We’re excited to announce plans to redefine the way we approach remote and in-person work as part of our (r)evolution to become the best place to work.
Becoming a distributed team
When lockdown restrictions began in the UK in March 2020, like everyone else in the country we were forced to quickly transition into becoming a fully remote company. We locked up our office, headed home and into the unknown. Despite the usual challenges and learning curves we’ve become a productive, successful and happy team working entirely from home.
During this time we’ve also hired some fantastic people, many of whom don’t live in our home city of Nottingham. Thanks to the fact we’ve all been fully remote, each of them have quickly made a massive impact with the same equity and freedom as the rest of us. Remote work has in some ways become a great equaliser, where everyone can thrive equally regardless of location.
Today, about 15% of the agency is fully remote, including one Director and several senior experts. Hallam has changed forever, and one thing is clear: we can and will never go back to being an office-centric company. However, we also learnt that remote work is not for everyone and that the future of work, at least for us, needs to be flexible.
The planet has changed irreversibly, and we’re evolving with it. And this calls for a new way of thinking.
What comes next?
As national lockdown restrictions begin to ease in the UK and we start to make plans to reopen our Nottingham office, we’re presented with a new challenge: how can we enable every Hallamer to be happy, successful and valued, regardless of location? This question and the answers that will emerge in the weeks and months ahead are at the heart of our strategy for what we’re calling location equity.
By adding the ability to hire the best talent, regardless of location, we will unlock a global talent pool that underpins our journey to become one of Europe’s leading strategic digital agencies.
This is too important to leave to chance. We need to intentionally design a workplace that works for everyone, whether that’s fully remote, fully office-based or a hybrid of the two.
The future of work: Location Equity.
Our vision for the future is to achieve Location Equity: to be a company that finds the best people, wherever they choose to live, and gives them what they need to do their best work. We’ll still have a Nottingham office and you can still come in every day if you want to, but you will not have to be in the office to be successful or fulfilled at work. It’s simply an option.
As we navigate what’s next, we’ll need a mix of boldness and humility, underpinned by a willingness to experiment. Not everything we try will succeed, but we will commit to keep going until we get this right.
We’ve created a working group who will together create a new framework for how we handle remote work at Hallam and how we integrate local and remote teams into one clear cohesive unit regardless of physical location — from simple things like meetings and social events to the way we work strategically and with clients. The team is made up of a diverse group of Hallamers — fully remote, hybrid and full local in the office. Together, they will collaborate to find ideas and policies that give us all the tools and freedom to succeed.
Three simple principles
Our strategy is built on three principles:
- Work from anywhere: everyone has the right to work from wherever they want. We are neither fully remote or fully located in our Nottingham office. Every decision, policy or process our agency makes needs to consider the needs of both local and remote workers and strike a balance to provide for the needs of both at all times. It’s a progressive strategy built on compromise and balance.
- Freedom to choose: the choice of where to live and work must always belong to the individual, not the company. While some will prefer coming into the office every day, others will prefer to work fully remotely and there will be those who want a mix of both. Every decision the company makes must consider the individual’s right to choose. We’ll also separate your career progression from where you work, giving you the confidence that you’ll be able to achieve what you want regardless of where you live. You do not have to sit next to someone senior in order to progress.
- Cultural Unity: every Hallamer is an equally important part of our culture. Every decision must consider the impact on culture, cohesion and social elements. Nobody must ever be excluded due to location.
The pursuit of happiness
Whilst work is an integral part of our lives, we believe that it is not the sole purpose of life. We truly believe everyone should have the opportunity to be happy at work. Work should exist to make home life better, not the other way round.
As an independent agency, we have the ability to design a work environment that promotes a healthy and balanced approach to work and that starts with where you decide to log in from. We have the freedom to choose, and we’re making the most of it.