By Pamela Phillips.
So right now I’m on a flight to Frankfurt. My first flight in 2 years and it’s a totally different experience from the last time I traveled. For a start the pilot has just run us through the additional checks we’ll have to go through on arrival in Germany because we’re traveling from the UK, a high-risk country.
This trip isn’t just a holiday, much as I’d love to be jetting off for some R&R somewhere sunny. Instead, I’m getting ready for a move to Germany where I’m relocating with my family for the next few years.
And what’s this got to do with Covid? Well, everything!
We’ve had plenty of opportunities to travel overseas with my husband's work before but we’ve always said no. Partly because it would be hard to move so far away from friends and family, and also because I wasn’t sure how de Jong Philips would continue to succeed if I were to move so far away from the rest of the team and our clients.
Given that we’ve been a fully digital firm since 2015, I knew that I could work from anywhere. So what was really stopping me from saying yes to some international travel?
The truth was that I’d always had the safety net of catching up with the team in the office if I wanted to. And while we do meet clients over zoom the majority of the time, we still have the option of meeting face-to-face if we want to. I just wasn’t sure how it’d work if we couldn’t do that at least some of the time.
And then Covid happened.
In over a year of lockdown working de Jong Phillips not only survived, we continued to grow.
So this time when my husband was asked to move to the Frankfurt office we said yes, because we knew it could work and, after a year of staying pretty much in Epsom, we are ready for a bit of an adventure!
This isn’t to say that we’re abandoning the office and moving to a fully remote way of working because we’re not. There are many benefits of getting together in the office to share ideas, learn from each other, and collaborate. So the Epsom office is staying open, with Ryan and Emily managing the office in my absence. I’ll be coming back every month or two for some face-to-face time with the team and our clients.
We’re moving in a couple of weeks so, all going well, the next time I write a post like this, I’ll be doing it from a coffee shop somewhere in Frankfurt with this backdrop behind me!