Our Future Ways of Working

COVID-19 has taught us many things. We’ve come to learn that being a member of a productive team, maintaining a feeling of belonging and staying strong and healthy can happen from home or at the office. At Futureworks, we’ve established a new daily normal.

9.7.2020

They say the only constant in life is change. Change, which often has the quality of being intimidating at first and rewarding when ultimately dealt with, has tried us all extensively these past few months.

As Creative Consultants, our curiosity is rooted in change. We make it our daily business to spot opportunities in shifting situations and turn challenges into transformation. By scrutinizing status-quos, envisioning future scenarios and coming up with measures to achieve these, we try to design change and use it to our advantage.

We attempt to do the same with the changes, challenges and circumstances that 2020 has brought our way.

The Challenge

The premises? We’re all confronted with them.

The current challenge lies in managing a company in the face of COVID-19. It is a challenge that we, just as most other businesses, have struggled to come to terms with. How do we support employees who commute from all corners of the country, most of them using public transportation at peak hours to arrive at our office in the heart of Zurich? How can we handle our daily work, which requires both deep focus and collaborative energy? And how do we uphold a company culture that fosters a healthy spirit of conviviality and comradeship?  

Just as so many others, we have had to come up with new ways of working, collaborating and staying in touch. What used to be easy and self-evident, has now become uncertain and experimental.

The New Normal

Our strategy is to learn and move quickly. We’ve decided on a new set-up, a new normal for our company.  

The underlying intentions of this strategy are threesome: We want to be a productive team that feels as part of a bigger context, while staying strong and healthy. What may sound rather obvious, has turned out to bring a drastic shift in our daily work life.  

The essential requirements of our strategy are based on our identification of three different ways of working, in which each of us engage on a daily basis: We need a space for deep work, in order to think and achieve effective brain work; the possibility of collaborating, brainstorming and gathering collective inspiration; and room for a general feeling of belonging, such as company rituals or spontaneous chit-chats at our coffee machine.

Intentions and requirements are reconciled by simple means. We make sure each way of working – be it deep work, collaboration or informal exchange – is supported in our office space in Zurich, as well as remotely. With both options fully equipped for all three ways of working, it is up to each and every one of us to make a daily, conscious decision of where we work. Where can I best fulfill all three objectives of upholding productivity, maintaining a feeling of belonging and staying healthy?

Essentially, this means we avoid trams during rush hours. It means we show up at the office as a necessity, instead of a mindless routine. It means we have no jours fixes dedicated to staying at home, nor do we have mandatory onsite days. Each of us decide on where to work on our own, considering which ways of working serves us and our team best that day. Responsibility and trust in our team members comes hand in hand with this new normal. These are characteristics we see and have in each of our colleagues.  

Our new normal comes with new digital tools. It comes with a coffee-machine Slack-channel for informal and random chit-chats. Our new way of working comes with many changes for each and every one of us. Because at Futureworks, life as we know it has changed.  

 

The Future

Who knows, perhaps we will come to realize that our new way of working falls short of our initial expectations.  Maybe we will need to tweak our new normal. We are in no way set in our ways, but we are determined not to fall back into a mere routine.  

No matter the outcome, we will keep adapting to and embracing the changes that come with these new challenges. Because we believe that change is indeed the only constant in life and thus the only way forward.