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My fake commute

In the third blog of our series about our hybrid working arrangements, Head of Market Building, Kieran Daly shares his fake commute and making the most of his time, technology and opportunities to meet in the new working world we live in.

“I remember a guest speaker on a SIS webinar at the pandemic commenting, “Nothing changes society more than wars and pandemics”. Those words really stuck with me. Almost two years on and the way most of us live and work has certainly changed forever.

For me, a flexible and hybrid approach to work is better for how I like to work and live. It’s a better use of time. I can focus on writing documents with less distraction and unnecessary travel time between Glasgow and Edinburgh. In saying this, almost two years working from our own homes can become repetitive and I’ve really enjoyed being in our office recently to meet colleagues in person. I’ve missed the interactions and team culture that you can’t recreate through video calls and there are things that you can develop better being physically in the same room.

As the nights draw in, a benefit in the way we now work is being able to get out and about for a longer walk or cycle at lunchtimes and generally make the most of daylight. For me it increases my focus if I have a ‘fake commute’ after doing a couple hours at my desk first thing when it’s dark. If it’s dry and sunny and I’ll swap this for a lunchtime cycle around Queens Park in the Southside of Glasgow.

Using technology means the events I run are more efficient too. I can attract speakers I would not have previously been able to and reach audiences that are more remote. I’ve been to a few ‘in person’ events too and realised how much I missed the experience of meeting new people. There are options to network at online events and conferences, but I’ve never found digital networking to fully work. It’s made me think about a future hybrid approach to running events, what experiences people will be willing and able to travel for, and where the ‘in person’ element can add value.

I’ve been involved in charities and social enterprises as a Trustee/board member for the past six years since moving back to Glasgow from London. This has always been possible to balance with work and my personal life, however participating in board meetings now has never felt so agile. I’ve also noticed a broadening of the diversity and reach of board members we can attract now also. For me, these board positions are important for my own development, networks and understanding of what challenges charities and social enterprises are facing.

The Leadership at Social Investment Scotland spent time to consult with our team around how hybrid working could work best. We always worked flexibly so this felt like an extension of our working culture. It was clear when we were all in the one room, that no matter our circumstances, we missed meeting up as a team in person. We’ve found that a hybrid and flexible approach to work at SIS can enable our team to perform at their best and better accommodate personal interests and circumstances. This ultimately enables us to deliver at our best for the customers and communities we work with and will enable us to reduce our carbon footprint at the same time.”

Click here to read the first & second parts of this blog series on hybrid working.