Remote Team Working

Why we chose to become a remote team

As of the 1st June 2020 following on from the enforced period working from home during lockdown, we have made the exciting decision to become a fully remote business. The technology exists to allow it, the team are happier, healthier and more productive, and our clients are getting an even better service.

See why we believe it is the best decision for our business.

If not now, then when? Why as a business we’re going to continue to work remotely.

Coronavirus has without a doubt had a huge impact upon most businesses in the UK and across the world. Amidst all the chaos and disruption however has been a real positive – the forced shift to remote working.

As a business, we were certainly one of the luckier ones in that we were already doing it to some extent among the team, and so the transition to enforced home working was relatively painless. Subject to having an internet connection, we could offer the same service levels that our clients have come to know us for.

During lockdown the team worked seamlessly from home. Customers and suppliers even commented that they couldn’t tell the difference between us working from home or in the office, with our team being able to maintain their usual service levels remotely. These comments led us to consider the unthinkable. Do we really need an office?

As lockdown restrictions started to show signs of being lifted, we found ourselves with what should have been a difficult decision to make. At what point do we bring the team back into our Birmingham office? The answer in the end was a simple one. We don’t.

While we’ve been at home, we’ve found a few things to be true: our team’s work-life balance has significantly improved. No long commutes into Birmingham city centre battling through the traffic or public transport. Productivity levels actually increased with the team being at home. Not to mention reducing our carbon footprint.

 

We asked our Managing Director, Kal Bhangu some of the questions we thought you would like to know to help explain our rationale for the change, and any differences you might expect to see:

Had you previously considered enabling the team to work fully remotely?

Whilst we were in the fortunate position that we had the technology in place for the team to work remotely, we used the office as a hub for the team and for clients. We hadn’t considered it as a permanent solution.

How will this affect how clients can expect to be supported?

In short, our support levels should be even better. We’ve proven over the past 10 weeks that the support we have been able to provide hasn’t changed. If anything, we’ve had even more positive feedback from our clients than before about our service offerings. Our team are happier and more productive, and this can only be a benefit to our clients and the business in the long run.

When will the change become permanent?

From the 1st June 2020, we will officially be a remote business. We’ll still be completely available to meet with clients as we would have done, but our team will be working from home permanently.

Companies like Twitter have recently announced the shift to offering people to be able to work from home permanently – do you think that the Coronavirus pandemic has expedited what would have happened anyway?

As a business we certainly weren’t considering making this change. If it wasn’t for Coronavirus, I don’t think we would have in all honesty. I think it has probably been a bit of a reality check for a lot of businesses in that the notion that you ‘need’ an office is perhaps a thing of the past with the technology we now have available to us. I fully expect a lot of businesses to also make the change now that they’ve seen the difference it makes.

What are you going to do to ensure that you can maintain the culture and team atmosphere you have built?

We spoke with the team during lockdown, and overall feedback was that working from home offered great benefits and was seen as a positive. We will continue using technology to have interactive meetings and are going to get together for monthly social catchups (once safe and permitted to do so).

What would your advice be to other businesses who are considering making the same move?

The technology is available for any business in the service industry to enable their staff to work from home on a permanent basis. It is not always a case of one-solution fits all, so we would recommend looking at how your business works and operates and build a solution that best suits your needs.

Will you still be focusing on supporting Midlands-based businesses or will you target a wider geography?

We already work with clients from across the UK and don’t see working from home changing that. Our philosophy has always been to deliver a great level of service and expertise to our clients, and that will be at the centre of how we continue to operate moving forward.

How have your team felt about working from home?

The overall consensus has been that the move to working remotely has been a positive move. It has given the team up to 2 hours back a day each in commuting time, which they are using to spend more time with their families and no doubt once lockdown restrictions are further eased, this extra time will enhance work-life balance even more. One of our team is also now able to get a puppy as they are going to be there to look after it!

It has also been noted that the flexibility and extra responsibility has been a real benefit both personally and for the business. We’ve seen even more dedication from the team to pull together and continue to deliver our services to our clients, which is an additional bonus.

There have naturally been adjustments that we have all had to make about how we communicate as a team virtually rather than being face-to-face, and not everyone is lucky enough to be able to dedicate a room or space to a home office which was initially a bit of a challenge. We are looking to support the team as much as we can in making the smooth transition to a permanently remote setting and will be getting together regularly once allowed for social gatherings to maintain the team feeling.

If you have any questions or are thinking about doing the same with your business, we’d love to speak with you about the move.

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