“Create the space and a bigger life happens.” — Alysia Reiner
When Covid hit and the world shut down in 2020, it gave quite a few employers the chance to reimagine how work happens. And it gave quite a few employees the chance to envision what a true work/life balance really looks like, too. Working from home offered many of us new opportunities and new ways of approaching how we do what we do – and many of us found a lot of inspiration in this new mindset.
But now it’s 2023. And suddenly we’re seeing many employers enforcing “back to the office” policies. Having employees in the office is essential, they say. It’s vital to creativity and collaboration, we hear. And while there may be (likely IS) some truth to the idea that collaboration is an important part of the workday for many people, I think organizations and employers are missing one important detail.
Here’s the thing. We’ve all been talking about workspaces – hybrid workspaces, in-office workspaces, and working from home workspaces – in terms of the EMPLOYEE. In other words, what’s best for the employee? Does an employee NEED to – or WANT to – come back to the office or does an employee want to stay at home? Maybe the employee wants to come into the office for a few days and work from home for a few days.
One thing I’m not hearing much discussion around, however, is what your CLIENTS (or your customers or your constituents – the people you serve, in other words) want. Do THEY want to keep meeting via Zoom? Do THEY want to meet you in an office environment? Do THEY want you to meet them somewhere – their home, a coffee shop, a sandwich place?
We think the answer is a resounding YES and, because of that, we’ve just made a big change here at WatersEdge Wealth Management.
In case you didn’t know, we’ve MOVED!
Our new office location is a shared office space situation at Coco, a hybrid and flexible collaborative work environment located at the Grain Exchange in downtown Minneapolis. We have leased a private office where we can work in our own space amongst others.
Kathy and I – and our other team members – are working from home some days and working from Coco other days. We’re meeting clients at their homes, at our office at Coco, out for coffee or tea, and we’re doing as many Zoom meetings as we’ve ever done!
Why did we make the change?
Well, frankly, because our clients told us it’s what they wanted. Most of our clients want the option to meet with us in a formal office space AND a fun coffee shop AND they also want the opportunity to meet with us from the comfort of their own homes via Zoom. And so rather than continuing to maintain a space that has been vastly underutilized over the past three years, we decided it was time to make a change and to shift into a more flexible model – one that served our clients and one that also serves us.
It’s interesting to think about how the ongoing conversation about hybrid work might be different if the conversation were client/customer/constituent focused rather than being primarily about trying to get employees to come back into an office space. For those of us in the client service industry, we think the conversation might be different if it centered around the question: What do clients want?
We are enjoying our new working arrangement. Kathy and I and the team are collaborating here at Coco even more than we did previously. We are talking and joking and walking around our new neighborhood. Honestly, I feel more connected than I have in a while, which might seem counter to the fact that we moved away from an office space.
We would love to have you come to the Grain Exchange. We’ll show you this beautiful historic building and offer you a good cup of coffee. I look forward to connecting however works best for you and continue to talk about how we can best support and serve you and your financial wellbeing.
And take note! Our new mailing address is:
WatersEdge Wealth Management
400 South 4th Street #401-117
Minneapolis, MN 55415