to be vaccinated, we must keep our plans to return fairly fluid. We may find that there is a phased return to work over a period of months when it is safe to do so. In the meantime, we endeavour to keep our people engaged, not only through work activities but also through virtual social activities. I believe it is really important to be there for your team, not just to help with work matters but to also support them with personal issues if they wish to talk about how they are feeling, signposting them to the support available.

What adjustments do you think we might consider?

I imagine that a phased return to the office will be something which all businesses will consider, with people returning to work in teams or bubbles.

I think that many employers have embraced remote working and can see that this may be an adjustment to the workplace to be embraced for the future, through flexible working.

As I previously mentioned, it may be some time before people are comfortable being around others, in a work environment, especially in meetings. So I think it is important to consider how meetings could be conducted, especially in smaller rooms.

We will certainly need to consider some reorientation to the office environment, as some people have never physically been in the office, therefore a refresher on health and safety would be recommended.

I believe it is important to ensure that we balance our team’s needs with the needs of the business to ensure a safe, happy return.

Have you thought about when your team might feel safe enough to return, and what adjustments you might consider?

We’d love to hear from you… Leave a comment!

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