Argon & Co's CMO Julie Lowell on working from home

16 October 2020 2 min. read
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Julie Lowell is the Chief Marketing Officer for Argon & Co, a management consultancy that specialises in operations with eight offices globally. Lowell reflects on how she experiences the working from home period. 

Having regularly been working from home for the past 17 years, I was obviously set up in terms of technology when the lockdown started, as file sharing and video calls are a necessity for a homeworker. What I wasn’t prepared for were the things that I took for granted pre-lockdown.

Prior to lockdown, in my role as Chief Marketing Officer, I visited the London and Paris offices when I needed to. It wasn’t set in stone, sometimes more frequent, sometimes less so depending on the nature of the projects I was working on. When lockdown began, I immediately missed the freedom of being able to pop into the office for a full day of face-to-face meetings. It’s not so much the ‘inform’ aspect of meetings, but more the ‘consult’ aspect – the ability to share thoughts, ideas and align.

Julie Lowell, Chief Marketing Officer, Argon & Co

I also missed the serendipity. The time in-between meetings to chat to colleagues and informally check-in that people are doing OK, which can be done via video calls, but it feels more forced and formal some-how. The celebratory lunches on successfully completing a project, or welcoming a new joiner, as well as the informal continuation of a management meeting over dinner to continue discussions in a more relaxed environment. 

On saying all of this, returning to an open plan office full time doesn’t appeal. The advantages of home working for me outweigh the advantages of open plan office working. 

Whilst sociable, I am also reflective, and homeworking gets the best from me as I can process thoughts and reply in a considered way. My work success is based on achieving objectives, and I am much better equipped to do this via homeworking, as it allows me to concentrate fully and get the job done when needed. 

The freedom and flexibility of home working is also beneficial, especially when working on global campaigns. An example of this is the ability to adapt to varying time zones when organising video meetings over four continents, which would prove more challenging in the traditional 9 to 5 office environment. 

If anyone asks if I am a homeworker, on reflection I would now say that I am a hybrid-worker. I wouldn’t have been aware of this prior to lockdown, but this experience has brought to light that I am a hybrid-worker and have been for the past 17 years without knowing it. It gets the best from me and balances the advantages of both home working and office working to the benefit of the company I work for. 

Argon & Co was formed in May 2018 following the merger between Argon Consulting and Crimson & Co. Rebranded as Argon & Co in September, the consultancy has offices London, Paris, Abu Dhabi, Atlanta, Auckland, Melbourne, Mumbai and Singapore.