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DataTruth on Lessons from Lockdown (part 1)

Luke Szyrmer July 30, 2020 52


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About DataTruth

Visit DataTruth at https://www.datatruth.co.uk for the full report or request a copy from Tristan on LinkedIn.

Show transcript

[00:00:00] Luke: Today, we’re talking with Tristan and Rashmi  from DataTruth, so Tristan, can you give us,  a little bit about your background? 

Tristan Neagle: Yes. Sure. Certainly. Luke, thank you. Nice to be here today.  I grew up on a dairy farm right out in the sticks, so it was a quite remote back in the day. I went on through education and university took a degree in engineering. I was fascinated by tech and data, and it was those parts of the engineering degree that really stood out to me. So I got  into, , computing and programming, initially in investment banking  then moved into,  a agency, a consultancy , contract work as a software engineer for over 10 years and then on from there into kind of technical leadership, , and more  recently, software engineering management,  building teams that build products. , that is  the journey, this resulted in. In the creation of data truth, really, which is a tech and data consultancy.

Luke: Okay. Great. Thank you. And Rashmi? Can you tell us a bit about yourself? 

Rashmi Ray: Yeah, sure.  I’m the delivery lead here [00:01:00] at DataTruth. I think it all started for me, just on the back of what Tristan was saying about truth. I actually started off as a journalist and, , was always keen and finding out what’s going on in the world.    I was a writer and then  everything went digital and  I was quite keen on digital. I quickly gained an interest in how humans interact with applications, , and the online experience in tech. I naturally went into digital transformation work . I suppose it starts with local governments and then  more central government. And,  then went  managing tech. I’ve always been  hungry to see products developed from nothing, just  from an idea and to see that growth from the concept stage  it’s turned into a bit of an obsession, I’d say, , a bit of an addiction to create something from an idea.  That’s kind of how I ended up with DataTruth because we are a consultancy.  and   the essence of datatruth,  which is truth, and which is asking lots of the right questions. Which takes me back to my journalistic background.  and getting those  necessary answers to build  a [00:02:00] strong sound  product.

Luke:  Okay. Wonderful.  for either of you, why did you decide to create this report? 

Tristan Neagle:  when the, lock down, started to kick in, obviously it was a time of enormous change for all businesses, ourselves included . we’ve actually operated, in a distributed model. for most of the time we’ve existed. And, , albeit with quite a lot of time spent on site with clients, we as a team ourselves work remotely a lot we’ve built and run teams,  that are distributed. And so there are a few reasons why we thought it would make sense  for us to carry out a piece of research like this. 

One was because we were, again, we were curious, actually, we were curious to find out. How, other businesses finding this transition? we were very used to working this way, but how would other businesses finding that?  

and in all honesty for us, we could see there was potentially an opportunity for product or service development for data truth, given that we’ve been operating that way for quite some time,  to see whether it’s something we could potentially support in or build an offering around.

I guess more importantly, we [00:03:00] wanted to use some of our skills in terms of research and analysis, to be able to do something for the community and to be able to then share, , with businesses  far and wide,  where they’d be able to take those insights and hopefully use them to help navigate through the period and also for the future.

Luke: Rashmi, do you have anything to add? 

Rashmi Ray: Yeah, just that,  this was  a life changing experience for everyone really.  to be able to use an opportunity like this, to have those deep conversations with leaders, around the UK and globally. We spoke to people all over . That was  just a really useful thing to do. , As Tristan says, how can we be helpful in this time? how do we give back?, and I feel, this does that. in terms of feedback, we’ve had people find this quite useful.  As Tristan says, we manage remote teams. We’ve been doing it for some time now.  how do others do this and  how do we build on these learnings? 

Luke: digging into the details of exactly who was involved. obviously the results of the survey will depend a lot on [00:04:00] exactly how you put that together.  could you talk through exactly how you thought through that part? 

Tristan Neagle: Yeah, sure. Rashmi, do you want to talk about the interviews we held and who we approached and then I can talk perhaps about the poll and how that came about.

