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From time to time we write about things you might find useful such as what we're working on and thinking about.

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Mark

3 min read

We're postponing hiring and changes behind the scenes

Things change so quickly at the moment. In February we posted the Service Designer or Senior Service Designer job description. We’d just come off the back of another successful year, and we’d been stretched really thin again, especially with our design capability.

We’d been looking at growing this part of the business for a good year or two, and in our most recent job adverts we looked for a designer who could take some senior responsibilities from myself. We didn’t quite find the right person for that particular role and were fortunate to instead find Faye and Beth who joined us in the middle of last year and bring some really valuable skills in content and management.

When we posted the advert in February we’d been planning it for a couple of months when the world was its usual self. As things started to change and the world started reacting to COVID-19 we refocused our attention on ensuring we have a safe and sustainable business.

The uncertainty has meant we’ve changed a few things.

We’re postponing the current service designer job advert

We’re really sad about this. We don’t think we’re in a position to employ a new person yet. It would be unfair for a new member to join the team while we all work remotely and with an uncertain future for everyone. We do however still want to speak to people who may be interested in joining Paper in the future, and we’ll be back in touch when we’re ready, we just won’t be interviewing.

Instead we’ve been holding informal chats via video to get to know each other and make a connection being clear we’re not currently offering anyone the role.

We’ve been frugal and planned for this

While we didn’t plan for a pandemic, we did plan for a drought of work. We’re still a new business, and while we have had some great success in the past 4 years of Paper’s life we prefer to be very careful with savings, money and debt and planned a fund which will sustain Paper for a long while in case the worst should happen.

We transitioned very quickly to remote working

We’re big believers in co-location, close collaboration and physical working (visual representations by using physical canvases such as walls, boards, desks). That connection is a lot more difficult when you’re using video to communicate. It was a tough decision to leave the studio and we left early before the government made its recommendations for the wellbeing of our team.

We do work like this frequently so it’s been reasonably easy to do. We made some changes recently which make this a little easier:

  • We have scheduled “cuppa catch ups” where we grab a drink and have 15 minutes to talk to each other candidly.
  • We make heavy use of Miro at the minute to collaborate in a similar fashion to how we did before
  • Slack is becoming even more essential as an easy method to follow what’s happening elsewhere in the business and communicate unobtrusively
  • Accurately recording tasks is becoming increasingly important as we spend less time speaking to each other and more time working autonomously
  • We regularly check in on each other’s mental health and physical well being and recently had a remote games night

We’re trying to be open about how we’re coping as a business and personally so if you’d like to learn more and need some help I’d be happy to share and I’m sure the rest of the team would be happy too.

You can get most of us on Sheffield.Digital slack or email us.

Look after yourselves.