With many restrictions across the UK now lifting, the Rostrum team were excited about the prospect of returning to the office. However, for new joiners, including myself, last week was our very first experience of office life at Rostrum, giving us the opportunity to meet colleagues in the non-virtual world. So what would a return to face to face working be like?

While there are undoubtedly benefits to working from home, there are certain social and collaborative advantages to being in the office that cannot be replicated remotely. Rostrum has done a great job at maintaining company culture over the last 18 months with creative virtual socials like wine tasting and cocktail making (complete with our own cocktail shakers!), but it’s hard to replicate the sense of camaraderie that you get from stepping into an office and talking to your colleagues in person. Collaboration and teamwork are naturally bolstered in a ‘real life’ environment, and it’s easier to share news stories or chat about interesting angles for clients over a cup of tea.

This is particularly important for new joiners. I was personally eager to learn from my peers and senior colleagues – and it’s easy to underestimate just how much you can pick up simply by listening and observing how things are done.  While my virtual onboarding process was smooth and as easy as possible, for me being able to ask questions over a desk and chat things through will always be preferable to typing an email or Teams message. In-person interactions also help you to integrate into the team more quickly, and allow you to start building those important personal relationships.

However, while I am naturally drawn to the office environment and would like to go in most of the week, there’s no one-size fits all approach. Individual employees will have their own needs and requirements when it comes to in-office working. Fortunately, like many businesses across the UK, Rostrum will be adopting a hybrid model, allowing the team to choose how and where they want to work. There’s no pressure to return to the office, but it’s great to have the option and I know that many members of the team are looking to balance their time between the office and their remote set ups.

After a year spent behind screens, it was exciting to go into the office for the first time and feel a bit more united with colleagues. I am looking forward to meeting everyone over the next few weeks.

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