Rashmi Ray: Yeah, sure. we spoke to a variety of  leaders across sectors, and this was quite important for us, because it was more about , how are people finding this, across industries really? And then  how has the pandemic impacted different industries? it was about bringing out those transferable actionable insights. So we wanted to speak to those managing teams , whether it’s  automotive businesses, digital, tech,  across health care , FinTech, , so really wide ranging industries. 

And yes, while I suppose some of their experiences were quite industry specific. For example, a doctor would find it quite different from somebody who’s leading , a team in the automotive sector. We found quite a few patterns across these [00:05:00] industries,  that, would support all of the leaders in the report, but also, , far and wide. 

How did we know who to talk to?  We just reached out. We reached out to leaders far and wide really  and explain this idea to them. and thankfully got quite good response,  I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that we were all new to this situation. We all want to find out from the network, from our peers, how others doing this, how, you know, how others treating this environment and managing teams differently. And how would they’re finding the experience of managing remote teams?  

Luke: I just wanted to follow up with a quick question. So  is there a range of both very senior strategic people and operational people, or is it more one or the other,  or is it a wide range?

Rashmi Ray: Yeah, I think it was quite a range. Those leading teams all the way up from kind of three or four to thousand plus.  for the bulk of it, if I tried to remember,  we are talking about very senior leaders, CEOs, founders. [00:06:00] The people that make the decisions, the top of the business. we have someone who has been quoted in the report , who was the former CEO or CTO of the global digital team at HSBC.

Luke: Hmm. 

Tristan Neagle: it was really  great see such receptivity to the research that we’re doing. People are very happy to take some time to talk through it.  Very, very engaged. we had in depth conversations with managers of teams around what they were experiencing. it was largely a qualitative piece, for the interviews side of things. we were looking for   the trends and the themes and what were people most talking about and thinking about, , what would their main concerns, what are they finding easy? What they’re finding difficult? And try and sort of join all the dots and in a fairly qualitative way, , take some insights out of that, 

certainly  we  first started conducting the interviews around this uncertainty of what the future would look like in terms of, , operating models  especially for the workplace. So how and where would people be working and, more specifically, what were other business leaders and managers thinking about this stage. Because everybody who felt like quite isolated at this point, and there were no [00:07:00] patterns. There was no emergence of what the new normal might look like on that front. 

we decided then to extend The research we were doing just a little bit off the back of that. we started to run a poll, which was fairly, broad,  working across a range of, , sectors. , we were interested in finding out a little bit more quantitatively what people’s view was on actually their preferences. So this is more  working employees,  members of teams,  what did they actually want from the future. And so that led us to creating a poll around that.  So we included some results , from that poll. 

Rashmi Ray: what was  key for us in the beginning stages of those interviews was what had actually changed in this time. Had productivity change? for example.  Well, what we found was actually it, it didn’t change much. And if anything, , the productivity increase and,  we had some of the leaders, interviewed actually back that up with their measurable  operational metrics that they  use on a monthly basis.

what we found was, it’s not really decreasing, , actually it’s probably something that can take forward, [00:08:00] , but then again  how sustainable is that level of productivity. that’s something that,  you start to see over a longer period of time.

 there is a taboo with working from home.   you often get staff members is worried whilst their bosses for a day or two working from home. And actually this kind of opened the eyes for a lot of leaders to see firsthand that their staff were actually , more productive in a lot of cases working from home. People can be quite productive when directing their own time. 

Luke:  how are these leaders defining productivity when they’re working remotely, both themselves and for their teams?  any kind of patterns that you’ve that you saw or heard? 

Tristan Neagle: Yeah,  that’s a great question. And of course , as Rashmi touched upon  there were some people that we interviewed that actually could kind of point at metrics to say, this is how we normally measure , normally monitor our output and our productivity, and you could see this step change , but that’s not the case. for the majority of people we [00:09:00] spoke to. , there’s as much more of , A sense of the output and efficiency that that team were having during that period.

they wouldn’t necessarily have any hard metrics they could point out. But they could sense from the teams, overall kind of activity. The industrious nature of the work that they were doing is as to how much output was going. But, but I think importantly and paralysis, the point that you’re raising Luke is that we are, we did have quite a lot of conversations about what, what, what is productivity actually?

