Our team

How we work: a considered approach

Even in the midst of a pandemic, we recognised that a considered approach was required to map out how we best work. It was important to give this the right time and focus and for our team to feel they were part of the change rather than it happening to them.

At a time where the conversations around the “future of work” feel frenzied, it is interesting to reflect on the pace we grew accustomed to in 2020. We adapted to the lack of options and the lack of control we had, and for the most part, lived much quieter (albeit restricted) lives. With the freedom we have recently been fortunate to enjoy, it feels that the pace of pre-Covid life has crept back in and with it options, expectations, and busyness. While it can be hard not to get caught up in it, as a business when it came to making decisions around how we best work we wanted to take a considered approach. To consider how to frame the question of how we work with the right inputs and to balance how we deliver work with the flexibility we wanted to retain. It was important to give this the right time and focus and for our team to feel they were part of the change rather than it happening to them.

Even in the midst of a pandemic, we recognised that a considered approach required:

  • Knowing when change needs to be fast and when it can be slow
  • Viewing the change through different perspectives
  • Using our values to guide our decision making
  • Reinforcing with our team the importance of collective responsibility

Fast change

In March 2020 the world changed, and we had no choice but to move fast and change with it. On Friday 13th (an ominous sign) we presented a plan to the team for closing the office should we need to. A few days later our entire team was set up to work from home.

We moved quickly and adapted, in the first days shifting what would’ve been an interstate trip for a project kick-off with a new client to be done virtually, and over the coming months, we adjusted our tools, our communication methods, and processes.

One of our core values - commit to impact - was put to the test during his period, and, pleasingly, client engagement remained high. Our consistently high NPS, as well as anecdotal feedback, signaled that both the outcomes and our delivery weren’t compromised.


Toward the end of 2020, we were able to dust off the desks, order an oversupply of hand sanitiser and desk wipes, and re-open the wonderful Inlight HQ. It was an exciting move but also a big adjustment for us (and for some it still is) to not only feel comfortable to return but to adjust new habits they’d established over the past year.

Where previously we expected a reason to work from home (“I’ve got a tradie coming around”), now people are looking for a reason to come in. Initially, the key reasons people would access the office were team connection, focussed work time, and variety. Now we’re seeing more intentional collaborative efforts, with our team and with clients. The office continues to be accessed on an opt-in basis through a simple GoogleSheets roster.

To allow people the ability to plan we wanted to provide clarity around timing and approach. Many of our team members were now operating (and thriving) on vastly different daily work schedules to pre-Covid, including increased participation in family life and hobbies. We wanted to ensure that when introducing a vision of our desired future work state, that our team could absorb and process this in a considered way, and work through any implications it may have (childcare arrangements, etc).

We defined this period as our transitioning phase - where we would remain flexible and responsive to the ever-evolving changes that are a reality of life in a pandemic - until 1 July, where we imagined the conditions settling and for us to have done the thinking required to introduce our revised way of working.

Different perspectives

Changes to operating models should always be contextualised in both the immediate environment - who is doing the work and who are they doing the work for - as well as what is happening in the broader environment, socially, economically, and politically. The shift in the broader environment - in the form of a global pandemic - meant that the flexibility conversations that had been bubbling away in the background were brought front and centre and we were able to consider our relationship with where and when we work.

As a services business, we needed to view this decision not only through the lens of our team and their range of preferences around flexibility but through that of our clients and maintaining the client experience that is integral to how we operate.

To create an informed view we did the following:

Collected feedback

It’s amazing how the team preferences changed over the course of a few months. Surveys were a great way to gauge sentiments of the team around what was working, what wasn’t, and what people were looking for ongoing (work and lifestyle). Overwhelmingly and unsurprisingly our team wanted to retain the flexibility to work from home but also called out their concern for team connection, culture and raised some of the challenges collaborating in a hybrid of in-person and virtually.


Never discount the power of simply observing how people respond. This is where we wanted to take the time and understand how things shifted as we stepped into this new hybrid world. What were the trends observed on the office roster, what did kitchen conversations reveal about how people were faring. This gave us great insight into what needed to be fixed, rather than guessing. Seeing the frustrations with the workstation set up in the office, Zoom licences and the audio challenges faced when logging into the same meeting a few metres apart gave us some really specific things to solve.


There are lots of smart people with smart things to say on the topic. We felt comforted through our conversations with others in the industry of the commonality of challenges faced, and some really good quality articles (trust, trust, trust the prevailing theme) helped shape some of our thinking, and gave us the validation that we were asking the right questions and heading in roughly the right direction.

Our values guided us

We developed a set of guiding principles intended to help everyone in the team to make decisions that align with our values:

  • Wherever we are, our priority is to provide exceptional client experiences
  • We are better through collaboration and know that good communication and respect for each other’s time is key to that.
  • We will always look for ways to improve by optimising our approach and producing work in an efficient way.
  • We want to remain connected as a team and show our care and support for each other.
  • We trust everyone to do a great job and provide flexibility and autonomy to work in a way that works for you. We expect this is met with taking responsibility to reliably deliver what you’ve committed to.

A collective responsibility

Rolling out company-wide changes is more than just about what the business decides and will commit to. In order to sustain - and make successful - a changed operating model, collective responsibility is required. Responsibility to each other and our clients. And our team had already proven they were more than capable of making it work. We led with trust before, and now, during the pandemic, and will continue to operate this way. Our team is smart, reliable, and cares about their work, each other, and our clients.

Taking this considered approach and making a deliberate effort to respond to what we learned resulted in a response from the team that “made sense.”

To get specific about some of the verbatim responses:

  • “It’s so intuitive that it almost seems obvious that it would work this way.”
  • “My wishlist for the future of work.”
  • “I was so overwhelmed with pride and happiness… it’s just so great to be treated like a person who has a life outside of work.”

It’s unsurprising that from a team of problem solvers there is always a persistent interest in context; why does this decision make sense? So in a period of time where it would’ve been easy to have a knee jerk reaction to the frenzied future of work talk, we believe we have landed on something that well reasoned and considered, and we have absolute confidence our team will carry this on and sustain it; to work in a way that works for them and continue to provide exceptional service to our clients and high-quality work.

To read the second part of this article click here
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About the author
Felicity de Lang
Performance and Culture Lead
Felicity de Lang | Performance and Culture Lead

Felicity leads the search for finding great people to join the team. She is passionate about Inlight's culture and in creating an environment where people collaborate and produce quality work. That means leveraging the different perspectives and skills of our team and creating experiences that connect people’s work and interests to Inlight's purpose, generating shared meaning and value.