We asked PR firms “Are you going back to the office?”, and here is what they said:
John Lacy, president and COO at Idea Grove, said “Idea Grove, a Dallas-based high-tech PR firm, has reopened our offices. Prior to the shutdown here in the state of Texas, Idea Grove already had a fairly flexible work from home policy allowing a 60% in office / 40% work from home structure. We did require that everyone be in the office on Mondays and Tuesdays. When the Governor Abbott reopened the offices in early June 2020, we decided to reopen too.
We’ve followed CDC guidelines and have put all of the necessary processes in place to ensure we minimize the potential exposure to COVID-19. However, with our opening, we also made it 100% voluntary, knowing that each person has a different level of comfort with what’s going on in the world. After the reopening, we’ve had a group of people that seem to be up at the office on a fairly regular basis. We’ve also had some people that have come and gone in conjunction with the spikes of COVID in Dallas County. But, we’ve never hit the maximum occupancy levels allowed by the Governor. The why behind this decision was that we know, culturally, we are better when we are working in close proximity. The ideas flow freely amongst this group and being 100% Zoom-based has been an adjustment. We look forward to the date that everyone is comfortable with what’s going on in the world and can all return to the office.
Jonathon Narvey, the Founder of Mind Meld PR Inc said “I used to run our PR agency out of a shared office space, with the intent to upgrade eventually to an over-the-top Mad Men-style agency. Not anymore.
When COVID forced us to work remotely, we did what most agencies did: shifted to Zoom meetings and kept up with each other on Slack and Google Docs. We’re saving money on rent — and among my team, I’d say we haven’t lost all that much in terms of productivity. That said… the camaraderie over the water cooler conversations or at the pub around the corner after work? That’s gone. It is a trade-off. And it’s not a trade-off every PR agency should make, by the way.
Most PR agencies are small organizations, built around highly intelligent and creative people. If the hardcore of your talent is in fact the kind that thrives over the water cooler or other day-to-day, in-person social interaction, then paying rent will be a rounding error compared to the value they can bring.”Ronn Torossian, 5WPR founder said, “Time will tell the future of offices, but for now while we are formally closed, people can come in if they want. I think the future of offices is forever changed.”
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