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Proud to be a lazy git...

(This is the kind of content you get when you let the newbie write their own welcome post and choose the picture) 

Whenever I’ve started a new job, I’ve always had to write my own welcome posts. Even though Steve, Sonder’s brilliant head of copywriting literally offered to write one, the warm and fuzzies I got from considering this novelty only lasted 10 seconds until Rob (Fellingham), who I liked and respected until exactly that moment, swooped in with this bright idea. “Ooo, yes! The only alternative that might make for an even more interesting read, is a blog actually from Katie.”

That was a little while ago now, so I’ve had a chance to bide my time and harbour my undetected resentment while deciding what to write here. As part of his brief, Fells dropped another clanger he’s as yet unaware of, and said “Take it wherever you want!” and that’s why I won’t be writing the post he’s definitely expecting about how I, the exceptionally talented, colourfully-clothed, 80s pop-loving, copywriting and creative marketing legend Katie Gillingham came to join Sonder as Digital Marketing Executive. 

Instead, I’m going to write about Lord Alan Sugar.

How to offend a chunk of the work force in 280 characters

The other day I was mindlessly scrolling through Twitter when one of Alan’s tweets caught my eye. I don’t follow him, but I thought I’d read the words of wisdom he had to offer so maybe I too, can become unimaginably wealthy and spend my days tweeting self-indulgent nonsense. Wheeeeew, talk about instant regret.

Here’s what he said, alongside  an article from an accounting firm, who have decided to move towards a four-day week: 

“This is a bloody joke. The lazy gits make me sick. Call me old fashioned but all this work from home BS is a total joke. There is no way people work as hard or productive as when they had to turn up at a work location. The pandemic has had a long lasting negative effect.”

For context, let me tell you a little bit about my first few days of being a Sonder Digital team member. After either working by myself, or with only my sister as a freelancer for the last few years, being part of a team again without meeting anyone face to face could have been really overwhelming. It wasn’t. 

On my first day, there was a short, introductory team Zoom call. Everyone was lovely, There were laughs, I didn’t accidentally say anything gut-crushingly embarrassing and it was nice to put faces to names. 

As a company, we use slack for general messages and collaboration throughout the day. Watching this in action on Day 1 was really quite something. People popping work in channels for quick feedback, meetings being arranged, ideas nearly constantly flying back and forth. It would actually take a lot of time and resources to get that level of collaboration in a physical office setting and yet all of the clients we work with are getting the benefit of a number of brilliant brains around this digital table working for them!

Alan's telling on himself, there!

Although I’m no expert, I’d suggest that the majority of people don’t want to work from home because they’re idle. It’s because they want to work somewhere they feel valued  and their work is appreciated. Companies facilitating remote work are physically demonstrating these qualities, while those forcing a return post-pandemic measures are proving the exact opposite.

Sonder has actually been doing the work from home BS Alan so lovingly refers to in his tweet since before it was trendy (and necessary for the health of the nation). 

We don’t have to spend a chunk of our salaries or sacrifice time with our families in favour of an icky commute, there’s a huge amount of respect for all of our time and we’re given autonomy over it, at lunch we can eat our sarnies and potter about doing jobs we’d normally have to squeeze in to the evening, and everyone is lovely, thoughtfully doing things like sending the newbie messages on her first day to check she’s all right and offer to answer any questions.

In conclusion, I feel very, very lucky to be a part of this team and if that makes me a lazy git according to a curmudgeonly pensioner who pretend-fires people on the telly, then so be it. At least I don’t support Spurs. 

(P.S. I probably should have checked which football teams my new colleagues support before writing this - anyone looking for a digital marketer?)

Posted on May 25th 2022

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