April 2019 – Vertual moved to a new office at Anchor house.
April 2020 – The UK were in lockdown and all the Vertual team started working from home.
April 2021 – The Vertual team are still working from home.
April 2022 – Where will Vertual be this time next year?
Looking back over the last year of working from home, it has been an unpredictable and challenging time, with continual changes and last minute adaptations. However, it has been fueled with creative solutions from across the Vertual team which have allowed us to accelerate projects, reach customers in new ways and successfully continue our business.
Our office is an empty scene of desks, with equipment taken home to accommodate our working needs with a lot of ingenuity and variations of the ‘home office set-up’ from a proper desk to dining room tables and conservatories. As a company with customers and distributors spread across the globe, the commercial team were already familiar with online meetings but these have accelerated to the main way of communication and we have become self-claimed experts in Skype, Zoom, WebEx and Teams! As a business, we have changed everything to a virtual world from conferences, to customer training, staff inductions and product launches. The list is endless.
Below are some quotes from across the team about their working from home experiences:
‘’A year ago we were watching daily news briefings about a virus spreading across the world. As CEO I felt an urgent need to keep all our employees safe and close the office, while putting emergency plans in place to ensure the business kept going, and our customers were fully supported. Vertual had not been set up to operate remotely but with typical Vertual team spirit we quickly managed to get everyone’s computers, monitors, printers, office chairs and everything else transported home using a convoy of cars and volunteer drivers. A year later we are still working from home, it has been tough for the business at times, but we have sought solutions to get through it. What has been amazing is that productivity did not decrease, it went up, we managed to launch a new product virtually and our customers thanked us for all the support we gave them. Our employees tell me working from home has given them more time for themselves without the daily commute, and they work more effectively. To a certain extent everyone would like to continue working away fully or partially from the office. So, when the time comes to open the office again, we are planning a more flexible hybrid working practice’’
“Working from home has taught me working full time, being a Mum and maintaining a home doesn’t need to be as hard as it once was when travel was too involved. Whilst maintaining a good working platform and high level of work the benefits it has brought to my family life has been invaluable.”
C.H Finance and Operations Manager
“It seems like a life time ago we were gathered in the development area being informed to pack up our things as we will need to work from home for a few weeks…. and that was over a year ago now! I was a bit anxious about WFH as I am a bit of a chatterbox and I thought it would be isolating, but very quickly I realised having no other co-workers hanging round your kettle in the kitchen gives you back a lot of extra minutes in the day, and I was zooming through my work (literally) at lightning speed!”
L.S Product Specialist & Territory Manager
“We thought WFH would be short lived the pandemic would blow over and we’d be back in the office as ‘normal’ in a couple of weeks. A year later WFH really feels ‘normal’ now. The past year has taught us many things and has had a positive impact for many. With less distractions in the office we’ve seen increased productivity and deeper collaboration across the team, we’ve improved processes and meetings are much more constructive, and at the same time retained the office culture. I’ve definitely felt the benefit from a better work-life balance and believe a hybrid-work model is the way forward, this also gives us the ability to attract a more diverse workforce.”
F.L Business & Administrations Manager
“On the work side of things; productivity is great and communication has been made simple with all the modern tech available. From a personal point of view, I really enjoy working from home and having a dedicated work area that I can add nice little touches to in my house. I think one of the biggest positives is the extra time I have for myself with not commuting, I’ve got back into some old hobbies and my house has never been cleaner!”
S.D Senior Software Engineer & Project Manager
“I am very lucky to work for a company that allows me to work from home…. On a day like today, when the sun is shining, it is so much nicer to be sat in my conservatory with the birds tweeting outside and an open space to look out on to help clear my mind”
C.Q Product Specialist & Territory Manager
“I have learned that I am as productive working from home as from the office; having a focussed office in my house helps with this. I like the work-life balance of not having a heavy traffic commute and do a commute walk (unless it’s cold and wet) for the same amount of time every morning. I miss seeing my colleagues and chatting with them face to face as we have a great team at Vertual. I also miss the team socials like secret Santa and our face to face quarterly business updates.”
J.A. Business Development Manager
“After pretty much a year at home on maternity, I was looking forward to getting back to the office and the change of scenery but then covid came along. I was quite nervous and a little sceptical about working from home at first but it’s surprised me how smoothly it’s gone. It kind of just feels like the norm now. I do find it easier to concentrate without the distractions of a busy office environment but also miss the social interaction, even just the daily chit chat with colleagues – the weather, what you’re having for lunch, what new gin you’ve tried etc.”
C.W Administrations Officer