What do we mean by that? Because I think that there was this, especially in the first, , couple of months, , there was this sense that we’ve increased on some kind of functional output. executional productivity , we can get more things done. it was sort of transactional rate has increased, but there was certainly this recognition that actually,  what kinds of productivity are we missing here?

there’s a creative productivity that you get with lots of human beings being in the same space, , and generating ideas bouncing off each other, getting the, , approval of one [00:10:00] another’s ideas and all the challenging of one of those ideas, that has,  died away.  we don’t even know what we’ve lost in terms of medium and long term effects from that. 

, there’s , different types , of work people do in terms of the value per day.

Luke:  this is kind of building on Perry Marshall’s idea of not every task that you do being equally valuable. certainly when I was in more of a corporate environment, there was a lot of interest in making sure that people are working eight hours a day. it might look good on a spreadsheet, but when you do have a team of people working on something  they’re not going to be equally productive, those eight hours each person. so there’s ones that are more and less valuable, , in terms of the hours themselves. 

And then separately from that, there’s the actual value of what they’re doing and how it’s contributing to the overall  company goals . And that’s the other side of it. And, you know, there could be things that are being done that  could easily be done by someone for $10 an hour on the open market. And then there’s stuff, which is very unique to the company  and very powerful , that in that [00:11:00] one hour, somebody can create the equivalent of $10,000 worth of value.

Tristan Neagle: I think we’ve got a sense that  the kind of productivity that people were talking about, how it increased with the productivity that normally sits in that kind of $10 or 10 pounds an hour, a hundred pounds an hour,  maybe a few hundred pounds an hour kind of work. That work of just getting things done and getting through increased. Yeah. But, but your 10,000 pounds an hour work much harder to, have productivity around getting that work done when everybody is so isolated from one another. . 

Rashmi Ray: No, I think you’re right. , I think you were alluding to Tristin was this state of reactivity during this period.  being reactive, was perceived as being productive in a lot of senses,  I’ve had teams come back in this time, we’ve had our call volume just increase, but we’ve had better quality than ever. So actually for a lot of contact centers, I feel like their productivity has gone up. 

 then  there were digital teams who said,  we’ve had a backlog of [00:12:00] work and, , our teams have finally been able to start work on that. So not so reactive there.

it was a decent blend of, , an understanding of productivity. across the board, however they perceived or defined productivity, they felt like their teams were doing what they should have been doing. Or what they could have been doing. And actually in a lot of cases exceeded what they could have been doing.

So it’s difficult as you know, that was the kind of the conversation we were having, you know, what is that baseline? And it’s difficult to find that across the board, but what we, what we found was for what they should have been doing or could have been doing in that time teams, were doing that  or exceeding those expectations. 

Tristan Neagle: that was one of the three main findings. from the, , research that looking back on it,  perhaps not surprising. 

Cast your mind back to  April 2020 when we were all thrown into this.  everybody was so isolated. Everybody’s head spinning a bit. We don’t really know whats it’s going on. So you make a hypothesis up.  We fully expected when we started talking to people that there would [00:13:00] be a lot of people saying, “this is really a nightmare, are we finding it very difficult”. whether that’s because of technical and practical issues or whether it’s  collaboration difficulties that or client relationships and so on and so forth.  it was actually at the time, quite a surprise to us as we interview people, we’re finding out the people aren’t saying that.  they’re saying, “you know what? This is actually been pretty straightforward. It has been much easier than we were expecting.  it really changes our view on what we think about remote working, and the possibility for incorporating more of that into our model going forwards. it feels like, as a team, at least at the moment, it feels like we are more productive than maybe we even usually are.” So they were really seeing those benefits in the short term. That was a great surprise to 

us. 

