As more of us return to the office each week, it can be an unusual, and potentially daunting, experience for those who have only ever known their colleagues virtually. We’re meeting these people who, for months, we’ve only known on a screen, with no idea of how people walk, talk or behave in-person. We’ve caught up with a few BZ’ers who’ve started coming into the office to see what they’ve enjoyed the most about coming back, as well as what’s surprised some of them!
Sara-Laila Francis, Talent Acquisition Team Lead
"It’s been great meeting everyone and getting a better understanding of the studio layout etc, plus everyone’s discovered how short I really am! It surprised me how many people were in but it’s been so lovely - everyone we've built relationships with over Zoom for almost a year, to then meet in person has been awesome."
Oleksiy Popov, Animation Team Lead
"I appreciate being able to separate my work from home time, it's easy to say I'll work an extra hour or two if I'm glued to my home screen but the different studio environment helps!
It’s also nice to directly communicate with my team when I'm in the studio, having them nearby and just popping over for a chat resolves a lot of issues quicker than over Zoom/Google Hangouts."
Dane Winn, Lead Creative/Director
"It was lovely to see people in person again, talk creatively, get up and point at storyboards on a screen and interact in a more instinctual way. One of the most surprising things I've found is my muscle memory when using a work computer; I used to be comfortable with my home computer and work, but after so long away from the studio, using a slightly different mouse and a slightly different desk height, it feels like driving someone else’s car all of a sudden, so that's been something to get used to again."
Chloé Deneuve, Animation Team Lead
"Being a Lead as well as an extrovert, I've really enjoyed coming back to the studio. Because I get to meet some of my team in person, it makes a huge difference for us to be in a room together so we can go through work as well as eat lunch together - it's difficult trying to be in a close knit team when you're so far away from one another physically. Interaction and connection is key when it comes to team dynamics."
Karley Bittner, Talent Resourcer
"I started at Blue Zoo in February this year, so I got to know my team remotely via Zoom calls. We finally had the opportunity to meet in person for the first time in June which was awesome! I love how thoughtful Blue Zoo has been regarding the health & safety of people coming back into the studio."
Ana Greengrass, Junior Animator
"I personally find the concentration improvements have been huge. I work a lot better with other folks around me who are also working. Using my own PC locally rather than remotely has also been a total delight, skipping over a lot of unneeded frustration with playback quality."
Lizzie Hicks, Head of Short Form Productions
"Working remotely and not being able to interact with my team has definitely had an impact on my mental health. Having the opportunity to come back into the studio and see everyone, and even just being able to have a chat with people, has massively helped though!"
Grace Hebditch, Marketing Manager
"I have really missed the wonderful chats I have with people in the studio! Every Tuesday we’ve had drinks at a nearby pub which has been the perfect opportunity for me to bond with my truly lovely colleagues."