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Remote Working

Remote working: how we worked it out

So, let’s get one thing out the way. I’m a dinosaur!

At the start of 2017 I was persuaded (through gritted teeth) to introduce flexible working and working from home options for all our staff. Why gritted teeth? Well, this dinosaur has spent the last 30 years completing daily timesheets and carrying out headcounts in the office. It was my view that if someone wasn’t physically present then they were not working. How wrong I have been proven!

Looking back, I’m grateful now that we had a remote working initiation, leading up to the enforced WFH period in 2020 and 2021. Although, up to that point, the norm was for most people to be in the office with one or two team members working remotely now and again, we were confident that we had the technology and the processes to make it work. It meant we were able to spring into action as a newly-formed virtual team with no disruption to our clients or ongoing projects.

Fast-forward three years and we still have no plans to return to daily office life. Nobody could be more surprised by this than me! Since embracing fully remote working ways, our productivity and client response rates have increased, our margins have improved, our time-management is so much better and we’ve benefited in ways I couldn’t have imagined before now by allowing our team more responsibility for their own work/life balance. And, when it comes down to it, I can never argue with positive results.

The Tyrannosaurus-sized challenge with remote working, though, is how to maintain a strong, shared team culture when, for the most part, we’re trying to build relationships through screen time and unflattering nostril-gazing camera angles. What I’ve learned is that there’s no perfect one-size-fits-all solution. The most important thing is to find what works for your team, listen to them, take ideas on board, change it up when it starts to feel forced and, ultimately, learn to adapt. Oh yes, one thing this dinosaur has embraced is evolution.

With that in mind, here’s some of the things that we’ve found, through our remote working journey, that help to keep us unified, happy and productive, as a team and as a business:

Morning check-ins

Religiously, three times a week, we hold virtual morning check-in sessions where the whole team come online to say hello and share their updates. It’s an opportunity to get some face time with colleagues (good hair day or not, cameras are on!) and have a little chat to start the day off right. We share hosting responsibilities and the morning’s host sets the agenda. So, it could be as simple as ‘What did you get up over the weekend?’ and ‘What’s on your agenda today’ or it could be a themed check-in. We’ve had all sorts of weird and wonderful talking points – everything from ‘What’s the most used emoji on your phone?’ to ‘What cooker hob position is your favourite?’. Everyone gets involved and it’s a great way to have a bit of a laugh and feel more connected to each other.


Remote working has brought out a real desire in our team to get a little more playful with our social screen time. Our most well-attended check-in is our monthly virtual Bingo session (that may or may not be attributed to the fact that there are gift vouchers up for grabs for the winners!). We’ve also discovered a love for Drawasaurus. If you’ve not experienced it before, imagine an online (highly competitive) version of Pictionary. Half an hour is all it takes to switch off from the tasks in your schedule and feel a little more in touch with the rest of the team.

Physical office options

Whilst we don’t have a single large dedicated office space any more, what we do now have are two smaller offices in different parts of the country that give our employees the option of working in a shared environment. What I’m now more acutely aware of than ever is that everyone is different. Some people thrive when they have others around them and some people are much more productive in their own environment. Providing the option is the important thing for us as well as not judging the choices that people take.

Flexible working

Perhaps the most influential shift we’ve made over the past years is the introduction of flexible working. We’ve tried and tested lots of different iterations but settled on a simple policy: work anytime between the hours of 7am and 10pm and choose to split your weekly hours across 4 or 5 days, working a minimum of 3.75 hours each day. The only rules we have are these:

  1. 1. Do what’s best for the company, your colleagues and your clients
  2. 2. Don’t work weekends!

The first goes without saying. Flexible working is for everyone’s benefit but it is just that - ‘flexible’. We all need to be prepared to shift things around if it’s causing big issues for the rest of the team or making the business less productive. Everyone in the team understands that and treats others with respect and consideration when it comes to planning their time.

The second is perhaps somewhat unconventional for an industry that’s known for getting the most out of its employees, to put it mildly. We don’t believe in any of that traditional agency BS. Most of us will spend 90,000 hours of our lives at work. We’d prefer to spend most of those hours feeling happy. And we want to support a healthy, rested, positive and productive team. So, protecting non-working time is one of the ways we try to do that.

Company meet ups

Once a month we hold all company in-person catch-up sessions. Usually these take the shape of half day meetings, hosted by a different team member each time. The content is typically a mix of business updates (targets, objectives, successes, future plans) and then a showcase from each team, including, of course, the legendary LEWIS Bingo session! Often we’ll treat these as social occasions and will tie in a night out or a company lunch/dinner to help us all catch-up with each other properly whilst the opportunity is there.


And that’s really all there is to it. I’d love to say that there’s a magic formula to cracking remote working but, honestly, I believe it mostly comes down to trust, acceptance and really listening to employee ideas and feedback. We’ve never been happier or more adaptable as a team and, as time goes by, this attitude has opened doors for so many opportunities that we might have dismissed in the past. This dinosaur is now a chameleon and he couldn’t be more delighted!

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LEWIS is a highly regarded, experienced digital marketing business. It focuses on digital marketing and delivery, including design, strategic planning services, build of online tools and websites, security, hosting and data, and the production of multichannel campaigns.

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