Rashmi Ray: We heard people say, “we never thought this was possible to move an entire team, of say for example, a hundred to a remote working set up,  pretty much overnight” in some cases.  what we’ve been hoping to do for [00:14:00] months and months, , and even possibly years we’ve been able to accelerate overnight.  it just goes to show that with the right stimulus, there’s a lot teams can achieve .

Tristan Neagle: Yeah.  we should say that wasn’t  the case for absolutely everyone. It just worked. It was the trend. it was 70% that found the transition easier than they would have expected , if they’d been told this was going to happen,  a couple of months before. They actually found that transition was easier than they’d have thought than that.

and then  on the productivity side it was 75% who thought  their productivity had at least maintained or it increased. 

Luke: That’s amazing. That’s yeah. That’s great.  what about the people who weren’t in that 70, 75%? I mean, what were they saying? Were there any patterns there.? 

Tristan Neagle: clearly those that were those sort of finding the change a positive one , were looking at increased remote working  in a very positive light for the most part, with, , some question marks over various concerns.

 There was also quite a vocal minority, , who had, , [00:15:00] stronger views  against the, potentially wider adoption , of vastly increased remote working.  those people that we interviewed actually had stronger views, on the, terms of how they felt about remote working. clearly it’s not for everybody. even if the operating models might mean that we move into increased,  remote working and decreased use of commercial office space,  I think it’s important for businesses to recognize that every individual is different and what they actually prefer and like is different. And so the key thing is not so much about the amount of remote working, but it’s the amount of flexibility you guys offered  , to individuals so that they can adapt,  to their  schedule, their preferences and , that may be a key differentiator for organizations as they form new ways of working, going forward. How can they offer that flexibility? 

some of the biggest things that people mentioned, great concerns about that. That increased my working work. , The effects it would have on kind of divide dividing teams and further separating.  some people would send it as sort of [00:16:00] an A and a B team. So it became without being in a co-working environment and more difficult to integrate team members who weren’t normally integrate. So you get this kind of opening divide almost between teams and not, not a level of inclusivity that would normally happen quite organically. 

and also, and your sense of people feeling like they were in some kind of dystopian future where they just wake up in the morning, they kind of plug in. , they clock in, they do some work and in the cookout and I go gone and I just like a cog in this big machine. really they highly valued the office environment and the energy you get from collaboration, it’s collaboration with colleagues in the workplace. 

 that was also the sense that the, that the adopting such a new way of working would be quiet. disadvantage for, , younger members of the working population that are looking to gain exposure,  and to learn from others and, ,  they can easily do that by, by being with them in person and so on.  I think there are many with quite strong views that there were quite a lot of  downsides to increase remote working that people weren’t really recognizing yet. 

Rashmi Ray: . And the, this culture [00:17:00] too. how do you, , affirm  your company’s culture? Without having your team together in one place, or at least for the majority of the time, building this culture together.

And I think there was this worry,  one C OO. had kind of referenced, the idea of anomie, which is,  if you keep people apart for so long, they lose a sense of belonging. that was kind of a big fear for the future. especially when bringing on new members of your team and inducting new people, how do you promote your culture?

it’s okay in the short term, but over the longterm, what repercussions does that happen on your you and your company’s culture and therefore your ability to promote that culture? what impact does this have on creativity? Kind of, does it dump in that.  the creative spirit, the creative enterprise that you get in a room together. And so this idea of being flexible, it’s not necessarily removing altogether  this,  collaborative working together, but actually [00:18:00] finding the right model and  fit and the right the time split,  not removing it altogether.  it’s really dependent on your people, balancing the needs of your team and your company’s priorities  the people’s needs. 

Luke: So speaking of culture what about meetings? that’s one of the ways of looking at culture. it’s kind of a lens of what the actual culture is like. has there been any discussion about, how remote meetings work relative to when they are in person? 

