At the beginning of 2020, in what feels like another world, we signed the lease on a new and shiny office, right in the centre of Bath.
We were putting the finishing touches on it back in February, branding it as our own, decking it out with a small forest of productivity-boosting foliage courtesy of our friends at Patch – even hosting a few team meetings there.
March was scheduled to be our big move-in month. We had big plans – red carpet, confetti, cocktails and canapes, that sort of thing. But then, well, you know what happened.
So our lovely office stayed unloved. The plants went uncared for (it turns out even so-called ‘unkillable’ plants can’t go without water for six months.*). The ping pong table remained un-pinged and un-ponged. And our belongings stayed at our existing office 15 minutes down the road.
But after nearly six months, the time had come for us to finally move – even if with less fanfare than we might’ve hoped.
And so a few weeks ago, Rebecca and James – supported by our fab removals team – heroically moved us out of our old home at Pulteney Mews and into our new one at 20 Manvers Street. No mean feat, during a global pandemic…
This’ll be the third workspace for Seccl, after our stay at The Guild when we were starting out, and our time at Pulteney Mews, which we moved into two years ago.
It’s served us well and is full of lots of happy memories. But as we continue to expand our team (Seccl’s headcount has grown by over 75% since lockdown began), our new Manvers Street digs will provide the perfect environment for our next chapter of growth.
It won’t come as a surprise that none of us are actually in the office yet. We’re still fully remote – and we won’t be asking anyone to come in anytime soon.
That’s because, Covid aside, we’ve always encouraged people to work in the way they feel comfortable.
Most people in the team have enjoyed working from home (as a survey we conducted mid-way through lockdown showed), and the last six months have simply confirmed beyond doubt that a remote team can still be a productive one (see our lockdown diaries for proof of that.)
That said, everyone’s different. While many have valued the flexibility and time that their new WFH routine has brought, others have found it increasingly tough.
In fact, the issue seems increasingly binary. We recently asked people how they felt about returning to the office. Some are dead against it, while others are eager to return at the earliest opportunity.
With that in mind, we’re starting to make plans for a gradual return to the office – with social distancing maintained at all times, and purely for those who want to.
And there’ll be a big, bright, modern and open-plan office waiting for those who do!
*Apart from this trooper, that is. It must’ve had a serious bowl of Shreddies before lockdown…!
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