This or That: A glimpse into some of our team’s preferences on WFH vs the City

Team Events

June 30, 2021

As we begin to contemplate a return to working in the office, we’re interested in how everyone’s WFH experience over the last 15 months has been. In this two-part* group discussion, we caught up with various members of the brandformula family to learn a bit more about how they have found this surreal situation we have all been in…

*Click here to catch up on Part 1

The chat below features insights from:

🔴 Martin Wiggins, CEO
🟢 Carl Eastop, Operations Director
🟠 Nick Patchitt, Creative Services Director
🟡 Sarah Bean, Account Director
🟣 Helena Martin, Content Manager

Do you prefer…

  • Coffee @ home or coffee @ the office?

🔴 Martin: All coffee is good – especially with the cost of my machine at home!
🟢 Carl:
Don’t drink too much coffee so home is fine for me.
🟠 Nick:
From a taste perspective, probably a home coffee… brandformula coffee can be industrial strength at time (especially if Neil makes it – sorry Neil!)
🟣 Helena:
Neither! I don’t drink coffee or normal tea, but I am missing having a surprise green tea delivered to my desk by Elliot/Jake/Carl!
🟡 Sarah:
Don’t drink coffee so tea at home where I’m lucky enough to look over the river!

  • Lunches @ home or lunches @ the office?

🔴 Martin: Office.
🟢 Carl:  
Both usually spent working at desk so doesn’t matter!
🟠 Nick: The office – I’m eating like Henry VIII at home – too much food to hand!
🟣 Helena:
The office – lacking lunch inspiration at home!
🟡 Sarah:
Love the range of coffee shops in The City, hope they are still there so @ the office.

  • Audio calls or video calls?

🔴 Martin: Video.
🟢 Carl:
Video calls.
🟠 Nick: Video.
🟣 Helena:
Pre-pandemic I would have said audio but now I’m 100% video – it’s so much easier to engage in the conversation when you can see each other’s reactions.
🟡 Sarah:
Video so I can at least see people!

  • Zoom or Teams?

🔴 Martin: Teams.
🟢 Carl:
🟠 Nick: Teams.
🟣 Helena:
Teams for general conference calls, Zoom for recording content.
🟡 Sarah: Teams, got rather used to use it now.

  • Physical events or virtual events?

🔴 Martin: Physical.
🟢 Carl:
Physical, but I’ve not missed the hard graft setting up!
🟠 Nick: Physical.
🟣 Helena:
There’s nothing like the atmosphere at a busy conference centre. Less freebies at virtual events too…!
🟡 Sarah: Physical, love bumping into people and catching up.

  • Meetings in person or meetings online?

🔴 Martin: In person.
🟢 Carl:
In person.
🟠 Nick: As some of the clients I work for are based in the US, a face-to-face in New York would be nice. In general, a good split of face-to-face and online calls would be ideal. It will also be interesting to see how Teams calls work with a mix of people at home and in offices.
🟣 Helena:
I’d love a mix of both going forwards dependent on the scope of the meeting, but interactivity in person will always beat online.
🟡 Sarah:
In person, much more fun.

  • Wfh or working in the office?

🔴 Martin: Office.
🟢 Carl:
A mixture of both going forward would be perfect.
🟠 Nick: WFH when I need peace and quiet to concentrate and in the office for meetings, planning sessions, brainstorms etc.
🟣 Helena:
This is tough! I think many people have reached the idea that a hybrid would be desirable. I’d love a bit of both but I’m certainly longing/hoping for the day we can feel totally safe commuting in and all working together at the office.
🟡 Sarah:
Wfh for the work – less distractions – and in the office for meeting people.


During lockdown, have you been…

  • Cherishing time with your family or itching for time with your colleagues?

🔴 Martin: Clients and colleagues.
🟢 Carl:
Nice to have extra time at home, but working as usual!
🟠 Nick: Both.
🟣 Helena:
Cherishing time with family throughout but as time has gone on, the craving for time with colleagues has definitely grown.
🟡 Sarah:
Cherishing time with family – I enjoyed have time with them.

  • Loving the extra morning and evening time at home or missing the commute?

🔴 Martin: Missing the commute – thinking time.
🟢 Carl:
Not missing the commute at all.
🟠 Nick: Absolutely not missed commuting on our less-than-reliable train service. But I have missed the simple pleasure of walking over London Bridge & through the City each day – always something happening.
🟣 Helena:
My commute was my time to bulk reply to messages from friends and family, so while I categorically do not miss the Central Line, my loved ones are probably missing me having that focused ‘reply’ time! (Apologies to my 49 unopened WhatsApp chats dating back to February…)
🟡 Sarah:
Loving the extra time – I now do couch to 5k three times a week and have seen some lovely sunrises. Didn’t have time before… at least that was my excuse.

  • Still dressing up for work or living in comfies?

🔴 Martin: Dressing up – standards!
🟢 Carl:
We don’t dress up anyway, but certainly not sitting in pyjamas!
🟠 Nick: Not that I ever ‘dressed up’ for work but I still dress like I would for work – for some reason it helps me get in a working frame of mind. So, no ‘onesies’ or Bermuda shorts for me.
🟣 Helena:
Depends on how many Teams calls I have in the calendar…
🟡 Sarah:
Top dressed for work, below the laptop a bit more comfortable.

  • Doing less exercise or more exercise than pre-Covid?

🔴 Martin: More.
🟢 Carl:
Definitely walking more.
🟠 Nick: More dedicated exercise but probably less over the course of a week walking to and from stations.
🟣 Helena:
Up and down but probably less overall.
🟡 Sarah:
Much more and actually enjoying it.

  • Saving more money or spending more money?

🔴 Martin: Spending.
🟢 Carl:
Saving money overall on lunches and trains, but it still seems to be going just as fast!
🟠 Nick: Saving during deep Lockdown and spending big time now restaurants and pubs are open again.
🟣 Helena:
Saving on commute and meals out but managing to keep my local takeaways in business!
🟡 Sarah:
Saving money on the commute for sure.

  • Nervous or excited for returning to work?

🔴 Martin: Excited.
🟢 Carl:
Definitely not nervous, have travelled in a fair bit to check on the office during the pandemic.
Can’t say ‘excited’ is the word either though!
🟠 Nick: Nervously excited.
🟣 Helena:
A bit of both!
🟡 Sarah:
Excited to see everyone, and a bit nervous about the ‘new norm’.


Click here to view Martin, Carl, Sarah, Nick, and Helena’s answers to some more probing WFH questions!

Don’t be shy in sharing your own answers with us over on our social channels.