Studio Life: Culture vs Covid

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Katie Moody natural headshot

Life’s been unusual since the world changed back in March, and Creative Artworker Katie Moody talks about her unconventional start at The Canopy and why our unique studio culture has helped us pull through.

Having started at The Canopy during the middle of lockdown and as we rode the wave of the pandemic, I can safely say that it was a start like no other.

Five months have passed by in a flash and those beginning months of starting a new job during a national lockdown was unique to say the least. The weekly Friday night quizzes that highlighted my terrible lack of pop culture knowledge and the check-ins, jokes and GIFs sent on Slack certainly helped ease the unknowns that covid brought to us. And as government restrictions eased and we were able to return to (or in my case, step into) the office, the culture at The Canopy is, almost, back in full force.

With social distancing measures in place and an ever-growing team, the ping-pong table that I’ve heard so much about is currently out of action. This is actually fine by me because somehow I’ve earned a reputation of being a pro and I’d rather put off my embarrassment and reveal of having no idea what I’m doing a little longer. The music is always on with the radio or the monthly Spotify list playing, interspersed by the occasional noise of the coffee machine and chats with others. The whole studio is open plan with light streaming in from the windows and views over the rooftops of Winchester.

Being in the city centre is wonderful. Despite living in Southampton and growing up in the New Forest all my life, my visits to Winchester have been sporadic and I’d not adventured much past the high street or the Cathedral. Morning walks and lunchtime wanderings have been perfect to explore more of the beautiful city and I love that the studio is slap bang in the middle of it. Being surrounded by multiple pubs and bars, delicious eateries and independent coffee houses will play a part of that in the future too, I’m sure.

We celebrated our fifth birthday recently, with overdue intro presentations, introductions to new faces as well as the obligatory beers and pizza, and the studio vibe was very much present. One of the things that stood out to me was when Brian, our non-executive director, talked about the importance of holding onto The Canopy’s culture.

The culture here at The Canopy is such a huge part of our identity and it has to be protected at all costs. Even with a worldwide pandemic, I think the studio culture is so strong that it shines through despite this. The friendliness of the people, the jokes and the shared studio playlists are still very much an undercurrent in our day to day activities, despite not all of us working in the office at the same time. As the company grows and enhances it’s offerings, I have no doubt that the culture of the company will thrive and go from strength to strength. As the collective develops and evolves, we’re committed to enhancing that vibe, allowing creativity to grow while making sure it works for us and our clients.

No two days are the same, but with a flexible work from home system and visiting the office in a way that supports our individual needs, the bond hasn’t weakened. With extra communication, morning meetings and daily check-ins, the culture is alive as the people nurture it. The chats, in person or online, don’t stop. The laughs in the office continue and our friendly faces will welcome any others into the studio too, whether that’s in person or via Google hangouts. The culture remains our backbone at The Canopy and we all continue knowing that we are one big family. After all, it’s the people that make a workplace feel like a home.

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