It’s a drizzly winter day here in Auckland. Like last time I wrote, I’m working from home, even though we are now permitted to head back to our CBD office, with New Zealand currently at the lowest level of Covid-19 alert.
Our team worked incredibly hard during our country’s two-month lockdown. Development sped up rather than slowing down and we successfully implemented our Sortify.tm Attorney “work from home” offer within just a couple of weeks. It has been fantastic to be part of a team that, despite difficult circumstances, was energized and motivated to help support trademark professionals adjusting to working remotely.
As we moved down lockdown levels, we consulted with our team about their preferred ways of working. The responses were remarkably consistent. Almost everyone was keen to meet up in the office once or twice a week, but otherwise to continue working from home.
So we’ve put in place a new schedule. On Mondays, the dev team works in the office and all sprint planning and retrospectives take place. On Wednesdays, it’s the sales, marketing and ops teams’ turn to spend a day in the office. Thursdays and Fridays are our “work from anywhere” days. Tuesday is a little bit different – it’s our enforced work from home day. Our thinking is that it’s good for everyone to stay in the habit of working remotely.
Like almost everyone, technology has been crucial to our success during lockdown, with Zoom and Slack our constant companions. With our move to a new way of working, we’ve also recently set up a virtual workspace – Pragli – and so far we love it! Everyone has a live avatar so you can easily see whether they’re available, in a virtual meeting or out (walking the dog, picking up kids, having lunch) but back soon. You can join video or audio meetings with the click of a button or hang out socially with colleagues at the coffee machine. Our daily stand-ups run more smoothly without the need to schedule video calls, remember passwords and hang around in waiting rooms.
We know we won’t be the only company who adopts more flexible working arrangements, and new technology to support those arrangements, in the wake of Covid-19. Many of our Sortify.tm Attorney users around the world continue to work from home with no clear idea of a return date. We’re grateful to those of you who got in touch to say how useful our productivity suite has been during this time, and also excited to have grown our list of evangelists – especially those who told our sales team that they “cannot live without Sortify.tm Attorney”!
We’re also thrilled to welcome leading international law firm, Gowling WLG, to the Sortify.tm Attorney family and to work with an IP firm that values innovation as much as we do. Read about that here.
So as we come to the end of our “work from home” offer, I’d like to say a huge thank you to our customers and the trademark community for their support since our new reality intervened. We’ve appreciated all the communications, the mentions in WTR, the shares on LinkedIn and the “social hour” catch-ups with our friends at Alt Legal on Friday mornings (NZ time!). While it’s still an uncertain path to Covid-19 recovery, we’re cracking on, enjoying our new way of working and looking forward to seeing our overseas friends when it’s safe.
Claire Foggo has over 20 years’ experience as a trademark lawyer in both the UK and New Zealand. As the CEO of Sortify.tm she uses her expertise to help tailor the ever-evolving Sortify.tm products so that trademark lawyers can deliver the best possible service and efficiency to their clients.