Flexible working is becoming the new normal. The involuntary shift to working from home during the pandemic has now become an active choice for many firms and their employees.

Technology is essential in facilitating this change to the way we work. Video conferencing, team collaboration platforms, and webinars have dominated for the past year, and we’re all the more grateful for that ability to stay in touch. Despite a nationwide ‘Zoom fatigue’, the technology has allowed the majority of us to continue working in some capacity.

Yet, as we emerge from our lockdown settings, and move towards hybrid working, perhaps it’s not completely necessary to rush back to the inner city for in-person client meetings.

In fact, maybe it is time to take advantage of your hometown.

Throughout Covid, it is likely that you will have had a conversation with someone via video call when they asked: ‘where are you based?’. Your response will have likely been met with something like; ‘I’ve been there’, ‘my daughter goes to university there’, ‘I grew up there’, or, even better, ‘I live just down the road, let’s meet for a coffee’.

Despite the latter perhaps still seeming unlikely, it is common in professional services that someone you are working with, or wish to work with, does live reasonably close to you, especially if you are a commuter. 

A surprising benefit of remote working, therefore, is the possibility of building connections based on our location – even if it’s just a shared love of your hometown. Working from home does not have to equal physical isolation, but instead it can create the chance to relate and engage with clients.

So, as the country begins to open up, take the opportunity to keep asking that question. It may not result in long walks in the park and an immediate business opportunity, but it might just generate trust and kinship and, perhaps eventually, a new client.

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