Shifting to a post-pandemic world has been an adjustment for just about everyone. With some organizations fully supporting remote or hybrid work schedules, while others enforcing a five-day, in-office policy, one thing is certain: The post-pandemic work environment has greatly evolved from what had been previously considered “the norm.”
HDMZ’s decision to support a fully distributed workforce has provided incalculable benefits to the agency and its clients. Diversifying our workforce has allowed our teams to grow in ways previously unimaginable. It’s a testament to our agency’s ability to demonstrate “flexibility” within an ever-changing economic and social environment. And incidentally, in my opinion, the concept of flexibility tends to vary from person to person and organization to organization – depending on the circumstances.
For a gymnast, flexibility might refer to their range of motion, while for a designer, it might mean the ability to think outside the box and propose unique ideas without fear of judgment. My personal understanding of flexibility – in addition to my comprehension of “empathy” and the relationship between “distance” and “workplace” – has vastly evolved in a post-pandemic era, especially given my experiences working at a company with a fully distributed workforce.
Over this past summer, my life has seen many changes, including the addition of a new family member from abroad. This joyous occasion, however, has not been met without its challenges. One of those has been the dispersion of my family between Chicago and Pakistan as we welcomed our newest addition. Just as HDMZ harbors a strong collaborative and supportive environment, I advocate for the same as it relates to family and friends.
As part of this journey, I found the need to relocate to Pakistan for six weeks to assist my family. Yet, I initially was concerned about how my teammates and HDMZ’s senior leadership would respond to such a request – or more specifically, at being such a great distance away from my workspace.
I worried about the 10-hour time difference, and whether the extended nature of my trip would be reason for concern. However, I was genuinely surprised to learn just how supportive HDMZ has been of my need to work remotely for an extended period, and of my desire for flexibility regarding my work schedule.
Having the support of HDMZ has allowed me to physically provide aid and comfort to my family at a time of need, while continuing to service my portfolio of clients. In fact, clients and team members, alike, have often stated, “Things have gone swimmingly. We had no idea you were halfway across the globe!”
Having the opportunity to work and live in my home country, and to assist my family, offered me the opportunity to live abroad and to be fully immersed in my culture in a way I had never dreamed possible. For me, this experience reinforces one of HDMZ’s ten core values: to “embrace empathy,” which the agency does so well.