Back to the studio

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Richard Jaggs

MD | Resolution Design

  • February 4, 2022
  • 4 minute read

The signs are hopeful, restrictions have eased and things are opening up again, great news and long may it last. Looking back over the past 2 years, we’ve had our challenges here at Resolution, but trade has largely remained buoyant and I know that many businesses have not been so fortunate, so I’m very thankful we’re part of a digital-based sector.

I love having conversations with other business people, so as we emerge from restrictions, I thought you might be interested to learn more about our lockdown experiences…

We started working from home on Monday 23rd March 2020, kicking the day off at 9 am with the novelty of a team video meeting. We were well set up for remote working. Everyone in the team had their own laptop and almost all our systems were cloud-based, helping to make the transition relatively simple. The addition of second screens, keyboards and office chairs and we were largely there, all set, ready for a few weeks of working from home…

Our first team Google Meet
Our first team Google Meet

However, we felt the impact of the lockdown on the business almost immediately, several clients reduced or cancelled their planned marketing activities, projects in our sales pipeline stalled and the new business activity we had planned for our fledgling Bristol office became largely redundant. These unwelcome developments coincided with the introduction of the furlough scheme and we reluctantly decided to furlough some of the team whilst we waited for things to bounce back.

In July we created a lockdown gallery, images of our new home workspaces, including my modified shed, a space that became more and more important to me as time went by.

Richard's shed

As 2020 progressed, business did return, and in fact, we experienced significant demand for our more technical services in the latter part of the year. Clients pushed to develop their digital marketing, with traditional sales and marketing activities being restricted and the surge in the use of digital generally. In fact, 2021 proved to be our most successful year and 2022 is off to an excellent start.

However, this pick up in activity took a little while, we kept our furloughed staff in the loop, but rather than stay on furlough they found new positions elsewhere and moved on with our best wishes. This was a sad time but it did give us the opportunity to re-shape the team to align with the shift in demand.

While the studio was unused we took the opportunity to oil the wooden floor and install an air conditioning system (for heating and cooling, replacing the wood burner).

Fast forward to today, just over 22 months later, we are at long last coming back to the studio, but with different views on the best ways of working.

Pre-covid the team worked mostly in the studio with occasional work from home days. Now, collectively, we have decided that 2 days in the studio and 3 days at home provides better work/life balance, delivers good productivity for the business, saves time and money in travel and is better for the planet. But we’ve missed team socials and lunches, so we’ve reintroduced regular team lunches and ‘Firsty Fursdays’ after-work drinks.

We’ve always been keen on using technology and working from home has motivated us to change our business systems and embrace communication technology more fully. This has been a very worthwhile shift, allowing us to be leaner, more efficient and more productive.

From a sales point of view, using video calls has largely been very positive. Meeting times are more flexible and a great deal of time, money and effort has been saved by not having to travel. However, from a new business perspective, we did lose the opportunity to network, something we are balancing with increased digital marketing activity.

We’ve taken some time to re-evaluate our own positioning and to create a clear process that can be applied to all clients who want to scale their businesses, our Accelerator process. This is proving to be a very successful approach and we’ll be sharing more on this in future insights.

All in all, it’s been a challenging time, but we’ve emerged as a stronger, more focussed business, very much looking forward to continuing to help startup and SME businesses become more successful and to fuel our own growth in the process.