Tristan Neagle: on both sides, of the stories.  there’s been loads of positives in respect to meetings. We can meet with lots more people, lots more quickly, especially if you’re kind of doing business development and so on , you can meet with six clients in the morning instead of one. , if where you’d normally kind of go visit face to face. 

and likewise, Teams,  got used to increase levels of zoom. It can get too much. And I think initially, there was almost overreaction. People were on zoom all the time, constantly zoom rooms open all day. And that seemed to have, that seemed to tail off, actually, even during the sort of six week period or so that we were interviewing.  

but [00:19:00] on the flip side, there was certainly challenges discussed around not being able to get the whole story when you’re not in the room with people. both in terms of meeting new people,  especially in client relationships or potential new hires there’s recognition that it’s the stuff which happens outside of the meeting, what gives you the real cues as a human being.

And,  you pick up  so many bits of information that you’re kind of not even aware of.  it just goes into your subconscious knew you have  a feel about things. So that remains a challenge. to overcome that  is not, easy.

on the meetings front specifically, I would say if there was one,  practical challenge that was raised, then clearly it’s around meetings of a certain size, beyond 10 plus, it just becomes quite unmanageable. Whereas you could run a very productive workshop day for 25 or 30. People are more physical in person. Doing that virtually is a really big challenge. And [00:20:00] I think technology and virtualization will have to go a long way before that becomes in any way, close to, the physical equivalent.

Rashmi Ray: On the flip side too, you do have,  those individuals who feel more confident speaking in this type of space now. So virtually, rather than in person, it’s given them more confidence to speak out loud and voice their opinions.  there was one person who led  a zoom call with 160 people. And she’d never have thought to have done that before.  so in another sense, it has given people more competence, 

there’s a lot of leaders thinking about this now. how do you create an interesting, engaging online experience rather than just trying to replicate  the offline experience? there are two very different mediums and they need to be treated in those ways. So we’re all still learning  how to make it more engaging.

For example, we had, we had one , One leader say  it’s more interesting to run a pitch using Miro, for example, than it would be to use a PowerPoint [00:21:00] presentation.  So it’s just finding these new ways to  deliver presentations, meet with multiple people,  in an online experience.

But as Tristan says,  I think I feel personally too, you can only do that with so many people.  So for example, that call with 160 people , I can imagine that most of those might’ve been muted. Do you know what I mean? And then it kind of does. It doesn’t necessarily bring everybody into that experience. they’re not all feeling engaged at the same time or weekly. 

Tristan Neagle: That’s right. quite a few people mentioned that the larger group meetings, become more like lecture format. So there were. Yeah, exactly. It’s kind of a webinar. So for example, like all hands meetings for companies start running those,  , over zoom men that, whereas previously, you know, you have the breaks, you have the corridor chats and everything, and that just goes away and it just becomes like a stream of dialogue of information. And so, yeah, clearly there’s a long way to go in respect to larger group new things.

Rashmi Ray: but then again, we’ve had people [00:22:00] say  Around this borderless working environment. I don’t need to travel to present anymore for a marketing pitch.  I could do that over, over video. And so,  and it’s inexpensive saves time. , 

 the bigger it gets, the harder it is to maintain. 

, but also when you’re trying to create those new ideas and products, uh, for a products, for example, does it, does it hinder that creativity? I don’t know. I did have, although I did have   one leader say they created a whole brand new digital product from scratch completely remotely from start to finish and it’s been successful. 

I think it depends. It depends really. I think on the techniques you use your, your, your type of team, the type of people within that team. Lots of variables. 

Tristan Neagle:  just to return briefly to the culture point, because I do think it’s a really important one and. a strongly held view by many, which is that, that, that represents part of the greatest challenge here over the medium and longterm for businesses, for organizations, especially because as, it is the key challenge because it, what the [00:23:00] difference between one organization and other, if we’re all just nodes working in a distributed fashion and remotely. And everybody’s just connect digitally over zoom. How does one organization differentiators to self in terms of culture and identity and that that’s being able to crack? That is a  key to growing successful organizations in the future.

