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Post-pandemic, we updated our work model and our office space to accommodate our growing team, our clientele, and our evolving work.
From small decor changes to sweeping work model updates, we have been tweaking the way we do things to best meet the needs of everyone involved with Fishnet Media.
Fishnet’s Hybrid Work Model
As we are all acutely aware, the pandemic shifted all too many things for everyone while it was raging, but in its relative wake, some changes have remained. At Fishnet (and most other office-related, computer-reliant jobs around the world), fully remote work became a necessity during the lockdown to keep our business alive and our employees employed. But even before the pandemic, we have always allowed for our employees to work from home when it made sense, such as when they were delving into a long individual project or when someone had a sick kid home from school. Because of that, converting to fully remote work for a while was a fairly smooth process.
That said, we greatly value in-person collaboration and communication for a thriving business. The pandemic left most of us with a longing for social interaction but, in terms of our workflow, it left us craving the creativity and productivity of in-person professional interaction. From brainstorming in a conference room on a whiteboard wall, to approaching someone at their desk for a quick answer to a question, to sharing laughs over leftovers brought in for lunch, there is something to be said for converging at the office on a regular basis.
As such, when we were able to safely do so, we adopted a fully hybrid work model. Allowing and encouraging our team to spend some days in the office and some days in their homes for work meant striking a balance with the benefits of each extreme (all in-person or all remote). Some days, such as when we have our weekly meeting or clients are in town, we ask that our employees come to the office, and in general ask that they spend two to three days here per week. That way, we ensure that we gain those collaborative benefits and enjoy those human interactions. But allowing and encouraging our team to take remote days when possible and beneficial to themselves means they can be more relaxed, save time on commuting that can increase their time with loved ones, and, as it turns out, increase their overall productivity. When employees feel they are seen as and treated as real people with real things that can come up and affect their day-to-days, we find that they’re more engaged with and energetic about their work.
From The Team:
“We’ve always had the flexibility to work from home when we needed to. But, as a creative, I am a big believer in collaborating in person. […] During the deepest creative times I like to work from home. So this flexible model allows me to be the most efficient depending on what the situation or task calls for.”
— Sean Reusch, Director of Design
“COVID taught us a tough lesson that we wanted to learn from… sharing the same space may support healthy collaboration but we wanted to strike a better balance, offering an environment that also allows for independent work/thought/ideation. We wanted it to support productivity but also communicate our commitment to wellness.”
— Jared Lemos, Managing Partner & Co-Founder
“The efficiencies gained when you’re collaborating creatively in-person are undeniable. But having the flexibility to work remotely – in the sense of not having the office distractions when you need to be “heads down” – is invaluable for many reasons. There are also health benefits of providing a hybrid model; the flexibility has resulted in (and studies have shown) hybrid workers exercising more, sleeping better, and eating better. In turn, they are feeling better, being more productive, and having a better “state of mind” (mental health). While we want to promote all those advantages, we need to ensure the right balance of this model for the health of the business and our productivity.”
— Michael Packard, Managing Partner & Co-Founder
Refreshing Our Workspace Elements
As a creative marketing agency, we definitely understand the importance of aesthetic, inviting, and comprehensive design. From our initial brand messaging presentations to our award-winning website designs, everything we create is held to the highest standards… but our office space was lacking a little bit in that department. While we have always maintained a bright, comfortable office with space for all of our team members, we wanted to freshen things up and customize the office to bring in more life, culture, and flexibility.
“The refresh project, which started in Q4 of last year, stemmed from the fact we hadn’t really done anything to our space since our initial build out back in 2016. We wanted to solicit direct input from our loyal team to better understand ways to improve it to better support how and where they wanted to work,” said Jared Lemos, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Fishnet. “A great deal of freedom was given to the team to develop concepts for infusing more culture, core values, and ways to brighten up the space. We wanted to create an environment that not only welcomed our clients but welcomed new and veteran team members, as well.”
An InVision Board (essentially a virtual vision board) was created and managers and team members alike contributed their ideas and interests, adding rugs, bean bag chairs, and soft lighting fixtures as they brainstormed what would make the office a more comfortable and welcoming place to work.
“Understanding that not everyone likes to sit at a desk, we’ve created some comfortable working nooks for team members, a new bar to rest your elbows on, and repurposed a creative brainstorming room to double as a world class ping-pong venue,” said Mike Packard, the other Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Fishnet. “Some of the sprucing up included some fresh paint, and some new art and signage to communicate and remind us of our core values, and more shelves to house the ever-growing awards collection.”
Now, the office is filled with leafy green plants, decorative rugs that add a pop of color (and make great nap spots for our numerous office dogs!), and comfortable, interesting collaborative spaces that allow our team to function creatively. Most days look a lot like this: some team members at home, powering through deliverables; a group in a conference room, brand planning for a new client; someone working in peaceful solitude from our oversized bean bag chair. At Fishnet, we take each day, each challenge (both personal and professional) as it comes, always understanding that when our team feels happy and healthy, our business will be happy and healthy.
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