Posted: Wednesday 18th November 2020 in Changemakers.

Back in May, I had written a post about my experience of starting a new position as a client executive at Summit during lockdown (if you haven’t read that one already, you can do so here) and while working from home did have its positives in the beginning, I was hopeful that I’d be able to meet my colleagues face-to-face eventually.

Now 6 months into my position, it’s safe to say that we have made some progress in getting back to the office but we’re far from back to normal – whatever “normal” might be nowadays.

One of the qualities that drew me to Summit initially was how friendly and welcoming the company culture seemed. When I visited the office pre-Covid, I fell in love with the working environment as well. The office was quirky and fun, yet the team knew how to really crack on and get things done during the working day. It promoted productivity and seemed like an all-around great place to work. If I could sum the place up in a sentence, I’d say, “work hard, play hard”.

However, it is obviously quite difficult to make the most of a great office space when you’re working from home. But here’s where the friendly team comes in to play. Since writing my first article I have definitely still felt the warm welcoming that I knew I’d get. From the virtual Summit Oscars, to little quizzes in my inbox every week, there’s always been something going on that’s has kept team morale high as we all power through the days while we were stuck at home.

It’s inevitable that I have seen challenges throughout my first 6 month on the job. I’ve really had to make an effort to develop working relationships within the business as this is much harder to do from behind a screen. Plus, working at home can get lonely at times!

But, I am grateful for the learning experience that it working from home has given me. I have learned to adapt to working with a team that I sometimes only see once per week by making use of technology that we have available to us. I can’t even begin to imagine how difficult it would have been 20 years ago without all of these digital solutions at our fingertips.

Thankfully though, we’ve been able to open the office up again (albeit part-time) which I was overjoyed about. Several of the teams have worked really hard to put all the measures in place to make the office a safe place to work. I’m pleased to say that I have finally been able to put names and voices to faces after so long of Teams calls and virtual meetings.

I must admit, I’d almost got used to working from home as we settle into the “new normal”. I enjoy the flexibility that it offers and being part of a trusted team who can work and collaborate remotely makes you feel all the more valued as an employee.

But there’s nothing like been greeted with a smile from colleagues in the morning. We’re now able to work together much easier and are all using the office time to our advantage. I think this is going to be especially important moving into peak season where we can all put our minds together to create some really great work for our clients.

I’ve learnt so much over the past 6 months and have really surprised myself with the progress that I’ve made. Every day is a school day at Summit and you are always finding yourself busy working on a fantastic new project. Getting to know the clients and seeing your hard work pay off really is rewarding.

Yes, it’s still not what I was expecting when I was offered the job what feels like such a long time ago now, but it’s the next best thing. I’m enjoying working part-time from home as it offers the flexibility that a full-time office job can’t.  Getting the best of both worlds is something that I’m very grateful for and can’t wait to see what my future holds at Summit.