Luke: Yeah. it’s almost like you need to put  a design hat on in terms of meetings  and collaboration.  In terms of rethinking from basics. Like how do you do it when you’re remote? 

Rashmi Ray: Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly. And it’s, it has to be planned. 

Tristan Neagle: That’s right. Reimagine and, and, and that’s, you know, when you think about the experience of people joining a new company, how different that is for those that have joined new businesses over the period of the lockdown and the pandemic versus how it would normally be. It’s night and day in terms of  a sense of what business, what kind of businesses is you’re joining.

Right? And so that was [00:24:00] well, the hiring piece, the, , the attraction, the hiring, and then the onboarding and integration piece, , for. For building, building teams is, , is gonna be a real, , th that think this is an expert, real spotlight on that in, at once. If we, if we hire people through those mechanisms, we do that digitally.

How do we onboard and integrate people really? How can we get anywhere near the same level of text messages you would have when give a joint as their first day? And you can, you know, meet lots of people around the office, go for lunch, go for drinks, get to know people. That’s just out the window. And how, how do you in some way replace that? It’s very, very difficult, I think. 

Luke: Yeah. Yeah. what else is  on leader’s minds? what are people asking? 

Tristan Neagle:  I guess that, goes back to the commercial, the use of the operating models, which we talked a little bit about and the use of commercial office space going forward was a key a point of interest. And so too was,  what’s going to happen in the future. What will priorities be? 

on the only office space side of things, [00:25:00]  we got a sense that because this was a point of interest, we started to ask more about this  what’s their view? nobody would really have the full answer to it. Cause it was the stuff in the air at the time. But what was their best guess on what kind of model?  they might go towards in the future. we found in terms of trends that will  about five different molds that people were talking about.

one was basically what we ended up calling kind of high flexibility, where they would see that they would move to, giving much more flexibility to employees to beat, to potentially work up to 60% of the time remotely. 

the second model was what we turned kind of batch okay. Working where, , it seems to be distributed for, , the majority of time, but then they come together either for all come together. For kind of one day, a week or one week, a month, um, or three days a month. And so on. 

 the third model , was, mainly office space. So kind of back to business as usual because there certainly was still a contingent we’re talking about, continuing to work that way.

the fourth a little bit more niche was a sort of rotor system where. [00:26:00] there are a few people in the office space overall, but they’d be on rotation. So you’d have teams in and they’d be taking it in turns to work remotely and work in the office. 

 then fifth of course,  is the kind of fully distributed 

and overwhelmingly we found it was the, it was the first two of those so having retaining office space, but needing being able to potentially to reduce quite significantly. , so down from, not, not 0.8, , but, , , per seat, per employee. , or 80% is utilizations. It might be down to possibly like 40 or 50%. So quite, quite dramatic change there. 

and on the flip,  we put that together with the yeah. About poll,   which Coda. So we have the view of what leaders are thinking about where they might go, but we had, on the other side, we had. Employees and team members and what they actually wanted to do in the future, how much they actually want to work from home.

so in that poll, we’ve got about close to 300, about 260 responses for that. we felt that we’d gotten to statistically significant because we weren’t seeing any change as we added another 10 or 20. That  the output [00:27:00] had settles and.

There we found that the, , most popular choice, , was, , actually working remotely kind of 60% of the time. people were quite keen to be in the office two days a week if you’d like an, a home,  Three days a week, that was the most popular choice. And then, closely following it was 100% distributed.

So there’s, there’s a lot of people that would be wanting to work somewhere between 40 and 60% remotely. And that was the majority. And then another kind of peak at, , at, , fully remote working and taking that all into account. It meant that,  70%, if people that responded to that poll would prefer to work from home at least half the time.

 so that,  coupled with the leaders view how this work leads onto quite dramatic shifts, in commercial office space usage. And  we put a  projection together that in the report where we think it just shifts the peak in how much remote working is happening from about 10 to 20% where it was previously to more [00:28:00] somewhere between around 40 and 50%.

