Most networks and agencies have had their fair share of issues such as the gender pay gap challenge or diversity and inclusion issues. However, most companies stare down the barrel and wonder what to do. Why? In part, I think it’s down to being so busy on clients’ business, that it’s never easy to get our own houses in order – a case of cobbler’s shoes! I also think it’s a case of not knowing where to start to really make a positive impact and become ‘as good as’ some of our clients. We don’t have pockets for sustainability officers or heads of ESG but we do have our own ambitions to #StartSomethingGood.
A bigger business comes with bigger responsibilities
We’ve made a conscious decision that in 2022 we will change things for the better. For the better of our people and for the environment, to help our clients enhance their goals, and really take part in the journey to a better way of being as a business. It was a trigger moment – recognition that we’re no longer a small business, but instead are growing fast into a much bigger agency, with lots of wonderful people, from all over the world, being part of the team. With this comes a bigger footprint and thus greater responsibilities. It’s precisely because of this that we realised we needed to make a change.
A Big Move
Like many businesses post-Covid, there’s been a real growing consciousness of how our carbon footprint has significantly reduced – the need for offices has changed, resulting in less commuting, among other things. Yet, like many, we had our glossy city offices which we kept fuelled, manned and unused during lockdowns. However, we realised that the hybrid working model had not only worked but instead was a resounding success. Our people, working from across Europe, were still very much together – a team. Despite growing some 28% in people over the last 2 years, it proved you could hire great people, integrate and engage them, and hold events to team build, albeit virtually. Like many, we could have switched back to the office model and commuting. We haven’t. And, we have no ambition to. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be together as a team but that we can be flexible in the way we work, collaborate and be together based upon choice, rather than convention. We have made a very conscious decision that our office rethink should be part of a positive solution to reduce our carbon footprint.
In April this year, we’re making the move to take on a much smaller hybrid working office, providing our teams with a place to collaborate, be together and meet with our clients. But we’re doing it on the basis that the office should only house 50% of our people at any one time. Not only halving our office impact but also further the travel footprint too. Office simplicity and space minimisation are key, however, it’s also about creating an environment which feels a little like a home office, in the work office – bringing the familiar creature comforts into a workspace that exist in the home. As with any home, it’s about location. While many of our clients operate in the city, so many more operate globally. What the last couple of years has taught us is that we can be anywhere. And so, for our new office we thought we should make a break for a place with real community and being part of one, which is why we are excited to move to Bermondsey. With its village feel and real sense of community, it feels right for our new home. And being only 400 metres from London Bridge Station, all our commutes will be a little lighter.
For us, this is the start of something good.
Director – Strategy & Innovation
2112 Communications Limited