As part of our Pandemic Insights series, we spoke to Product Madness, the trailblazing social and mobile gaming company about their experiences of the Pandemic. The results have been surprisingly positive and gives us a real insight on how a large creative company can adapt very quickly!
1. How would you describe your Covid/Pandemic experience?
A rollercoaster – from closing the office and sending everyone home (before the Government asked us to) for what we thought might be a couple of weeks and not knowing how this would impact our players and our colleagues…to being fully functional working from home for 18 months and achieving record results business and employee engagement wise.
2. Top tips that assisted the teams whilst working remotely?
Our culture is so important to us at Product Madness so it was crucial to find ways to keep our people connected, looked after and the work-life balance managed. We introduced extra benefits such as a work from home allowance, extra holidays, Zoom free Wednesdays, food vouchers, Donut catch-ups, virtual yoga and virtual social events. All these things have helped to keep us sane!
3. What’s your ‘return to the office’ approach?
We are working hard to build an ‘Office of the Future’. An office that is location-flexible and empowers our people to combine work from home whilst having an on-site office experience. We have welcomed everyone back to our studio on a completely voluntary basis with no pressure or compulsion to attend at
this point in time whilst we co-create what our future model will be. Face to face meetups at least once a month is recommended, more frequently if teams have not met in person before and the office space is capped at 40% capacity. What we do know is that we will never again be a 5 day a week office-based company. Flexibility will be key to our new hybrid way of working going forward.
4. If you have started to return, what’s it like being back?
Our return to the office is running smoothly and those people who choose to come in are enjoying the social interactions and perks on offer. We have an excellent studio experience team on hand to ensure everyone feels safe and someone is always on-site to help with any questions or concerns. Being present together in the office, albeit in reduced numbers is helping to build relationships,
especially with new members of staff and it’s good for the soul to take a break from technology to have face to face interactions.
5. How has the pandemic positively affected how your company works now?
The sudden necessity to shift the way we work pushed us past any preconceived notions about working from home which has swiftly become our ‘new normal’. We are in a very lucky position where the pandemic has proven that we can achieve record results and keep our amazing culture alive without having to be in the office full time. As well as the personal benefits like work-life balance, avoiding long commutes and saving money on travel, this new way of working has allowed our teams to connect and get to know each other in a new way by overlapping personal and professional lives. We are now used to seeing employees’ children and pets on-screen, these little glimpses into our personal lives have improved workplace relationships. Although working remotely has worked well for us, it has also made us appreciate what a great studio space we have to utilise with all the fantastic benefits we have on offer including our free coffee shop, an
array of meeting space options and an endless supply of snacks, drinks and lunch hotspots on the doorstep.