Hmm. Taking that through account. Yeah. Yeah. 

That is, that is quite a change. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Far reaching consequences in many respects, I think. Yeah. 

Luke: What about things like people’s desks and locations within an office?  there’s office space, but I think part of the assumption of an office is you’ve got your desk, you sit in one place, whereas if it’s a lot smaller,  then it becomes, yes, it’s more of a hot desking kind of thing.

Tristan Neagle: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So said nobody has a sort of home at the office as it were. I dunno what you think, but I, I certainly found there were two, two sides of that coin as well.

And that those that were not so much in favor of increased remote working were  basically is just a more inconvenient version of the plugging into the matrix kind of thing. Cause it’s all, it’s all very sterile and not homely. And  you walk in , you turn up all your stuff, you [00:29:00] plug it in and then you have to clear it all out and away you go.

just practically speaking felt like that’s clearly the way it’s going to go and it’s, it’s going to mean that we’re all,  working in that way.

I backed first, the first group that I’m talking about, they just felt like. If you have run an office like that way, you’re kind of missing the point of the office because you’re not supporting and people having a place, they work and they feel like that comes from an environment, which they’re really happy to be in. It’s just becomes a quite transactional thing.  even though it’s physical,  and you know, an extension of the digital,  increase in digital transactions that we’ve all been undertaking over the last few months. 

those that found the positives, don’t see it going any other way. And in fact, extend that to coworking space as well. So seeing pop up,  expecting to see like large pop up, , rooms for kind of, , collaborative working and,  and workshops and so forth. 

Rashmi Ray: . Yeah. I didn’t actually cover much of,  this hot desking experience after this period. what did come out was if you weren’t out, so you’d be in collaborative [00:30:00] spaces. So for example, you’d hire what you need  on an ad hoc or pay as you go basis is finding spaces  To meet whenever you’re building something or you need to work together, particularly around like designing sprints or designing products.

And it’s more in the design phase or an away day, but those are the times that you’d get together and you’d only have the space for that purpose. So I spoke to many who kind of focus on that route going forward, would be more comfortable with just using space when they needed it really, rather than adopting hot desks .

Luke: So then the budget priority, isn’t so much the hot desking size. It’s more just being able to have meeting rooms. 

Tristan Neagle: Yeah, yeah, yeah, exactly.  it opens up some really interesting possibilities for businesses around what they could potentially do with their budget for office space, if you had to take that kind of batch approach with talking about were predominantly people working from home, but they come together for a few days a month or,  a day a week.  I think there is the option to make that really quite [00:31:00] interesting.

 and vary that,  quite a lot in terms of , the surroundings, you, you’re happy to be in, , the environment they’re working in and. The world’s your oyster at that point, if your team is largely distributed and you come together wherever you wish  it could create a  mini away day, either weekly or monthly.

 which might be  something that companies don’t do enough of. , so could you go into it from the surroundings and having them exposed to, you know, there’s nothing stopping company each other 

Rashmi Ray: together. 

Tristan Neagle: Yeah. Yeah. And there’s nothing stopping a business, going and hiring a  Castle for a few days for everybody working. , people might get a bit distracted, I guess, not so focused as they should be. , but, , it, it could make things, 

Luke: As long as wifi works those walls. Yeah.  

Rashmi Ray: I think you raised it by the point, you know, there needs to be some thought into what happens. Go forward with the desks, the designated Sones for working, you know, are we equipping our staff  [00:32:00] with the right tools and equipment that they need to stay healthy while working. we all went into sort of a reactive state during this period, but going forward, how do we make sure that our teams are,  comfortable with our working set up. I clearly know that a lot of the majority want to work in this way, but making sure that that’s sustainable is probably going to be a priority for our leaders going forward too.  Google has , work from home allowance. I think a lot of companies are going down that way,  albeit they’re reducing spend on commercial office space, but potentially putting some of that spend back into the homes of their workers. How do they create that office space at home and making sure that that’s safe for them too?

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