I love the office. No two ways about it. The camaraderie, the buzz, the biscuits – I’m its number one fan. So, the pandemic hit me hard work-wise.

by Katie Pegg

Take away the people and the routine, and I lose my spark. Coupled with the frenetic, unrelenting pace and pressure of covid comms, I yearned for a return to normality.

And let me confess from the start, I have no children, am grateful for a relatively hassle-free existence and live an easy five miles from work. A traditionalist? Yep. Anxious about change? Probably. 

I’m a manager in a county council corporate comms team. For me, work and comms is interlinked with feeling. If I don’t feel connected to people, my inspiration and energy dwindle. Probably exacerbated by fewer bourbons.

But my current musing is bigger than personal motivation. Working from home isn’t shifting, particularly in the public sector. And I worry that the longer we take to fully embrace so-called hybrid working, the bigger the risk of stifling the magnificent, all-conquering qualities of a team. Yes, we’ve proved remote working is do-able. But does it enable teams to flourish and work in the best way? I don’t think so.

The team ethic is comms’ superpower. It’s intrinsic. There’s nothing more powerful than people joining forces, united by a goal, to create a sum much greater than its parts. If you need mission impossible sorting, task a group of comms leads.

The team dynamic enables comms to thrive. And collaboration, connection, shared knowledge, learning from colleagues and the lift from bouncing off others drives skills, creativity and development. 

Sally Northeast’s recent blog described comms as the ‘beating heart of an organisation’. This really struck a chord with me. As Sally said, we dot-join, engage and motivate. That requires both highly developed skills and inspiration.

I won’t bang on about learning by osmosis, corridor conversations and wellbeing. We all know the pros and cons of working in-person and remotely. But after two long years where self-sufficiency has had to be our watchword, it’s time to put the team back in its much-deserved spotlight.

“Ok, you like teams, things change,” I hear you say. Agreed. But it’s pre-covid team working that created the knowledge, skills, resilience and relationships that enabled comms to deliver so effectively during the pandemic. It’s essential we bake this in for the challenges of the future.

It’s an exciting time for comms. I love a reset too. And now offers a unique opportunity to take a breath, rebuild and spend time on things that had to take a backseat. Let’s seize the moment. Let’s go all Blues Brothers and get the band back together. Let’s not throw the team, and all its glorious qualities, out with the office.

Katie Pegg is strategic communications manager at Leicestershire County Council. You can say hello on Twitter at @green_katie

*Sign up for the comms2point0 eMag*

The comms2point0 eMag features exclusive new content, free give-aways, special offers, first dibs on new events and much, much more.

Sound good? Join over 3k other comms people who have subscribed. You can sign up to it right here.


Image credit – Julie Facine, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Original source – comms2point0

Comments closed