It was 10:15 a.m. when I surrendered. It was the first day for this Raleigh PR agency to be back in the office. After being barefoot 80 percent of the time since early 2020, how could I possibly make it through an entire workday in heels? Fortunately, no one seemed to mind that I walked around the rest of the day without shoes. Nothing like a nasty plague to relax a slightly stuffy dress code.
In fact, I realized what people really care about in the office has changed drastically. That wasn’t until after planning Clairemont’s return to the office. I had fretted if our new team members would like the location of their desks. New artwork was added to freshen our space. I fussed over details such as having colorful pens in the supply cabinet. I even pondered buying a fancy espresso machine.
One Sunday afternoon before our return to the office, I stood in The Clairemont House by myself. And it felt really lonely. That’s when it hit me. As much as I love tweaking the decor in this beautiful old home in downtown Raleigh that serves as the office of our PR agency, buying snacks and supplies and planning surprises isn’t the most important thing about Clairemont, it is the people.
As I unlocked the door our first morning back in the office, I was giddy with anticipation. I couldn’t wait to see my colleagues walking up the steps and through the front door. I couldn’t wait to gather around the kitchen island and brainstorm creative solutions to a client challenge or simply talk about a cute puppy pic on social media. And I couldn’t wait to invite clients back into our office for face-to-face collaboration that no video conferencing software can replace.
We’ll be writing more about our return to the office journey in the weeks ahead! Follow along and share your own observations about how and where you are working as we round out 2021. In the meantime, check out our return to work fun on Clairemont’s Instagram!