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The Toronto-based marketing agency aims to strike the right balance with its flexible working policy, so it accommodates employees who have preferences for remote, hybrid, and office work. The company also compensates employees for their home Internet use for work and provides home office equipment as needed. But he also acknowledges that for some people, working from home amid the coronavirus pandemic has been a struggle.
About a year after the first declaration of the global pandemic, Fuse reopened its office doors in March 2021 – as soon as the provincial government allowed it – to staff who had to work in the office for mental health reasons or to perform targeted work. And although the company had to close the office at times, depending on government guidelines, if it was an emergency and staff needed to work on site, an office could be booked.
The agency was located in a spacious building of over 14,000 square feet, which allowed it to have employees on site safely with very limited capacity. To find out who was coming to the office and when, Fuse implemented an office reservation system, which allowed him to keep the office open most of the time and made it safer for employees. When the number of coronavirus cases increased, the organization advised people to stay home unless absolutely necessary.
This month, Fuse bought a new building in West Toronto, which she plans to move into in January 2022. The office is smaller, but with the new flexible working policy, her collaboration spaces are exactly what the agency needs, because it ‘will be mainly used for team meetings or with clients, explains Brown.
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While he thinks Fuse needs a hub where people can come together and imagine, where culture can grow and be shaped, and where social interactions can take place organically, he doesn’t think the agency needs to institute a firm policy at this time.
Managing trust is key to a successful hybrid work regime and is essential to a healthy work culture, says Brown. “We believe that we can trust the team to make the right decisions based on what they need for themselves and their clients, and that’s thanks to this hybrid model. “
While many Fuse employees are excited about the new office space, others are happy to be able to continue working from home. “During the creative development phase, you want to be in a boardroom debating ideas, but you also need time to return to your quiet space and refine what you’re working on,” says Brown. “A lot of times this process happened during our daily commutes or during our working hours. “
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Remote working has allowed Fuse employees to tap into that thinking time during their working hours, he adds. Indeed, one of her writers told her that she believed working from home improved her work product, as well as her creative skills.
The shift to flexible working has also allowed the company to remain competitive when it comes to recruiting new workers. Brown says flexible working is a key issue when interviewing potential talent. The preferences of potential candidates are also mixed, so much so that if Fuse decides to go completely in one direction, he believes it will hurt the company’s ability to attract the best employees.
Still, he notes that the organization’s politics are fluid, as is the situation on the ground. “We know that the future of work is changing and that means pivoting and adapting as we go. However, the Fuse team have always been very good at it, so I have confidence that we will do perfectly well.
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