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Back to the office: a chat with the City Pantry People Team

Our People Associate Rosie talks to us about City Pantry's back-to-office plan and gives some advice to other companies looking to re-open their workspaces.

During March 2020, like many other companies, the whole City Pantry team left the office to work from home full time until it was safe to come back. Four months of virtual meetings later and a return to the office is on the horizon! We caught up with Rosie, our People Associate, to find out how the People Team are planning a safe and flexible return for our colleagues.

How did the transition from office to home go?

To be honest, we have always encouraged our employees to work flexibly. As a business, we trust our people to do the right thing and get the job done. That means we don’t need people to work 9-5pm at a desk and have always let our people work really autonomously. This has had a really positive impact on our employee engagement and also meant that when lockdown came along we were already all used to working from home to some extent!

The start of lockdown coincided with our office move which was helpful in a way because we were already packing up the office, cancelling subscriptions and services, and could provide furniture so that our team could work more comfortably from home. We were already well set-up with laptops and very familiar with Google Hangouts so that helped too.

We have set up Slack channels to allow our people to communicate informally and share challenges and ideas to help support one another. We have also had a big focus on mental health, introducing free coaching sessions to everyone in the company, access to an Employee Support Programme, and the Unmind app.

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