IPA Training Forum: Returning to the Office

Share your agencies plans for returning to the office.

This session will cover all the areas that need to be thought about when your agency returns to the office.

IPA Training Forum: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Returning to the Office

This session will cover all the areas that need to be thought about when your agency returns to the office. We will all find our own ways to make it work, but there are some points to consider – and a lot of benefit in sharing experience. CPD has a role to play at every stage.

The Tutor: Mary Budd

A Chartered Fellow of the CIPD, Mary was Employment Affairs adviser to the IPA for 15 years. She has worked in and around the ad industry as a consultant since 1986, and also works with small businesses and start-ups in other sectors as an adviser and freelance HR director. She is on the CPD Gold judging panel and has contributed to two of the IPA’s e-learning modules on people management.

The session will cover:

  1. Who is coming back to the office?

Some people coming back full-time from the start? Time to think about:

  • Lone working policy, office and transport security
  • Cover arrangements and cross-training

Flexible working arrangements, with 2/3/4 days in the office and 2/3/1 working from home? This means reviewing:

  • Working hours
  • Communication
  • Wellbeing
  • Where are acceptable places to work? Coffee shops? Bars? Overseas ?

Some people effectively working from home full-time, due to health, caring responsibilities or geographical distance? Consider:

  • How to maintain visibility on what they are doing
  • How to keep them learning
  • When to meet up and under what circumstances
  1. What is the office for?

For many agencies home will be the place where detailed, focussed work that needs concentration will be done. The office space is more likely to become a space for collaboration, face-to-face meetings, brainstorming and training. What are the implications of that for CPD?

  1. Immediate thoughts for return:


  • what is working about the organisation, what is missing, what could be better?
  • Rebuilding teams in the new environment

Resetting personal plans and targets

  • Review what has changed for people personally during lockdown, recalibrate goals and targets and look at what can be learned from the lockdown experience. Was it hard to stay motivated; or was it liberating?
  1. Looking forward to a flexible working future:

  • Recruitment – how to do it differently
  • Appraisal and reviews – what gets assessed, and how do you do it?
  • Learning and development – the crucial role of CPD
Last updated 21 January 2022